This is probably the most popular Indonesian dish: chicken, lamb or beef chunks in skewers, grilled, and topped with peanut sauce – satay (or sate in Indonesian).
You can probably find Satay in any part of the world, but there are variations of Satay that you can only find in Indonesia. These Satay have different spices, sauces, and even the way it skewered.
Here are the 12 different types of Satay that you can find in Indonesia:
Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay)
This is the most common Satay sold in Indonesia. You can find it everywhere—from street peddlers to the up-class restaurants in 5-star hotels. It is chunks of chicken meat (usually combined with chicken liver and skin) skewers that is marinated in soy sauce spice and then grilled. It is usually served with sweet and spicy peanut sauce, sliced shallots, and chopped chilies along with steamed rice or lontong (rice cake).
Sate Kambing (Lamb Satay)
Just like its name, Sate Kambing is made from young lamb meat. The unique thing about Sate Kambing that the meat is not washed in water because it can make the meat smells bad. Minced pineapple is usually used to wash the meat as well as to make the meat soft and tender. Sate Kambing is usually served with two options of sauce—peanut sauce or sweet soy sauce, completed with diced tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber, and chopped chilies. It is best eaten with hot steamed rice.
Sate Maranggi is a popular Satay from Purwakarta, West Java. Usually Sate Maranggi is made from lamb meat or beef. The marinating sauce is usually made from the mixture of green chili paste and cuka lahang (vinegar made from sugar cane) so it tastes a little bit spicy.
Sate Kerang (Scallop Satay)
This Satay is not like other grilled Satay mentioned above. This specialty food from Surabaya, East Java is cooked by boiling the scallops and sauté them in hot and sweet spice. Usually Sate Kerang is eaten along with lontong balap (famous rice cake dish from Surabaya).
Sate Kalong literally means ‘Bat Satay’. But don’t worry, this Satay isn’t made from bat meat at all. Sate Kalong is made from ox meat and marinated in sweet spice. It taste sweet and a bit like dendeng sapi (Indonesian jerked meat). It was named Sate Kalong because usually the peddler sells this Satay from the evening until midnight (‘Kalong’ in Indonesian also means begadang or staying up late).
Sate Padang is the name for three types of Satay that are famous at West Sumatera: Sate Padang, Sate Padang Panjang, and Sate Padang Pariaman. All of these Satay are made from ox tongue or beef. You can see the difference of the three by looking at the sauce. Sate Padang has spicy flavor because the sauce is made from peanut sauce and chilies. Sate Padang Panjang tastes not too spicy and the sauce has yellow in color, while the sauce of Sate Padang Pariaman has spicier flavor and the color is red.
This is one of the most unique kinds of Satay from Indonesia. Sate Torpedo is made from torpedo or the testicles of goat. Many people, usually males, love to consume this Satay as it is said can improve the energy and stamina of males.
Sate Lilit is the specialty food from Bali. There are various main ingredients used for Sate Lilit such as meat, chicken, fish, pork, or even turtle. But the most popular (and delicious one) is Sate Lilir made from fish. The minced fish meat is mixed with shredded coconut, coconut milk, lime juice, shallots, and pepper. This dough then wrapped around lemongrass and grilled above charcoals.
Sate Ambal is a specialty Satay from Ambal, Kebumen, Central Java. It is actually just like Sate Ayam, but with different sauce. The sauce is made from crushed tempeh and chilies that it mixed with other spices. Usually this Satay is consumed along with ketupat.
This Satay is also not grilled, but sautéed in spices and then skewered using bamboo skewers. Just like its name, it is made from usus (chicken’s intestines). Sate Usus also comes in form of boiled one, and then it is fried before serving.
Sate Buntel is famous in Solo or Surakarta, Central Java. It is made from minced beef or lamb (especially the belly or ribs area). The fatty meat then wrapped in a meat’s membrane before being wrapped around bamboo skewers. It is then grilled on fire charcoal, and removed from the skewers before serving. The sauce is made from the mixture of sweet soy sauce and ground pepper.
It is dubbed as a unique Satay from Banten. Sate Bandeng is made from boneless bandeng (milkfish). The milkfish meat is minced and mixed with spices, and then inserted into the milkfish’s skin. It does not use skewers but a tongs made from bamboo, and grilled on fire charcoal.
Whatever Satay you like or eat, don’t forget to add Sambal