Lamb Satay with Tamarind Barbecue Sauce

A traditional Javanese satay is made with ground lamb, but Steven Raichlen likes to use cubes of boneless leg of lamb and combine them with a classic tamaring and sweet soy glaze and a crispy shallot topping. Tamarind concentrate and tamarind puree are available at Latin markets.


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  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup tamarind concentrate or 1 1/4 cups tamarind puree
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) or 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 large shallots, thinly sliced

How to make this recipe

  1. Soak six 10-inch bamboo skewers in warm water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium shallow glass baking dish, sprinkle the lamb with 1 tablespoon of the coriander, the salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the pepper. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the tamarind, sugar, sweet soy sauce, garlic and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of coriander and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Let cool.

  3. In a deep skillet, heat 1 cup of oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and crisp, 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels.

  4. Light a grill. Lightly oil the grate. Thread the lamb onto the skewers. Set aside half of the barbecue sauce for serving. Grill the lamb over a medium-hot fire for 8 minutes, turning once and basting often with the tamarind sauce for medium-rare meat. Transfer the skewers to plates, sprinkle with the shallots and serve with the remaining sauce.

Contributed By Published June 2002

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