For those living in South East Asia, they will pretty much know what is Satay.
Thats the name of skewered marinated meats like chicken, beef or mutton on a thin bamboo stick accompanied by a delicious peanut sauce. And if you are Chinese, pork will probably be a choice too.
As I travelled, I realized that everyone does this little meats on a stick thing. From Germany to China to Malaysia, just that the seasonings are different, sizes are different which reflects how different cultures view their meats……interesting.
Singapore is known to be a very very regulated country when it comes to food. Everything is licensed and everyone has to be registered with the government. They tell you where you can set up shop etc. Stall owners are graded according the their cleanliness. Numerous bloggers and writers published books and articles to tell you where to go for the best food and they give ratings…blah blah blah.
“Jay Kay, do you know there is this guy selling really good satays on a push cart? Its like back to the 60s !” Loads of childhood memories came flooding back.
In a controlled state like Singapore, this satay guy is probably extinct, which adds to the excitement.
Lets just call him Satay Man and pardon me that I cannot tell you who is he and where he plys his trade.
Passerbys and regulars quickly gather when Satay Man appears. I have no idea when and how, its like he appeared out of a cloud of smoke, like a magician. His cart certainly look like its from the 60s with its creaking wheels held together by staplers, (???) And he only has pork satays.
The yellow thing on the bottom left is grated pineapple sauce which will be added to the peanut sauce later. “Thick, and rustic. Good” I was told.
I can only show you his hands. An hour’s wait for the food….yup, you heard it…An Hour !!
“Brother ! Why is your Satay so popular?” I asked
Satay Man looked at me and up down and shakes his head. Apparently, i am interrupting his “private time” with his skewers. Prodding further, he revealed his fresh pinapple-peanut sauce, the thick layer of fat embedded in the satays and its chunky size all adds to his popularity. I melted when i saw that layer of fat.
“How many sticks you sell a day ? If its 500 sticks, then you make $250 a day “
“If its so easy, you do it yourself !!” …….its then i understood that he takes time and care to prepare his ingredients. If someone orders a thousand sticks, his push carts has to close for a few days, just to spend time prepare the ingredients.
I wish i can spend more time to talk to the man and give you more insights. He left as soon as i started eating. Regulars tell me that this recipe is more than 50 years old, dating back to his fathers days. I have many questions.
“Why do you make only Pork Satays ?”
“Why such irregular hours ?”
“How? Why ? …….”
I will tell you more the next time i see him. For those who knows Satay Man’s hangout, hush-hush please.
But………We can bring you there if you are interested and Oh !!! Bring your own plate.