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Indonesian satay 101: part one

Indonesian satay 101: part one

Getting to know your satay

Sate (satay) shops and hawkers are very easy to find in Indonesia. As one of the most much-loved local dishes in the history of the Indonesian culinary world, we believe it is paramount as advocates of the best food from across the archipelago to dish out a complete list of the finest Sate purveyors in the country. First off, we’re starting this Sate chronicle with those in Bali and Lombok.

Sate Kakul
It can be quite difficult to get your hands on some Sate Kakul (freshwater snail satay) in Bali. We had to make two trips to the Island of the Gods before we could come across a place that offers the exotic delicacy. Warung Sate Kakul in Ubud uses freshwater snails for its satay, and they are made with chilli, onion, and sweet soy sauce. Served without sauce, Sate Kakul is both spicy and flavourful – two common characteristics of a Balinese dish.

bali-everyday-sate kakul

Sate Lilit
A staple dish of the Balinese cuisine, Sate Lilit combines minced prawn and fish with Balinese spices that include chilli, lemongrass, grated coconuts, and black peppercorn. It features a complex yet zesty flavour. The mixture of the ingredients – along with the satay – would then be smeared with lemongrass to bring about a refreshing aroma that will induce your appetite even further.

editor's note-sate lilit warung ari

Sate Plecing
Originally from Singaraja in North Bali, this satay uses plecing (spicy sauce) as its dressing instead of the usual peanut sauce. You’d be hard-pressed to find such a combination – grilled meat (beef or pork) satay and spicy sauce – anywhere else other than in Bali.

bali-heritage-sate plecing arjuna

Sate Bulayak
Another satay to forego the use of peanut sauce, the inimitable Sate Bulayak utilises the spicy Pelalah sauce (coconut milk-based sauce) as its main condiment. The juicy beef satay is sold by many roadside hawkers all over Mataram. However, for a taste of the best of this authentic Lombok dish, make your way to Suranadi in West Lombok and stop by Warung Diah in Taman Suranadi.

lombok-classic-sate bulayak suranadi

Sate Rembiga
Hands down our editors’ unparalleled favourite dish from Lombok, Sate Rembiga is served plain and dry without any dressing. Its appearance may seem a tad dull, yet after a bite or two of its succulent grilled beef and we guarantee that your life will never be the same afterwards. The flurry of sweet and spicy flavours that will attack your palate is an otherworldly sensation that will catch you off guard. Head on over to Sate Rembiga Ibu Sinnaseh on Jalan Wahidin in Mataram, sample its satay, and you’ll be begging for more.

lombok-classic-sate rembiga


Good Indonesian Food is a team of foodies working to preserve and promote Indonesian culinary.

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