Prep ahead for Indonesian Beef Satay

Jul 9, 2014 by Guest Writer

In 1989, I shipped a 54-foot Bertram to Hong Kong then delivered the boat on her own bottom to Guam via the Philippines, Palau, Ngulu and Ulithi Atolls. While on Guam, I dated a flight attendant, which afforded me $50 buddy passes to the Far East. After three visits to Bali, I fell in love with the island.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world. But on Bali, Hinduism is the dominate religion. This makes the island culturally different with amazing temples, artistry, the mythical Barong, shadow puppetry and, of course, the gamelan music and dance. Not to mention the food.

This is one of my favorites. The prep is all done the night before so come dinnertime, it’s easy fare.


Marinade ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds boneless sirloin, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. coriander


In a large bowl, combine the garlic, soy sauce, oil, cumin and coriander.

Cover beef with marinade, cover bowl and refrigerate overnight. Soak a dozen long bamboo skewers overnight in water.


Basting Sauce:

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. each coriander and cumin


Combine and refrigerate overnight.


Spicy Peanut Sauce

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup water

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tbsp. crushed red pepper


In a wok or saucepan, combine first three ingredients and bring to a low boil over medium heat.

Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate overnight.


The Preparation:

Skewer 4-5 pieces of marinaded beef per stick.

Cook on grill about 4 inches above coals turning frequently (about 10 minutes). A couple of minutes before meat is done, brush on basting sauce.

While cooking, warm the peanut sauce in the microwave. Serve with ramekins of peanut sauce, shaved coconut and yellow rice.



Capt. John Wampler has worked on yachts big and small for more than 25 years. He’s created a repertoire of quick, tasty meals for crew to prepare for themselves to give the chef a break. Contact him through Comments on this column are welcome at


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