In this classic Indonesian street food from the island of Java, marinated oyster mushroom satay, grilled over a charcoal fire, takes on a satisfying meaty taste and texture. This version, from Netherlands-based cookbook author and satay expert Vanja Van der Leeden, incorporates two nontraditional ingredients—miso paste and dried porcini—which lend the dish a shroomy-savory boost. A final roll in peanut sauce before cooking provides a touch of fatty richness. Look to the author’s recipe for a homemade version, or, in a pinch, use the storebought stuff.
Tearing the mushrooms into thin strips—which are then threaded onto bamboo skewers—results in a crunchy, ruffled effect. Skewer the strips tightly, keeping them compact and making sure the tip is covered so that the bamboo doesn’t catch over the hot grill.
This recipe is adapted from Van der Leeden’s cookbook, INDOSTOK.
For the satay:
- Ten 10-in. bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least half an hour
- 14 oz. oyster mushrooms
For the bumbu:
- 2 small shallots (3 oz.), coarsely chopped
- 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 candlenuts
- 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, ground in a mortar and pestle to a fine powder (2 Tbsp.)
- 2 tbsp. kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), plus extra for glazing
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for oiling
- 1 tbsp. red miso
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground white pepper
- 2 tbsp. peanut sauce, plus more for serving
- Fried shallots, for garnish
- To a wide container, add the skewers and enough hot water to cover. Set aside for at least half an hour while you prepare the mushrooms and bumbu.
- Tear the mushrooms into long strips and place them in a large bowl.
- To a mortar and pestle, add the shallots, garlic, candlenuts, coriander seeds, and salt. Pound the ingredients, pressing and turning in a grinding, circular motion with the pestle, to make a coarse paste. Add the porcini powder, kecap manis, oil, and miso and continue pounding to combine into a thick marinade. Pour the marinade over the mushrooms and, using your hands, gently mix, massaging the marinade into the pieces. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30–60 minutes. Add the peanut sauce and toss to coat.
- Drain the skewers and assemble the satay: Thread the mushrooms over and under and making folds, all the way to the tip of the skewers; keep the pieces compact on one end, leaving several inches exposed on the other end.
- Build a medium-hot fire in one side of a charcoal grill, then arrange the coals for two-zone cooking. Alternatively, preheat a gas or electric grill to cook over 2-zone cooking with one side set to medium-high and the other set to medium-low heat.
- Once your grill is hot, lightly oil the grates, then position the satay over the medium-high heat, allowing the exposed ends of the skewers to extend outside the grill, away from the flame. Cook, without turning, until the mushrooms are charred one one side, 2–3 minutes, then rotate, and continue cooking, turning every 2–3 minutes, until lightly charred all over, about 6 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, pour the kecap manis over a large plate. When the satay comes off the grill, transfer them to the plate and turn a few times to coat lightly in the sauce. Return the skewers to the cooler side of the grill and continue cooking until the glaze begins to caramelize and the mushrooms are crispy and lightly scorched all over, 4–6 minutes. Return the satay to the platter, top with fried shallots, and serve with additional peanut sauce on the side.