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CHEF'S SECRETS

Thai Party Food on a Stick

October 25, 1990|ROSE DOSTI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Who would ever guess that the elegant appetizers nestled in tomato "roses" and carrot and turnip "blossoms" are the humble street food of Southeast Asia known as satay ?

Victor Sodsook, chef-owner of Siamese Princess in Los Angeles, who serves some of the best--and prettiest-- satay in town, maintains the integrity of Thai satay by marinating beef, pork, lamb or chicken in authentic sauce, spiked with the pungent nam pla, an indispensable flavoring agent in Thai cuisine. The fish sauce as well as lemon grass and coconut milk used in the peanut dipping sauce are available at most Oriental food stores. The recipe given here is from Sodsook's book, "I Love Thai Food," sold only at the restaurant.

Satay is an ideal holiday party appetizer because you can prepare them by the batch and keep them refrigerated 24 to 48 hours or until they are ready to pop on the hibachi or grill. Satay can also be served as an entree with a salad or green vegetables after the party is over.

SIAMESE PRINCESS SATAY

1 pound chicken breasts, lean pork, beef or lamb, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 onion, minced

2 teaspoons minced cilantro

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon nam pla (fish sauce)

1 tablespoon oil

Peanut Butter Sauce

Thread chicken breast slices onto 12-inch bamboo skewers, allowing several slices on each of 16 skewers.

Combine garlic, onion, cilantro, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and oil in bowl. Pour over skewers and marinate 1 hour. Place skewers on grill over medium coals or on broiler rack 3 inches from source of heat. Cook until done as desired, turning skewers several times. Serve satay with Peanut Butter Sauce. Makes 16 appetizers.

Peanut Butter Sauce

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 onion, minced

1 stalk lemon grass, minced

1 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon nam pla (fish sauce)

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

Combine peanut butter, onion, lemon grass, coconut milk, brown sugar, chili powder, fish sauce and soy sauce in saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and pour into small bowls to serve as dipping sauce for chicken on skewers.

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