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Beef satay with cucumber salad: An impressive meal that's surprisingly easy

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Presentation is everything, but this beef satay meal proves impressive doesn't have to be difficult

A satay dish is one of my favorites — I just love the peanutty sauce. Serve a slightly sweet and slightly tangy cucumber salad on the side for the perfect balance to this Asian-inspired meal.

Presentation is everything, but this beef satay meal proves impressive doesn't have to be difficult

Beef satay with peanut sauce is one of my favorites. Add the cucumber salad on the side, and your guests will rave. It’s easy to make, but you can’t put it together at the last minute. You’ll need to plan a bit, only because both the beef and the cucumber salad will need to sit in a marinade for about an hour.

Presentation is everything, but this beef satay meal proves impressive doesn't have to be difficult

When you want an Asian-inspired dish to impress, you won’t need to look further than this one. If you ask me, it’s better than any I’ve had at restaurants, and it’s so easy to make.

Beef satay with peanut sauce and sweet-and-tangy cucumber salad recipe

Serve this fun dish as a special appetizer or as part of a light meal. It’s festive and full of flavor.

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Inactive time: 1 hour | Cook time: 4-5 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the cucumber salad

  • 2 cucumbers, washed and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the marinade

  • 1 pound thinly cut beef steak, sliced into strips 3 inches wide by about 4 inches long
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts cut small (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, cut into small pieces (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

For the peanut sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts cut small
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, more or less, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

For the cucumber salad

  1. To a bowl, add the water, sugar, vinegar and salt. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. To a large, zippered, plastic bag or a container with a sealable lid, add the cucumber slices and red onion. Pour the mixture on top to cover them (tip the bag or container over to ensure the liquid covers everything), and refrigerate for about an hour until ready to serve.

For the marinade

  1. To a large bowl, add all the ingredients except for the beef, and whisk to combine.
  2. To a large, zippered, plastic bag or a container with a sealable lid, add the beef. Pour the marinade over the beef. Use your hands to massage the beef in the closed bag to ensure the marinade covers it. If using a container, use a spoon to cover the beef. Refrigerate for about an hour.

For the peanut sauce

  1. To a bowl, add all the ingredients, and whisk to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

To put the satay together

  1. Spray a grill pan with nonstick cooking spray, and place over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the beef, and cook for about 2 minutes per side or until done. Remove, and carefully thread onto wooden skewers.
  2. Garnish the beef with green onion, cilantro and sesame seeds.
  3. Serve warm with the peanut sauce and cucumber salad on the side.

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