Sate Manis (Indonesian Skewered Meat)

Tina Wasserman
Recipe by
Tina Wasserman

Sate is the schwarma of Indonesia. Skewers of marinated meat cubes are favorite street and snack foods in Jakarta. This delicious recipe fuses Near and Far East ingredients.

1 1/2 – 2 pounds rib eye steak
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons garlic powder (preferred for this recipe) or 2 Tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Pepper (to taste)
SAUCE SATE KATJANG (Spiced Peanut Sauce):
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt to taste


  1. Mix together all the ingredients, except the meat, in a glass bowl.
  2. Cut the meat into 1 1/2 inch cubes and add to the bowl. Marinate for at least 1 hour (overnight is best).
  3. Skewer the meat with your choice of vegetables (I recommend wedges of onion, green pepper, cherry tomatoes, and mushroom caps).
  4. Broil over hot coals for 10-15 minutes, turning the skewers every 3 minutes or so to grill all sides, until the meat is the desired color.
  5. Serve with the accompanying sauce.

Sauce Sate Katjang (Spiced Peanut Sauce):

  1. Combine the water and lemon juice.
  2. Whisk the peanut butter in a small bowl and, slowly, add as much of the lemon-water mixture as you need to make a smooth sauce. Stir in the red pepper flakes and salt.
Additional Notes
  • If you are using kosher meat, choose rib eye (chuck and shoulder are too tough). If you do not observe kashrut, try sirloin or tenderloin.
  • Always use glass when marinating food. Metal will react with the marinade and poorly flavor your meat; plastic will absorb flavors.
  • When skewering meats and vegetables, always choose as "bookends" firm vegetables such as peppers. Never use cherry tomatoes; they'll wind up in the bottom of your grill!
  • If you plan to use some of your marinade as a glaze, make sure you set aside a portion before adding the meat (marinades dilute when mixed with meats).