Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
Episode: 307 :: Asia's Crossroads
Singapore Beef Sates
Method: Direct Grilling
Serves: 6 as an appetizer; 4 as a light main course.
Advance
Preparation: 
At least 3 hours for marinating the beef. As long as overnight. The longer, the better.
Category: Meat
Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds rib-eye steaks, cut 1/2 inch thick

For the marinade:

3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce or soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil


Other Items Needed:
8-inch bamboo skewers; grill shield or aluminum foil (a 12 by 18 inch sheet folded in thirds like a business letter with shiny side out)

Directions:
Cut each steak, including the fat, into 1 inch strips (each 1/4 inch thick) and place in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper, fish sauce, and vegetable oil. Marinate the beef, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and as long as overnight.

Thread the beef strips onto bamboo skewers leaving the bottom half of each skewer exposed as a handle and the top 1/4-inch of the skewer exposed as a point. The recipe can be prepared several hours ahead to this stage.

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Arrange the sates on the grate, sliding the grill shield or folded foil under the exposed part of the skewers to keep them from burning. Grill until cooked to taste, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side for medium rare, a little longer for medium. (In general, Southeast Asians eat their sates medium to medium-well.) Serve with Singapore Cucumber Relish and Singapore Peanut Sauce if desired.
Note: the traditional way to eat sate is to skewer a piece of cucumber on the pointed end of the skewer, then dip the sate in the peanut sauce.
 
Singapore Cucumber Relish
Category: N/A
Ingredients:
2 kirby (small) cucumbers or 1 medium cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 small shallot or green onion, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 small hot red chile (like a bird or cayenne pepper), seeded and minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
Cut the cucumbers into 1/4-inch dice. Place the cucumbers, shallot, chile, vinegar, and sugar in a mixing bowl and gently toss to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
 
Singapore Peanut Sauce
Serves: Makes 2 cups
Category: Sauces
Ingredients:
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, 2 cloves minced and 3 cloves thinly sliced crosswise
1 shallot, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and minced (or 2 strips lemon zest)
1 to 3 small hot chiles, seeded and minced (for hotter peanut sauce, leave the seeds in)
1 tablespoon dried shrimp, minced, or 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or light cream, or as needed
2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (or to taste)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper



Directions:
Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the 2 cloves minced garlic, shallot, lemongrass, chiles, and dried shrimp (if using). Fry until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 minutes.

Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce (if using in place of dried shrimp), lime juice, and 3/4 cup water. Reduce heat and gently simmer the sauce until thick but pourable and richly flavored, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cilantro the last 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a small frying pan. Add the sliced garlic and fry over medium heat until just beginning to brown. Do not burn or the garlic will become bitter. Drain the garlic through a strainer over a heatproof bowl.

Just before serving, stir the fried garlic slices into the sauce. Sauce should be thick but not pasty: add a tablespoon or so of water as needed. Correct the seasoning, adding sugar, salt, and/or pepper to taste.

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