Menu of the day: Satiating Satay

satay-02-01232015It’s the end of the week again here at Monol, which means two things to students. One, today is exam day and two, (because it’s the second week of a term) they can go have a night out with their friends or roommates after classes.

Naturally, to keep the mind focused and concentrated, everyone should have their bellies full and content.  The morning might have been tough to some knowing they didn’t do very well in their exams but to prepare for another round this afternoon, a fulfilling and satiating lunch is a must.

Served for lunch today was Pork Satay in peanut sauce. There were two kinds of vegetables as side dishes – one, plainly sautéed and the other, mixed with oyster sauce. Kimchi soup was also served and for dessert was fruit cocktail. The health conscious might have rejoiced today because the buffet table had a lot of fibrous foods to offer, apart from the ever vibrant salad bar.

Did you know that…?

satay-04-01232015Satay is the national dish of Indonesia. It originated from Java and is available everywhere in street carts and in the most sophisticated restaurants. Though some say that the history of the dish is unclear, it is said that satay was the Javanese version of the Indian kebabs. Apparently, the Indian kebabs were brought by the Muslim traders and Arab immigrants who went to Indonesia in the early 19th century.

Satay has a lot of variations in its recipe as the years passed, but basically, the preparation is the same anywhere – that is, to grill skewered meat. Some would use soy sauce for the dip, while some would prefer having a nutty flavor to it by adding peanut butter or crushed walnuts. The Middle Eastern version, on the other hand, would have the strong flavor of turmeric to it with a bright yellow sauce. Apart from the dip/sauce, the meat cooked for this dish also has some variations. It can either be pork, chicken, beef, or goat. Some would even use mutton, if it’s available.

Monol’s satay sadly was not skewered and grilled but it had all the basic ingredients to honor what the Javanese people created. Since the pork was not grilled, a lot of effort was put into making the sauce.

The ingredients used for Monol’s version of satay were:
Soy sauce
Peanut butter
A bit of brown sugar
Beef powder
Salt and pepper
3 kinds of mushrooms: button, shitake, and black fungus
A bit of gin (White wine could have been the best choice but the gin worked rather well)

satay-03-01232015

Satay has already become a very popular dish not only in Southeast Asia but also around the world. Though it may look like any other barbecue or street food to some, the unique tweaks and innovations from chefs who prepare it will definitely make it extraordinary.

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