A Lombokish Culinary Detour

Other Cuisines

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Lombok is an island in the Indonesian Archipelago, located about 25 miles from Bali, traditionally inhabited by the Sasak people, a cultural group related to the nearby Balinese. Little is known about the history of Lombok before modern times, but the Sasak were apparently under the rule of a number of local chiefs, often at conflict with one another. The island was apparently became part of the Majapahit suzerainty, and its inhabitants were converted to Hindu-Buddhism before embracing Islam in the 17th century, after traders introduced the religion. Lombok became under the control of Balinese rulers in the early 18th century and later of the Dutch, after Sasak rebels invited their rule. It became part of Indonesia after WWII.

Sasak cuisine falls within the larger spectrum of Indonesian cuisine, with meat and vegetable dishes taking advantage of the spices and other products in the island. The Sasak have a number of traditional dishes, but they seem to be particularly fond of sates - with different towns offering their own versions. The one I made is very simple - that's why I chose it -, and it was quite tasty. You can use fresh Thai peppers or dried ones - I chose the latter because it was easier. See them if you don't like a very spicy sate. The traditional recipe asks for the meat to be grilled, but it's unusually cold and rainy this time of year here in California, so I broiled them instead.

Sate Ampat Sasak

Sasak Style Beef Sate

 Sasak Style Beef Sate



Sasak Style Beef Sate


  • 4 candlenuts*
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 red chilies, trimmed and minced (seed them if you want it less spicy)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp kecap manis
  • 1 1/2 lbs top sirloin or tri-tip, cubed

    * You can substitute with raw, peeled Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, cashews or almonds.


Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add the nuts, minced garlic, chilies and shrimp paste. Stir fry for 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the coconut milk and the kecap manis. Stir in the nut mixture. Add the beef cubes and marinate for 3 hours.

Preheat grill to high heat or broiler. Place meat cubes in skewers. Grill or broil for 3 minutes on each side, brushing with marinade after turning.

Adapted from a recipe at Worldcook.net

Related cuisines I've explored so far: Ambonese, Balinese, Bruneian, Dayak, Indonesian, Jakartan, Javanese, Kalimantan, Kelantanese.

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