From Natalie Ahmet, NITV presenter and Neighbour Day Ambassador
Makes 6 skewers
350g (approx.) beef chuck steak, cut into cubes (or alternative protein)
2-3 cloves garlic
2.5cm ginger, crushed
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp peanut butter (can omit if allergic or use alternative such as almond butter)
Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl, then add beef (or other meat). Allow to marinate for a couple of hours. About an hour before cooking, soak bamboo skewers in water to prevent them from burning. Thread 5 to 6 pieces of meat on each bamboo skewer, then cook on BBQ or pan fry until cooked, about 3 minutes each side. Delicious served with your favourite home made satay sauce and steamed or fried rice.
Natalie's family recipe story
This is a popular dish adopted by many Darwin families - I remember having it at many of my aunties' and uncles' homes, on both sides of my family. Each family would have their own version or put their own unique twist on it. My mum is a great cook and did all of the cooking when I was growing up. She still does, for that matter!
I can't actually remember the first time I experienced this dish - it's something that's been served at BBQs and family gatherings ever since I was a young child. My Mum, Dad and grandparents on Mum's side left Darwin after Cyclone Tracy in 1974, but this dish was something they continued to cook after they'd moved to Canberra, which is where I grew up. Eating it always reminds me of Darwin, which I consider my second home.
I'm descended from a big Darwin family, and like many other Top End families, we have a very diverse cultural heritage, which includes Torres Strait Islander, Malayan and Samoan on Grandpop's side, and Aboriginal, German and English, courtesy of Nanna's side. With so many different cultural influences, I guess it's hardly surprising that Darwin developed its own unique style of cuisine, incorporating Indigenous, Chinese and Malaysian ingredients and flavours.
My memories of this dish mostly revolve around large family gatherings during our extended Christmas summer holidays in Darwin. Everyone would bring their favourite Darwin delicacy, such as chicken vermicelli, curried magpie goose, freshly caught and cooked barramundi and steamed white rice, which would be served buffet style on a long table. We'd also have the more traditional offerings of ham and turkey, too - with such a big family, you need a big feed! Christmas lunch would usually start around noon, and go all afternoon, with aunties, uncles and lots of cousins dropping by to my Aunty Sue and Uncle Frank's back verandah. I also remember eating a version of this dish at Darwin's famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. I distinctly recall the smoky smell of the satays sizzling on the grill, mingling with the yummy aromas from the many other international food stalls selling everything from spicy Asian noodles, Thai papaya salad, Greek yiros and Dutch pancakes.
The beauty of this dish is that everyone has their own version of it, according to their personal preferences. I like to add a little extra chilli to up the heat factor as well as add a little ground cumin and coriander for extra spice. You can also change up the protein you use - it's equally delicious made with chicken, for example.
Apart from the chilli, there is no plant ingredients in the recipe, however there is scope to add fresh herbs to the marinade. And it's lovely served with a simple, fresh cucumber salad.