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The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day. 

The January challenge requirement was to marinate the satays – any type of meat or non-meat (tofu) could be used. Cuppy (the host) provided a couple of marinade recipes, however neither of the recipes were particularly authentic. Saskia and I decided to make a more authentic Thai-style satay, based on a recipe from the Spirit House cookbook. Spirit House is a beautiful Thai restaurant situated on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, I recently had a delicious meal there, which you can read about here

We decided to make yellow-curry marinated satays of chicken and tofu. We served these with a zingy cucumber relish, rice and some curried vegetables. 


To make the satay the recipe called for the use of homemade yellow curry paste. We already had some curry paste from our Balinese Feast so we used that. We combined yellow curry paste, coconut milk, brown sugar and fish sauce to make the marinade: 

On the left is the finished marinade, on the right is the curry paste


As per the Challenge requirement, we marinated the tofu and the chicken for several hours: 

Tofu and chicken marinating


We then threaded the chicken and tofu onto soaked wooden skewers and grilled them on the barbeque: 


Our finished satays: 






We scattered the satays with some coriander (cilantro), peanuts and chopped chillies: 


We also served them with a cucumber relish, made with fish sauce, chillies, coriander, vinegar, sugar and peanuts (recipe below): 


We also used some of the curry paste to make a yellow vegetable curry with potatoes and beans: 

The verdict

The satays were flavoursome, moist and delicious. The cucumber relish was an absolute winner – fresh, zingy with a nice sweet and sour balance and a bit of a kick from the chillies. The curried vegetables were nice as well. We will definitely be making this again! 



2 tbs yellow curry paste (you can find the recipe and instructions here)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tbs palm sugar (we used brown sugar instead)
Fish sauce to taste (we used about a tablespoon)
500g chicken or tofu 

  • Combine the curry paste, coconut, palm sugar and fish sauce in a bowl. Add chicken/tofu and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Thread chicken/tofu onto skewers and cook on the barbecue – about 15 minutes.
  • Serve with coriander (cilantro), chillies and chopped peanuts on the side.

Spicy cucumber relish 

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup white sugar
splash of fish sauce
1 large continental cucumber
4 small red chillies, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, crushed or finely chopped
1/2 cup coriander (cilantro) including stems 

  • Combine vinegar, sugar and fish sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  • Peel cucumber, scrape out seeds and cut into small pieces.
  • Place cucumber, chillies, peanuts and coriander in a bowl. Pour over dressing and toss gently.

Curried vegetables 

1 tbs vegetable oil
2 cups coconut cream
3 tbs yellow curry paste (as above)
250g potato, parboiled and diced
200g green beans, topped and tailed
1 tbs palm sugar (we used brown sugar instead)
Fish sauce to taste (we used a bit over a tablespoon)
Coriander leaves, to garnish 

  • Heat oil in a wok, add 2 tbs of the thick cream from the top of the coconut cream.
  • Add curry paste, simmer gently for 5 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add potatoes, beans, sugar and remaining coconut cream.
  • Simmer gently until just cooked, about 10 minutes.
  • Season to taste with fish sauce.
  • Serve with steamed jasmine rice and garnish with coriander leaves.
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5 Responses to “The Daring Kitchen: Cook’s January Challenge – Satay”

  1. cuppy says:

    Awesome and amazing!!!

    I am so pleased that you took off running with the concept! Everything looks wonderful!

  2. climbhighak says:

    The satay looks great, but right now I am craving some of the curried potatoes. That is a dish I sometimes get at my local Thai restaurant and your photos have put the taste for it at the front of my brain.

  3. Wow I just Spirit House it is my fav recipe book for Thai Food and wonderful that you did some of the recipe from it beautiful looking photos and the dishes sound delicious. Super work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  4. Merrilee says:

    Your satay looks great! I am now interested in giving your marinade recipe a try along with the cucumber relish. Yum!

  5. Emily says:

    Climbhighak: glad you liked the curried veg – it was really nice and vert simple to make. The curry would be even easier if you just use a pre-made spice mix as the base.

    Audax: yep we love Spirit House, such a beautiful restaurant and the cookbook is an absolute winner. I have a whole list of things I want to make from it!

    Merrilee: glad you liked the look of the satays, they were really tasty and the cucumber relish really added so much flavour. I think the relish was the best part of meal that we made and it was really easy as well! Happy cooking!

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