Grilled Shrimp Satay

In Singapore, satays are usually made with chicken or lamb. But for parties, Chris Yeo likes to use shrimp because he thinks it's more festive. He marinates the shellfish in an alluring mixture of sautéed garlic, ginger and ground spices, then threads each shrimp on its own skewer and grills them until they're lightly charred.


Slideshow: Fast Asian Recipes

Slideshow: Kebabs


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10


  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, bottom third of the tender white inner bulb only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 30 large shrimp (about 1 3/4 pounds), shelled and deveined
  • Garlic Peanut Sauce

How to make this recipe

  1. In a mini food processor, combine the onion, garlic, lemongrass and ginger and process to a paste. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion paste to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 25 minutes.

  2. Add the ground coriander, sugar, ground fennel seeds, cumin, turmeric and salt to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the spice paste into a bowl and let cool completely.

  3. In a large, shallow dish, coat the shrimp with the spice paste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

  4. Soak 30 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Light a grill. Thread 1 shrimp lengthwise onto each bamboo skewer and stretch each one out on the skewer. Grill over high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are nicely charred and just cooked through. Transfer the shrimp skewers to a platter, and serve immediately with the Garlic Peanut Sauce.

Make Ahead

The spice paste can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.

Suggested Pairing

When it comes to a wine choice, these gingery shrimp are half the story; the other half is the spicy-sweet peanut sauce they're served with. Choose a light white wine with enough acidity to balance the sweetness, like a dry Australian Riesling.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published May 2009

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