Introducing Sate Lilit: These bite-sized Balinese morsels are going to change your life. Made with minced pork (or tuna or chicken), these easy Balinese Satays are packed with a mouthwatering Balinese spice paste known as Basa Genap. If you’re ready to head on over to FLAVOUR TOWN, read on!
If you’re a regular reader of Wandercooks you’ll know we’ve just returned from an edible adventure through Bali. Safe to say we’re still on a foodie high after those 12 epic days of binging on as much street food as we could handle, so we couldn’t resist sharing another tasty Balinese discovery.
Without further ado, enter Sate Lilit.
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If there’s one thing Balinese people understand it’s how to cook a mean satay.
Wander the streets of Bali with a hungry stomach (and your nose in the air), and you’re bound to stumble across tiny street side food stalls (warung) selling tasty morsels like sate babi and sate ayam (pork and chicken satays).
Sometimes lathered in a fragrant blend of herbs and spices and a healthy dose of kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), these juicy on the inside + crispy on the outside beauties are grilled over fiery charcoals on a panggangan (Indonesian charcoal grill).
Now, you could say today’s recipe for Sate Lilit is kinda similar(ish) to these other satays, in that it’s also cooked over a panggangan, but… that’s where the similarity ends.
So what’s going on in Sate Lilit then?
Well, instead of thinly sliced strips of meat, Sate Lilit are made with minced meat.
At first, we were dumbfounded – how could that possibly work? Wouldn’t they just fall straight off the skewer?
But I tell you, Sate Lilit are like magic.
(And not just because they DO stay on the skewer)
How to Make Sate Lilit – Indonesian Minced Meat Satays
The secret to everything that’s good about Sate Lilit is all the extra goodies added to the mix. A few spices, some grated coconut, and a dash of sugar are all you need to bring these babies to life at home.
Here’s what you’ll need to gather:
Basa genap is Bali’s most famous spice blend and it’s super easy to make at home. Made with freshly ground herbs and spices, chilli, lemongrass and garlic, it brings a massive flavour punch to heaps of Bali’s beloved local dishes. It’s traditionally made using an Indonesian mortar and pestle (cobek & ulakan), but also super quick if you prefer to use a food processor instead.
Head on over to last week’s post for Chef Lole’s full Basa Genap recipe >>
Freshly Grated Young Coconut
For the best flavour and moist texture to your Sate Lilit, it’s best to use freshly grated young coconut. It helps bind the mince meat and keep its shape on the skewer. However, if it’s too hard to source, you could substitute with desiccated coconut. The flavour won’t be quite the same, and you’ll have a slightly different texture, but if that’s the tradeoff to be able to make your own Sate Lilit at home we are ALL FOR IT.
Palm sugar brings a delicate sweetness to offset the punchy spices going on in the basa genap. It also helps give a slightly golden caramelised texture to the outsides. Grab some from your Asian grocer, the Asian section of your local supermarket, or head online.
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For the skewers
- bamboo skewers pre-soaked so they don't burn or lemongrass stalks
- Pop your minced meat in a bowl and add the basa genap, grated coconut, palm sugar and a dash of lime juice, then mix until well combined and smooth.
- Now take a soaked bamboo skewer or lemongrass stalk in one hand and a small scoop of sate mixture in the other. Shape the mixture around the top of the skewer/lemongrass, then gently twist, squeeze and shape in a downward motion.
- Grill over charcoal for around 5-6 minutes, turning frequently so the sates cook evenly.