Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Chicken Satay with Spicy Noodle Salad

I think everyone has those dishes that, when eating out, their eyes are immediately drawn to on a menu. For me it's always been mussels, buffalo wings or (up until a recent bad experience) black pudding. For my girlfriend, whenever chicken satay appears on a menu, I can pretty much guarantee that it's what she's choosing. Since she spent some time in Indonesia a few years ago, my girlfriend has been mad on it, whereas I have never been a massive fan. Probably because I never particularly liked peanut butter - weird seeing as I was raised in the states, where PB&J is the national dish - it's never really appealed to me. But, seeing as she made a big effort with my rice pudding, when I found a Jamie Oliver recipe that looked too good to resist (yep, this one is totally lifted...) I figured I would give it a go. And I have to say I've been converted.
A good mixer or blender (ideally both) is needed for this recipe. With the move and everything I hadn't really had much of an opportunity to use the one I got for Christmas, so I was super pumped about getting it out and doing some mixing (kitchen nerd). I was actually just excited to finally make this meal for Charlie as I had been unsuccessful the previous two nights because she got too wrapped up in her book, missed her train station and arrived home too late on Saturday and then went to bed 'for fifteen minutes' at 3.30 on Sunday and woke up too late 5 hours later. Notice a trend? All I can say is thank goodness for four-day weekends. More of them please.
In your mixer, throw in a good handful of coriander leaves, one whole red chili (minus the stalk), a good thumb of ginger, the zest and juice of a lime, a clove of garlic, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of soy sauce and about 3 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter. (I just actually stepped away for a minute to get a snack and ended up with some peanut butter on toast...this stuff is really good, how come nobody told me before? Only took me 25 years I guess...) 
Anyway as J.O. would say, 'wazz' your mixture up until you have a nice paste. Set aside half for a dipping sauce and pour the rest into a small baking tray that you're going to use for your chicken skewers. With the ginger, the lime, the peanut butter, the chilli...the flavours in here are unreal.
About 10-15 minutes before you start cooking, soak your skewers in water. This helps them to not catch on fire, which I've found is always a good thing when cooking. Cut your chicken into large-ish chunks and skewer them, then rub the satay mixture from the baking tray in and around the meat. Stick under a hot grill for about 15 minutes, flipping over halfway through. When you think they're done, drizzle (a word I'm never entirely comfortable typing) some honey over the top and give them an extra 30 seconds under the grill for that amazing caramelised-sugary taste.
Unfortunately, for my spicy noodle salad I don't have much in the way of photos simply because this is where it all started getting a bit hectic in the kitchen trying to juggle several things at once. I'm going to look into hiring a professional photographer who just hangs around my flat waiting to snap everything I cook. I'll accept any applications, payment will be made in meals. No more, no less. Start by toasting some cashew nuts in a hot pan and when they start to brown after 45 seconds or so, add a tablespoon of sesame seeds and a squirt (better than drizzle?) of honey until they start to caramelise almost into little sweets. Take off the heat and set aside. Cook about 250g of egg noodles in boiling water - they only take a couple of minutes - then drain and cool off with cold water. For your spicy salad dressing, blend up a large handful or coriander stalks (set the leaves aside), half of a red onion, the juice of a lime, a red chilli, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon each of sesame oil and fish sauce. To a large bowl add your noodles, a big handful of coriander leaves, half of your nuts and your dressing. Mix it up nicely and top with the rest of the candied nuts and another red chopped red chilli. There's a lot of spice going down in this recipe...probably best to avoid if you have an aversion to the stuff or run a risk of stomach ulcers. Or just go for it, why not.
And that is you done. Serve it up with some mini gem lettuce leaves and make lettuce wraps. Dive in with your hands and get messy, it's totally necessary. Schmear some satay on the lettuce, bung some noodles and a chunk of chicken on there with a squeeze of lime...heaven. Don't forget the beers.


  1. Hi,

    I am a complete newbie to Paleo, three weeks in, and whilst I’m loving eating like this I was at the point where I needed something with lots of flavour. I made this

    recipe lastnight and it was fantastic.

    Thanks you for all your effort in getting these recipies to us I will be trying a lot more of them now.

    katie evans


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