Sate, satay

Sate: Indonesia's most famous dish

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sate, satay

In honor of our newest internship locations we dedicate this week’s article, and many more in the future, to Surabaya and Bali.  There are many aspects that makes these places beautiful and perfect for an internship. However, this week we’ll focus one of Surabaya’s and Bali’s most famous dish; the sate!

Firstly, a quick history lesson. Sate originates from Java and was popularized by Arab merchants that partook in the 19th century textile trade. From there on out many other places where influenced by this delicious invention, reaching almost every corner in the world. Let’s explore some of the most popular and delicious forms of sate that can be found in Indonesia and especially Surabaya and Bali. Throughout this article there will be some restaurant tips as well so you can try this cuisine yourself!

Sate Kerang

This form of sate, consisting of scallops skewered by a thin bamboo stick, is a famous delicacy from Surabaya. Fresh scallops are boiled and then marinated by lime leaves, ginger soy sauce and tamarind. After the scallops are cooked, they are lightly grilled to give them a nice char and caramelization effect. When in Surabaya it’s not easy to miss, in many streetfood joints this dish is available. But if you want to enjoy it in a restaurant check out Sate Ayam Lisidu at Jln. Kutai no. 53, Surabaya 60241, Indonesia. This restaurant serves traditional Surabaya food but delivers it in a fancy restaurant manner. This place would be perfect to enjoy sate Kerang if fine dining is more your thing. 



Sate Lilit

Originating from Bali, this satay is a special one. There are many forms of this dish, most commonly a combination of fish and coconut. However, there are also versions of sate Lilit with: chicken, pork and even turtle. The element they all have in common is the lemongrass skewer, which gives this dish its distinct look. The most common version, with fish and coconut, is prepared as follows: fish and coconut are mixed, and spices are added. Then this mixture is spread around a lemongrass skewer and grilled over an open charcoal flame. When the inside is completely cooked, and the outside is lightly charred the dish is ready. This dish can also be found in basically all street food stands in Bali, but if you prefer a restaurant experience, we have some recommendations. Warong Legong is a cozy which serves traditional Bali dishes like sate Lilit. But they also offer other classics like nasi and vegetarian dishes. When in Bali, don’t miss out on this Bali cuisine.



Sate Ayam

You can’t go wrong with chicken on a skewer marinated in soy sauce. Sate Ayam, translated; chicken sate, is overall the most common sate. And it is for a good reason too, this sate is delicious, and chicken is very versatile, making it the perfect ingredient for many variations across Indonesia and the world. The grilled chicken skewers are often topped off with some spicy peanut sauce or soy sauce. When visiting Indonesia please check this dish out, you won’t be disappointed.

Sate Padang

This sate is very distinct because of its flavorful thick yellow sauce. The sauce is made from local herbs and spices, namely; rice flour, beef and offal broth, turmeric, ginger garlic, galangal root, cumin, curry powder and a pinch of salt. The meat part is usually ox meat or beef slices made into cubes. The meat skewers are grilled over a (you guessed it) open charcoal fire. ​


Sate Maranggi

Sata maranggi has become quite popular recently, so much so that places are fighting over its origin. Either it originates from Purwakarta or Cianjur.  What makes this beef sate special is the sambal that goes with it. This sambal gives the entire dish its kick of spiciness, freshness, sweetness, tang, and saltiness. If you love a bit of spiciness, this is the sate for you.

restuarant warong lugongSate Buntel

Like many dishes, sate Buntel, was created in times of poverty. It is in these times humans seem to get the most out of scarce resources. With rich spices and herbs this sate tastes like more. The main ingredient is minced lamb meat, and this is brought to flavor with onion powder, garlic, coriander, pepper, tamarind, salt and brown sugar. The entire skewer is then topped off with some sambal Kecap.

Sate Kambing

The last sate on this list, but certainly not the least, is sate Kambing. This sate is made from diced lamb meat and it’s marinated in a blend of spices and pineapple. The dish is usually paired with soy sauce or peanut sauce.

Has this list made your mouth water? Or perhaps made you curious about the rich food history of Surabaya, Bali or other places in Indonesia? For more information on these places subscribe to our blog as we will post more about Indonesia and other beautiful countries in Asia. If you’d like to combine a culinary trip with an internship in Surabaya or Bali, check out the destination page on!​

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