Traditional Balinese Sate Lilit

the mens cookoff

Foodies from way back!  Trev and I always try to learn about the flavours of each country we visit and have attended a couple of cooking schools in Bali over the years. The flavours of traditional Balinese Sate Lilit were exactly what we came for!

I can highly recommend both these experiences.  Anika’s Cooking School in Kuta and The Taste of Bali Cooking School taught us about the herbs and spices that are an integral part of Balinese cooking.  We were able to cook simple dishes and learn different cooking techniques at both these venues.  We’ll go again as they were great fun and we have come away learning so much about the traditional flavours of Bali.

It is important to make the seasoning, the dipping sauce and the fried shallots before preparing the sates.  They are each simple to make but each component adds it’s own beautiful flavours to the dish.

Balinese Bumbu (Base Gede) 

Step 1:  Seasoning:  Grind to a paste in a stone mortar – some ingredients found in Asian specialty shops. (this can be stored in refrigerator for 3 – 4 weeks).

  • Chilli – 1 large, finely chopped
  • Whole Shallot onions – 20 finely chopped
  • Garlic – 10 cloves finely chopped
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp, crushed
  • Kaffir lime leaves – 3 finely sliced
  • Galangal – 5 cm peeled, sliced
  • Tumeric – 5 cm peeled, sliced
  • Ginger – 3 cm peeled, sliced
  • Candlenuts (Macadamia) – 5 chopped
  • Black peppercorns – sprinkle, crushed
  • White peppercorns – sprinkle, crushed
  • Clove – 1, crushed
  • Shrimp Paste, 1 tsp
  • Palm Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Tamarind – 1 tspn
  • Coconut oil – 150 ml
  • Lemongrass – 10 cm, slicked finely
  • Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients except oil, in stone mortar or food processor and grind coarsely.

Place ground ingredients into a heavy saucepan, add all ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (5 – 10 minutes) until marinade turns golden in colour.

Cool before using.

Crispy fried shallots

  • 1 cup of peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots – sliced finely

Place shallots and cold oil in a small pot.  Deep fry, stirring with chopsticks until golden – about 15 minutes.

Drain well and set aside.  (can be kept in an airtight container).

Grilled BBQ sauce

Step 2: Dipping Sauce  (can be stored in refrigerator 3-4 weeks)

  • Shallot onions – 10 chopped finely
  • Garlic cloves – 5 chopped finely
  • Birds eye (hot) chilli – 1 chopped finely
  • Tomatos – 2 chopped finely
  • Tumeric – 2 cm chopped finely
  • Candlenuts (Macadamias) – 5 chopped finely
  • Coriander seeds – 2 tsp crushed
  • Sprinkle of white and black pepper
  • Coconut oil – 1/2 cup
  • Palm Sugar – 4 tbsp


Blend all ingredients except oil, combine in a heavy pan and cook until mixture has thickened, add coconut oil and stir for approximately 5 minutes.

Serve with Sate Lilit as a dipping sauce.

Sate Lilit (Chicken Satay)

  • Chicken thighs/breasts – 500g minced
  • Base Gedu / Balinese Bumbu (above) – 2 tbsp
  • Grated Coconut – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut Milk – 2 tbsp
  • Palm sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves – 3 finely sliced
  • Kaffir lime juice – 1 tbsp
  • Fried shallots – 1 tbsp


Combine all ingredients except shredded coconut and kaffir lime leaves into the pestle – mix well with pestle until a smooth paste. Add shredded coconut and lime leaves and mix thoroughly.

The mixture should be fragrant, deep yellow in colour and slightly sticky.  If it is too dry, add a small about of water or coconut milk.

Shape the chicken mixture firmly onto lemongrass stalks or sate sticks in a spiral way around the stick until a third of the skewer is covered.

Grill until golden brown, turning constantly for about 5 minutes until cooked.

Serve these sate’s with steamed jasmine rice, Mie Goreng (fried noodles) or Nasi Goreng (fried rice) sprinkled with crispy fried shallots.

Enjoy! and don’t forget to let me know how dinner went down in your house.




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