Indonesian Beef Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the peanut sauce for up to 3 days; cover and refrigerate the marinated cucumbers for up to 1 day; marinate steak (Step 1) for up to 12 hours.
Equipment: 20 to 30 (6-inch) bamboo skewers
Look for lemongrass--a woody, scallion-shaped herb with an aromatic lemon flavor--in the produce department of well-stocked supermarkets. To use, trim off the root end and grassy top. Peel off the woody outer leaves. Thinly slice the softer inner stalk, then finely chop.
Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian-food section of well-stocked supermarkets and at Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our recipe testing and nutritional analyses.
Tip: Depending on your region, skirt steak may not be something your supermarket regularly carries--call ahead to make sure it's available or ask your butcher to order it for you. It's usually sold in about 1-pound cuts up to 18 inches long and 5 inches wide, but just 1/4 inch thick. Before cooking, cut the steak with the grain into several portions to make the long piece more manageable on the grill or in a skillet. Once cooked, be sure to slice it across the grain for maximum tenderness. Hanger steak, flat-iron and flank steak can all be used as substitutes for skirt steak in most recipes.
Broiler Variation: Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Coat a broiler pan (or a wire rack set on a large baking sheet) with cooking spray. Broil the skewers, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium.
Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.
People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.
1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat