Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coconut Red Curry Lamb Satay with Hoisin Peanut Sauce

This is an adaptation of typical Thai satay, using lamb instead of beef and a Vietnamese-style peanut sauce. This type of food is excellent on a hot summers day or as part of a grilling party. It would also be good with beef, but lamb has such a great flavor and goes so well with red curry that I prefer it.

I buy very thinly sliced lamb at Seafood City (Asian grocery on Olive, for those readers in St. Louis), but you can easily slice your own. The easiest way to slice meat very thinly is to partially freeze it first, so it is firm enough to slice.

Coconut Red Curry Lamb Satay: 
     makes enough for 4 to 6 people

1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup red curry paste
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds
1.5 pounds very thinly sliced lamb shoulder
long wooden skewers

In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together the first five ingredients. Add the lamb and make sure all side of each piece are coated in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 to 24 hours (the longer you let it marinate, the more flavor it will have).

Soak the skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. While you heat the grill, thread the meat onto the skewers. The meat should be folded  tightly and threaded onto the skewers (see the picture above).

Heat a charcoal grill until it is very hot. Grill the skewers for a few minutes on each side, or until they are browned (a few burnt tips are good too) nicely and fully cooked. Serve hot with peanut sauce.

Hoisin Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (if you use chunky you may not need the additional peanuts)
1/4 cup water or coconut milk (depending on your taste and what is available)
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, plus extra if you want
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons peanuts, crushed with a mortar and pestle

Whisk together the peanut butter and water together in a small bowl.

In a small pan, heat the oil. Cook the garlic and red pepper flakes in the oil for 1 minute, then add the tomato paste and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and use a rubber spatula to transfer the garlic/pepper/tomato mixture to the bowl with the peanut butter. Add the hoisin sauce and fish sauce and stir everything together until smooth. Stir in the sesame seeds and peanuts. Thin with additional water or coconut milk if necessary. Adjust the seasonings based on your taste.


  1. Really a nicely put together recipe. I agree that partially freezing meat makes it much easier to slice thinly. BTW, I absolutely love Seafood City. Any St. Louis-area cooks should definitely check it out.

  2. Definitely my type of meal, your sauce looks great! I JUST bought fish sauce today, yei!

  3. Hi Katie! Oohhh I love satay with coconut red curry flavor! And the Hoison peanut sauce is one of my favorite sauce too. Fabulous dinner!

  4. this looks like a fantastic twist on traditional satay! I can't believe i've never been to seafood city--now it's on my places to check out!

  5. Looks great - your meals always inspire me to try something new!