What is Sate Sauce?
Sate Sauce, also know as Peanut sauce, satay sauce, bumbu kacang, sambal kacang, or pecel is a sauce made from ground roasted or fried peanuts, widely used in the cusiines of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Africa.
Satesauce goes well with noodles, chicken, meat and vegetables. It is often used to add flavour to grilled skewered meat such as satays, poured over vegetables as salad dressing such as in gado-gado, or as dipping sauces for spring rolls.
The main ingredient is ground roasted peanuts, for which peanut butter can act as a substitute. A typical recipe usually contains ground roasted peanuts, coconut milk, soy sauce, tamarind, galangal, garlic, and spices . Other possible ingredients are chili peppers, sugar, milk, fried onion, and lemon grass.
The texture and consistency (thin or thick) of a peanut sauce corresponds to the amount of water being mixed in it. Some recipes create thin or watery peanut sauce, while others make thick or gloppy peanut sauce.Several different recipes for making peanut sauces exist, resulting in a variety of flavours, textures and consistency.
In Western countries, the readily and widely available peanut butter is often used as a substitute ingredient to make peanut sauce,however the texture of peanut butter is too smooth and soft.
One of the main characteristics of Indonesian cuisine is the wide applications of bumbu kacang (sate sauce) in many Indonesian signature dishes such as satay, gado-gado, karedok, ketoprak, asinan and pecel. It is usually added to main ingredients (meat or vegetable) to add taste, used as dipping sauce such as sambal kacang (a mixture of ground chilli and fried peanuts) for otak-otak or ketan or as a dressing on vegetables.
Introduced from Mexico by Portuguese and Spanish merchants in the 16th century, Sate Sauce has reached its sophistication in Indonesia, with the delicate balance of taste acquired from various ingredients according to each recipe of peanut sauce; fried peanuts, gula jawa (palm sugar), garlic, shallot, ginger, tamarind, lemon juice, lemongrass, salt, chilli, pepper, sweet soy sauce, ground together and mixed with water to acquire right texture. The secret to good sate sauce is "not too thick and not too watery." Indonesian sate sauce tends to be less sweet than the Thai one (which is a hybrid adaptation). Gado-gado is eaten with sate sauce throughout Indonesia showcasing the delicate balance of sweet, spicy and sour.
Through its former possessions in South East Asia, Sate sauce has become a common side dish in the Netherlands. Besides being used in certain traditional Indonesian and Dutch-Indonesian dishes, it has found its way in to a purely Dutch context when it is eaten during, for instance, a (non Asian style) barbecue or with French fries. A popular combination at Dutch fast food outlets is French fries with mayonnaise and peanut sauce (often with raw chopped onions), called a Patat Oorlog (lit. "French fries War"). Peanut sauce is also eaten with baguette, bread, cucumber or potatoes. It is also used as an ingredient in the deep-fried snack food called Satékroket, a croquette made with a flour-thickened ragout based on Indonesian satay.
In Chinese cooking, the sauce is often used on grilled meat. Other uses include hot pot and Dan Dan noodles. In Singapore, sate sauce is not only used as dipping sauce for satay. It is also eaten with rice vermicelli known as Satay Bee Hoon.
A lot more interesting storys about Sate Sauce could be found at our Sate Blog!