The World of Satay
A cook's guide to the appealing and adaptable combination of skewers, meat, and heat.
The impulse to grill skewered ingredients is one that cooks in many parts of the world share: from Japan, where small pieces of chicken and other ingredients are threaded onto sticks for yakitori, to Greece, where large, succulent chunks of lamb or pork souvlaki are grilled on metal skewers. In the Middle East, kebabs are often made with meat that's been minced and seasoned, as in the case of this Lebanese beef kafta (top). The mincing distributes dried mint, cinnamon, and other seasonings throughout each and every bite. Turkish cooks prepare shish kebab (left) by marinating cubes of lamb with cumin and other seasonings. Kebabs in India tend to be big and generously embellished: For reshmi kebab (bottom) ground chicken is mixed with almonds, spices like garam masala, and a touch of heavy cream, which enriches the meat and keeps it from drying out on the grill. The ground meat is pressed along the length of a metal skewer and served with flatbread and green coriander chutney.
See the recipe for Lebanese Beef Kebabs »
See the recipe for Indian Chicken Kebab »