September 11

Barbecue Satay Beef with Thai Peanut Sauce

I have one of my favourite recipes yet for you! This is my attempt to cook my favourite meal from our local Chinese takeaway, Barbecue Satay Beef with Broccoli. I always order it!

But, now that I have made this....I might be making my own from now on. This was sooo delicious! Plus Aidan loves peanut butter so I got him eating broccoli at last! I might just make this sauce and put it on all the greens he is not a fan of.

The first time I made this when I was in my last couple of weeks of being pregnant with our daughter. She was a full nine days overdue so I was trying all the old wives tales to bring on labour. But, you can adjust how spicy you want it by adding more chilli, like me.

When I was looking for a recipe to begin making my own recipe, I learned that Satay is not the peanut sauce. Satay instead refers to the strips of skewered, marinated meat. It is believed to have originated in Java, Indonesia, where the concept of kebabs was brought by Muslim traders from India and Arab countries who came in search of spices.

From there it spread throughout Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore also count it among their national dishes, and it’s also found in Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Brunei. The paste differs between regions, but ingredients such as turmeric, lemongrass and ginger are usually key, and the meat will marinate in this for hours before being cooked to perfection over charcoal, the smoke infusing the meat and the heat of the coals charring its edges.

Ready to get grilling? If you give this recipe a try, do let me know! Take a picture and tag it me @PilatesBarreDlk or #VitalityNutritionProg on Instagram. I would love to see yours! And you can see my other recipes on my Pinterest Board here.


Satay Marinade:

  • 500g flank/skirt or another beef steak
  • metal skewers, or bamboo skewers soaked in water
  • 1 tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Muscovado sugar
  • Juice (2 tablespoons) and Zest of ½ Lime
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of Ginger, finely minced
  • 1 Lemongrass stem (pale inner core only) or freshly grated lime zest
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon of Turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

Coconut Peanut Sauce:

  • Cooking oil (rapeseed, sesame or peanut oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of Massaman curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • 1 tin of Coconut Milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Muscovado sugar, to taste
  • Juice (2 tablespoons) and Zest of ½ Lime
  • Salt, to taste

To serve:

  •  Jasmine rice
  • Tenderstem Broccoli

How to:

  1. Cut your steak on the bias across the grain into thin, two cm wide strips.
  2. Blend all the marinade ingredients into a smooth paste. Heat up the oil in a wok, stir-fry the Marinade until fragrant and the oil slightly separates from it. Add to a large bowl with the beef pieces and ensure the meat is thoroughly coated. 
  3. Marinate at room temperature for at least one hour. If you plan to marinate longer (which is better), you should put it in the fridge. I marinated ours overnight.
  4. 30 minutes before cooking, soak your bamboo skewers in water. Preheat your grill or make sure your barbecue (charcoal) is hot and ready for cooking.
  5. Make the satay skewers with 3-4 pieces of the marinated beef threaded onto each skewer.
  6. Grill the satay until both sides are charred and the meat is cooked to your liking, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove and place on a serving plate.
  7. Serve satay as is with rice and greens or with the peanut sauce below.
For the Peanut Sauce:
  1. Heat oil in the wok over a medium heat, add the curry paste and stir until you can get the aroma of the paste and it is all darker in colour.
  2. Add coconut milk to your desired consistency and stir. Then add the peanut butter, lime juice, sugar  and salt to your taste. Stir the sauce until everything is mixed well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring, until oil separates and floats to the top. Remove from the heat, stir well to combine, then cool. Store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Cooking notes

  • I highly recommend using metal skewers instead of bamboo/wooden ones. Bamboo ones always need to be pre-soaked to avoid them burning. With metal ones, you never have to worry about that. Metal skewers are easier to thread the meat onto and are longer than bamboo skewers so they’re easier to flip without burning yourself on the grill. They’re more cost-effective too.
  • Lemongrass is a woody, scallion-shaped herb with an aromatic lemon flavour. To use, trim off the root end and grassy top. Peel off the woody outer leaves. Thinly slice the softer inner stalk, then finely chop.

I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Emma xo

Meet Emma

Hi, I am Emma McAtasney, a NCEHS Personal Trainer since 2009. I earned my Pilates credentials through BASI Pilates, a highly respected college-level Pilates teacher training programme which aim is to create and maintain professional standards for the teaching of the Pilates Method to the highest calibre.

In addition, I am a prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist, nutritionist and founder of a boutique Pilates studio in Dundalk, Ireland.

I help my clients eat healthier, ditch fad diets and lose weight for good by guiding them to make small manageable changes that long term have a huge impact on their quality of life!

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