Satay Udang (Prawn Satay)

Satay (or saté) is marinated skewered meat or seafood traditionally grilled over charcoal and often served with a spicy peanut sauce. It is said to have originated in Indonesia, but is now equally at home in Malaysia and Singapore and is commonly sold at street stalls in all three countries. ‘‘Udang’ is the Malay and Indonesian word for prawn and this style of satay is especially popular in Bali and Singapore, it’s not traditionally served with peanut sauce, but you could add it if you like.


18 large green prawns, peeled and deveined
1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into batons
2 spring onions, quartered
¼ pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

Satay Udang Paste 
2 tablespoons ground coriander
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
10 red shallots, peeled and sliced (see notes)
1 stalk lemongrass, white only finely sliced
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2 medium red chillies, chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric 
1 tablespoon dark palm sugar
1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
1½ tablespoons kecap manis (see notes)
½ teaspoon belacan, toasted (see notes)
½ cup peanut oil
1 lime, juiced


Make Satay Udang Paste: combine all ingredients to a fine paste in a food processor. Pour into a bowl, add prawns, mix well, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat a barbecue or char-grill plate. 

Push a bamboo skewer through each prawn, lengthways from the tail end. 

Cook prawns for about 2 minutes each side, until just cooked through. Arrange on a platter with cucumber, spring onion and pineapple.


If red shallots are unavailable, use 5 large golden shallots or 2 red onions.

Kecap manis, available from Asian grocers, is a sweet soy sauce popular in Malaysian and Indonesian cooking.

Belacan (available from Asian grocery stores) is Malaysian fermented shrimp paste, also sometimes written belachan or blachan; to toast it, wrap in aluminium foil and place under a high grill for 3-5 minutes, until aromatic.

Alternative species:

Bugs, Marron, Redclaw, Yabby.

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