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Sates in Singapore play the same role as hot dogs in New York, popular and affordable. What makes these sates so extraordinary is the cut of beef, rib eye, the most generously marbled steak you can buy. When assembling the sates, be sure to intersperse cubes of lean beef with fattier cubes of meat or steak fat. I added the alternative use of sirloin steak which is a decent substitute. Best cooked on a charcoal grill, but if you cook on a gas grill, the robust spicing of these sates will blast through loud and clear. I gave an optional recipe for Singapore Cucumber Relish. The purpose is to give you a bite of cool, crisp, crunch to counterpoint the spicy hot meat. From Planet Barbecue!: 309 Recipes, 60 Countries by Steven Raichlen.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs rib eye steaks (about 1/2 inch thick) or 1 1⁄2 lbs sirloin steaks (about 1/2 inch thick)
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons asian fish sauce or 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for grill grates
- 4 bamboo skewers, water soaked for at least 30 minutes
Optional Singapore Cucumber Relish
- 2 kirby cucumbers or 1 medium cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
- 1 shallots, minced (2 to 3 tablespoons) or 1 green onion, both white and green parts, trimmed and minced
- 1 small hot red chili pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced (such as a bird or cayenne pepper)
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- coarse koscher salt or sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- Cut the steaks, including the fat, into 1/2-inch cubes and place them in a ziplock bag. Stir together the brown sugar, coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper, fish sauce and oil. Pour over the beef cubes the marinade mixture and massage contents to coat evenly. Refrigerator for at least 2 hours; the longer it marinates, the richer the flavor will be.
- Drain the cubes of beef, discarding the marinade. Season with salt. Thread the beef onto bamboo skewers, leaving the bottom half of each skewer bare for a handle and 1/4 inch exposed at the pointed end.
- Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.
- When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the sates on the hot grate. Grill the sates until cooked to taste, 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare, a little longer for medium.
- To Make Singapore Cucumber Relish: Cut the cucumber into 1/4-inch dice. Place the cucumber, shallot, chile, rice vinegar and sugar in a mixing bowl and toss gently to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The relish can be made up to 2 hours ahead.