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Photo by Elsa Ruiz/Asia Society

Photo by Elsa Ruiz/Asia Society

This recipe uses a marinade which suits any kind of meat.

Serves 6.


750 g/1 1/2 lb rump steak, pork fillet
or chicken fillets
1 stem lemon grass or 3 strips lemon zest
4 shallots, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
3 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons brown sugar
11/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons tamarind liquid
or 1 tablespoon bottled tamarind purée
2 tablespoons peanut oil


Cut meat into small squares and put aside. Slice tender white portion of lemon grass finely across, combine with shallots, garlic and ginger and pound using a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Pour over the meat, mixing well. Cover and leave aside for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible. Thread 6 or 7 pieces on each soaked bamboo skewer, leaving half the skewer free. Grill over coals or under a preheated griller until brown and serve immediately with peanut sauce and steamed rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)

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