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Beef satay

Serves: 2

Prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Authentic Thai cuisine

beef, grills & marinades, barbecue, small bites

Difficulty: Pretty Easy

In Thailand, beef is pretty tough, so we have to marinate it for a long time to make it tender. This marinade recipe is a good one to note as it will tenderise almost any meat if left for long enough. For beef, I suggest a minimum of an hour.


500g (1lb) beef tenderloin, cut into thin strips

For the marinade

3 lemongrass stalks, chopped
4 panda leaves, chopped (available from Asian supermarkets)
3 tablespoons galangal, chopped
150ml (1⁄4 pint) coconut milk
150g (5oz) pineapple chunks
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
For the peanut sauce
250ml (8fl oz) coconut milk
1⁄2 tablespoon Red Curry Paste (see separate recipe)
1⁄2 tablespoon Massaman Curry Paste (see separate recipe)
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 tablespoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
100ml (31⁄2fl oz) tamarind water (made by mixing tamarind paste or concentrate with water, as per the package instructions)
150g (5oz) crushed roasted peanuts


  1. Put all marinade ingredients into a blender and blitz to a smooth paste, or pound them in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the beef strips and mix well.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Meanwhile, place 6-9 wooden skewers in water and leave to soak.
  4. To make the peanut sauce, bring the coconut milk to the boil in a small saucepan and cook until the oil comes to the surface.
  5. Stir in the curry pastes and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind water and the roasted peanuts.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture has thickened a little and has a smooth consistency.
  7. Preheat a grill or griddle pan until very hot. Thread the beef strips on to the skewers, then cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until done to your liking.
  8. Serve hot with the peanut sauce.

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