Asian Recipes/ Dinner/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Snack

Sate Lilit – Balinese Minced Pork Satays

10/12/2020

Bring the flavours of Bali into your home with Sate Lilit. These amazing pork satays are infused with a special Balinese blend of aromatic herbs and spices, chargrilled to perfection!

Six minced pork satays on a tray.

Why We Love This

These delicious pork satays are juicy on the inside, crispy chargrilled on the outside.

Made from minced pork, they’re much easier to prepare than regular satays. No need to thread slippery marinated meat onto the skewer, just mould and squeeze into shape!

The mouthwatering flavour comes from a traditional Balinese spice blend also known as bumbu bali – so easy to make with the help of a food processor, you’ll have this ready to use in no time.

Sate lilit on a tray next to small bowls of seasoning ingredients.

What is Sate Lilit? 

Indonesia is known as the home of sate (pronounced satay), and it’s not hard to see why. You’ll find literally hundreds of different versions of sate made throughout the islands of Indonesia, using different meats, seasonings and cooking styles. 

Today’s recipe for sate lilit originated in Bali, and as you’ll see, it’s quite different from other styles of satays. Instead of thinly sliced strips of marinated meat, sate lilit are made with minced meat mixed with a traditional Balinese blend of aromatic herbs and spices. 

‘Lilit’ translates as ‘wrap around’, since the mince meat is wrapped and pressed around a lemongrass stalk (or bamboo skewer) rather than meat slices being pierced and threaded onto a skewer. 

Like all good satays, they’re traditionally grilled over fiery coals on a panggangan (Indonesian charcoal grill).

Unlike other satays, it’s not traditionally served with a dipping sauce, so you can enjoy all the delicious flavours of the seasonings cooked right into the sate.  Similar to yakitori chicken skewers which has the flavour coated on it.

In Indonesia and Bali in particular, sate lilit is a very popular street food, enjoyed as a main for lunch or dinner, or as a side with rice and veggies.

Where We Learned This

We first learned this recipe when venturing away from the beaches of Bali and out into the countryside to a resort called Puri Taman Sari. There we met a trio of food lovers: Gusti, Bagus and Chef Lole.

From the moment we stepped into their outdoor kitchen, Bagus, Gusti, Chef Lole, Sarah and I talked madly in both Indonesian and English, learning and sharing everything we knew about Balinese ingredients and cooking techniques.

Together we chopped, ground, grilled and fried our way through five of Bali’s beloved edible creations, including sate lilit and basa genep

What You’ll Need

  • Minced Pork – Today we’re using pork, but you can substitute with any kind of minced meat like chicken, fish, beef, duck, tuna etc. It’s totally up to you. 
  • Balinese Spice Blend – Sometimes known as basa genep, basa gede or bumbu bali, this 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 so many of Bali’s beloved local dishes. It’s traditionally made using an Indonesian mortar and pestle (cobek & ulakan), but a food processor makes it even easier to bring together. Here’s the full recipe for basa genap here. If you don’t want to make your own, you could try using a store-bought Balinese spice paste. Look for one at an Asian market.
  • 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. You may be able to find this in the freezer at Asian supermarkets, if not, just substitute with desiccated coconut. The flavour and texture will be slightly different, but you’ll still get to enjoy delicious sate lilit, so the trade off is totally worth it!
  • Sugar – The traditional recipe calls for palm sugar, which brings a delicate sweetness to offset the punchy spices going on in the basa genep. It also helps give slightly golden caramelised texture to the outsides. Grab some from your Asian grocer, the Asian section of your local supermarket, or head online. You can substitute with regular sugar if you prefer.
  • Skewers – We love the Balinese tradition of making these with lemongrass stalks as the skewers. They impart a beautiful aromatic flavour into the mince while cooking, and they look fantastic too! Chop off the dry ends but leave the white stem intact. If you can’t use fresh lemongrass stalks, just use bamboo paddles or thick wooden chopsticks as skewers.
Cooking sate lilit on a charcoal grill.

How to Wrap

  • Take 2-3 tbsp of the mixture and press it onto the top of the skewer. If using a lemongrass stalk, place it on the thicker white end. 
  • Use your fingers and palm to mould it about a third of the way down the skewer. Constantly rotate the skewer and squeeze in gently as you go. This will make sure the mixture is wrapped evenly around the skewer.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Skewers – Thicker skewers work better than thin ones for this recipe. It’s easier to wrap the mince meat around them! Whether you use lemongrass or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes then dry them before using. 
  • To Cook – Grill it over hot coals, or use a griddle pan to cook on the stove or BBQ. Use a medium heat and rotate frequently so they cook evenly.
  • Extra Smooth Texture – If your minced meat is a bit lumpy, we recommend popping it into a food processor and blitzing until it’s nice and smooth prior to mixing in all your other ingredients. This will give the best texture for your sates and help them stick nicely to the bamboo.

FAQs

Do I need a dipping sauce for sate lilit?

These satays are usually served without dipping sauce, and when they’re traditionally cooked over a charcoal grill, they’re so full of juicy flavour that there’s really no need to smother them in sauce. But if having a delicious dipping sauce is more to your style, you could make a quick sauce out of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and sweet chilli dipping sauce. Or make it even better by using the spicy peanut sauce from our Indonesian gado gado recipe.

What should I serve with these satays?

Serve with freshly cooked white rice, nasi kuning (rice flavoured with turmeric, coconut milk and spices) or cubed rice cake. Try it with spicy sambal matah, simple sliced cucumber and tomato, or gado gado salad with spicy peanut sauce – yum!

A tray of Indonesian sate lilit.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment & star rating below!

Close up shot of cooked sate lilit.

Sate Lilit – Balinese Minced Pork Satays

Bring the flavours of Bali into your home with Sate Lilit. These amazing pork satays are infused with a special Balinese blend of aromatic herbs and spices, chargrilled to perfection!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indonesian
Servings: 15 satays
Calories: 75kcal
Author: Wandercooks

Equipment

Ingredients

For the skewers

  • 15 bamboo skewers or fresh lemongrass stalks pre-soaked so they don't burn

Instructions

  • Pop the minced meat in a large mixing bowl and add the Balinese spice paste, shredded coconut, palm sugar and a dash of lime juice. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  • Now take a soaked bamboo skewer or lemongrass stalk in one hand and a small scoop (around 2-3 tbsp) of sate mixture in the other. Shape the mixture around the top of the skewer, or the white end of the lemongrass stalk, 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.

Recipe Notes

  • Minced Pork – Today we’re using pork, but you can substitute with any kind of minced meat like chicken, fish, beef, duck, tuna etc. It’s totally up to you. 
  • Balinese Spice Blend – Sometimes known as basa genep, basa gede or bumbu bali, this 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 so many of Bali’s beloved local dishes. It’s traditionally made using an Indonesian mortar and pestle (cobek & ulakan), but a food processor makes it even easier to bring together. Here’s the full recipe for basa genap here. If you don’t want to make your own, you could try using a store-bought Balinese spice paste. Look for one at an Asian market.
  • 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. You may be able to find this in the freezer at Asian supermarkets, if not, just substitute with desiccated coconut. The flavour and texture will be slightly different, but you’ll still get to enjoy delicious sate lilit, so the trade off is totally worth it!
  • Sugar – The traditional recipe calls for palm sugar, which brings a delicate sweetness to offset the punchy spices going on in the basa genep. It also helps give slightly golden caramelised texture to the outsides. Grab some from your Asian grocer, the Asian section of your local supermarket, or head online. You can substitute with regular sugar if you prefer.
  • Skewers – We love the Balinese tradition of making these with lemongrass stalks as the skewers. They impart a beautiful aromatic flavour into the mince while cooking, and they look fantastic too! Chop off the dry ends but leave the white stem intact. If you can’t use fresh lemongrass stalks, just use bamboo paddles or thick wooden chopsticks as skewers. Thicker skewers work better than thin ones for this recipe because it’s easier to wrap the mince meat around them. Whether you use lemongrass or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes then dry them before using. 
  • To Cook – Grill it over hot coals, or use a griddle pan to cook on the stove or BBQ. Use a medium heat and rotate frequently so they cook evenly.
  • Extra Smooth Texture – If your minced meat is a bit lumpy, we recommend popping it into a food processor and blitzing until it’s nice and smooth prior to mixing in all your other ingredients. This will give the best texture for your sates and help them stick nicely to the bamboo.

Nutrition

Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Sate Lilit - Balinese Minced Pork Satays

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Carlos At Spoonabilities
    25/06/2017 at 3:34 am

    5 stars
    Those pork minced satay look so cute and tasty. Is there a difference in cooking time between the Indonesian grill and an electric inside grill? I can imagine that they will heat differently. Thank you

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      31/07/2017 at 12:07 pm

      Hey Carlos! I think it really depends on how much you let the charcoal fire up before grilling. Get it up to a nice red heat and they’ll only need a minute or two each side – if that!

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