Pork Satay Manado Style

Sate Babi Manado

Pork satay in Indonesia is usually made to a Chinese recipe, except in Bali and North Sulawesi. The Balinese have their own bumbu lengkap or ‘complete’ spice mixture to marinate the meat. In North Sulawesi the spice mixture is the rica rica mixture which is always very hot, because it is made with a lot of chillies. This is usually eaten with a sauce called dabu-dabu manis, not the usual satay sauce made with peanuts.

The pork can be boiled first together with the paste, then cut up and put on skewers to be grilled on charcoal. In London I use spare ribs of pork if I am going to boil the meat first, but if you use the more tender parts, such as tenderloin, just cut the meat into small pieces, marinate the pieces in the paste, put them on bamboo or metal skewers, and grill on charcoal or under an electric or gas grill. With the ribs, of course, you don’t need the skewers.

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  • 1 kg/2 lb spare ribs of pork, cut into 10-cm/4-inch lengths
  • 568 ml/1 pint/ cups hot water

For the Paste

  • 3–5 red chillies, de-seeded and chopped
  • 5-cm/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp tamarind water or lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt


Put all the ingredients for the paste into a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer this paste to a saucepan and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the spare ribs, and stir until all of them are well coated with the paste. Then add the water, bring to boil, and simmer for 1 hour. By this time the water should have reduced considerably.

Continue to cook the spare ribs on a higher heat until all the water has evaporated. Take care not to burn the ribs. Up to this point the dish can be prepared in advance. Keep the boiled ribs in a cool place. When you are ready to serve them, grill them for a few minutes on each side or until they start to char. Serve hot with the sauce as a dip.