Satay skewers are abound in Southeast Asia. You can’t walk a block without encountering a cart on the street perfuming the air with aromas of grilled meats and nutty sauces. Dozens of bamboo skewers laden with varieties of meats are constantly being flipped over tiny grills before being packed into small pink or blue plastic bags with little balloons of dipping sauce on the side. Options include beef, chicken, squid, octopus, and other unidentifiable meats. I admit that we ate our fair share of satay during our 5-week trip through Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. It’s the ultimate street food: quick, cheap and delicious, even if not exactly healthful. Oddly, I can’t remember seeing any veggie satay skewers. It seemed to be more of a meat-centric street food. I do, however, remember my favorite satay experience being at a night market in Chiang Mai. The peanut sauce was thick, spicy and had a hint of coconut flavour. This recipe tries to replicate my memories from northern Thailand, but with a vegan twist for my friends from ELXR Juice Labs. Full disclosure, the day after I made these Portobello Mushroom Satay Skewers, I used the sauce on some chicken breast (see pic below). I’m an omnivore and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
If you would like to read about the amazing nutritional benefits of mushrooms see this comprehensive article by Thrive Cuisine.
Paleo Note: as you may be well aware, peanuts are not actually nuts. Though I used an all-natural variety here, peanuts are legumes and as such are not paleo-friendly. Forgive me, for I have sinned! Not to worry, this sauce works equally well with almond butter. You may need to adjust the liquid quantities, however, since almond butter is a bit thicker than peanut butter.
Mushroom Satay Skewers
Invoke the flavours, scents and sights of Southeast Asia at your next summer BBQ with these gorgeous Portobello Satay Skewers. They make perfect bite-sized vegan appetizers or can be served as a main course alongside delicate vermicelli. I have a feeling even the carnivores among your guests will be fighting for seconds – those savages!
6 large Portobello mushrooms – cut into 1/2” inch slices
¼ All-natural Peanut Butter (sub almond or cashew butter for paleo-friendly version)
1 Tsp freshly grated ginger
2 scallion – finely sliced
2 limes – one juiced, the other cut into wedges for garnish
2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (sub low-sodium soy sauce if unavailable)
2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tsp Sambal
3 Tbsp hot water
¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
Fresh Jalapeño – finely sliced (for garnish)
Fresh Anaheim chili – finely sliced (for garnish)
Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
1 package mung bean noodles – cooked according to package instructions
- Fully submerge bamboo skewers in a bowl of water – set aside.
- In a large bowl or Mason jar, combine peanut butter, ginger, one finely sliced scallion, juice of one lime, coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, sambal and hot water. Whisk or shake until thoroughly combined. The consistency should be quite thick. If too loose, add more peanut butter. If too thick, add water in 1 tsp increments.
- Transfer half of the sauce to a separate mixing bowl and add-in ¼ cup coconut milk – mix thoroughly. Reserve the remainder of the sauce for dipping.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the coconut milk mixture and toss everything to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2-4 hours.
- Skewer the mushroom slices length-wise.
- Light a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Cook the mushrooms approximately 6-7 minutes per side or until preferred consistency.
- Meanwhile, cook the mung bean noodles according to package instructions.
- Remove mushrooms from grill and garnish with lime wedges, sliced jalapeño, Anaheim chilies, remaining sliced scallion and fresh cilantro. Serve the satay skewers immediately with the mung bean vermicelli and reserved dipping sauce.