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Satay isn’t just one dish, but. more of a family of Southeast Asian skewered, grilled meats.

Satay isn’t just one dish, but. more of a family of Southeast Asian skewered, grilled meats.

It’s especially associated with Indonesia, where it originated — although, really, that depends on where you start counting the history of satay: While what we now know as satay is Indonesian — probably from the island of Java originally — the concept was likely brought over many hundreds of years ago by Arab Muslim traders, who introduced the Indonesian population to their method of skewering and grilling meats common in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Eastern Europe. This spread throughout Southeast Asia and then, a couple hundred years later, the Dutch would also bring this dish from their Indonesian colonies back to the Netherlands, where it would become a favorite.

That is to say, satay is a snapshot into the history of cultures learning and borrowing from each other, absorbing others’ influences, and making them their own.

Certain satay varieties are especially popular, like chicken or pork, but really it can be made of anything from offal to seafood to even vegetarian tofu.

Traditionally, the cooking process involves grilling the meat of choice over fire with charcoal or wood, which gives it a slight smoky flavor along with satisfying bits of char. Often it will be served with peanut sauce, especially Indonesian satay, although different versions might be paired with other sauces; such as Kecap Manis, whose flavor meshes especially with the flavor of the meat.

If you’re craving satay that’s ready-to-eat, you can find it hot and fresh in the food hall in our Seattle location. Otherwise, If you’re looking to make your own, we sell different meats in our meat department that would be delicious choices, along with seafood, tofu, or seitan (wheat gluten), in their respective departments.