2cloves of garlic, crushed1golden shallot, finely chopped 1red birdseye chilli, seeds removed finely chopped1 tbspfinely grated ginger1 tbsppalm sugar, pounded to a fine paste using a mortar and pestle2 tspthinly sliced lemongrass2 tsppeanut oil250 gmskinless chicken breast, sliced lengthways into 5mm-thick stripsTo serve:prawn crackersPressed rice200 gmlong-grain rice1 tbsptoasted sesame seedsPeanut sauce 2 tbsppeanut oil130 gmroasted peanuts, coarsely chopped3 clovesgarlic, finely chopped, then pounded to a coarse paste using a mortar and pestle2golden shallots, finely chopped4red birdseye chillies, finely chopped, then pounded to a coarse paste in a mortar with a pestle200 mlcoconut milk2 tbspbrown sugar1kaffir lime leaf, shredded½lime, juice onlyCarrot salad4carrots, cut into julienne½ cup (firmly packed)mint leaves, thinly sliced2long red chillies, seeds removed and cut into julienne60 ml (¼ cup)extra-virgin olive oil½lime, juice only
For pressed rice, rinse rice in a sieve under cold running water until water runs clear. Place in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender, then drain. Spoon rice into an 8 cup-capacity (28cm diameter) oval baking tray, smooth surface, cover with plastic wrap, place a smaller tray on top, weight down with food cans and chill overnight to firm. Remove from refrigerator just before serving, cut into wedges and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
For peanut sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add peanuts, garlic, shallot and chilli and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add remaining ingredients, ¾ cup of cold water, season to taste with sea salt, stir, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary to thin to a sauce consistency. Transfer to a blender and process for a few minutes or to a thick paste consistency. Transfer to a bowl.
Combine garlic, shallot, chilli, ginger, palm sugar, lemongrass and oil in a large bowl and mix well. Add chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Thread chicken onto 12 wooden skewers, reserving marinade, and set aside.
For carrot salad, combine carrot, mint and chilli in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and lime juice, season to taste and toss to combine. Set aside.
Preheat a barbecue to medium heat. Cook skewers, basting occasionally with marinade, for 2-3 minutes each side or until brown and just cooked through. Serve with pressed rice, sauce, salad and prawn crackers.
There are countless versions of satay around South-East Asia. For a modern twist, use beef or pork and wrap with butter lettuce leaves. You’ll need to start this recipe a day ahead, and soak wooden skewers in cold water for 20-30 minutes before using to prevent burning.