Image Credit to : Citarasawan
Satar is a traditional snack from Terengganu that is made from fish flesh, grated coconut and spices. Satar is usually wrapped with bananas leaves and is made into a pyramid shape. Then, it is skewered together to form a giant satay.
Satar is grilled over charcoal and produces a mouth-watering smell that is hard to resist. It is suitable to enjoy during afternoon tea and is best eaten hot immediately after grilling, and still remains tasty after storing in a fridge.
What is Satar?
Satar is a pyramid shaped snack that is grilled and wrapped in banana leaves. The ingredients are fish, grated coconut, spices and onions. Commonly used spices are black pepper, ginger, and lemongrass, and the fish of choice is sardine. First, boil the fish, and remove the bones, leaving only the flesh.
The fish is then pounded and mixed with the other ingredients until it becomes paste-like. This fish paste is wrapped in banana leaves and shaped into cone or pyramid. It is grilled over the charcoal until the leaves become a slight brownish.
It tastes like otak-otak from Johor. However, they are different because otak-otak is smaller than satar. Besides, otak-otak is wrapped in coconut leaves while satar is wrapped in banana leaves.
History of Satar
Satar or Sata is a traditional dish from the Malaysian state of Terengganu, consisting of spiced fish meat wrapped in banana leaves and cooked on a grill. The word ”sata” means straight. It refers grilling method where it is skewered using bamboo sticks in a straight line.
It is believed that in the past, fishers caught a lot of sardines but did not have a freezer to store the excess fish. They didn’t throw the remaining fish away, but use the fish to make a variety of dishes.
As coconuts are also readily available at that time, thus the combination of fish and coconut produces this national dish. This dish is prevalent at the East Coast of Malaysia and has spread throughout the country. You can easily find these tasty snacks at night markets and some Malay restaurants. There are also frozen satar sold in supermarkets.
Variety of Fish Snacks in Southeast Asia
In Malaysia, besides satar, otak-otak from Johor is also a familiar favourite of Malaysians. Otak-otak is made from fish, coconut milk, and spices such as lemongrass and turmeric. It is wrapped in coconut leaves and is rectangular. This dish can be grilled or steamed. Besides fish, squids and chickens can also be used to make otak-otak.
In other regions of Southeast Asia, there are many various versions of this fish snack. In Laos, there is Mok Pa that is made from steamed fish coated with herbs, and then wrapped in banana leaves and tied with bamboo.
Besides that, there is Amok Trey from Cambodia which is fish curry steamed in banana leaves. This dish usually uses catfish as it is a species that is widely found in that country. Last but not least, in Northern Thailand, there is a spicy dish consisting of dried catfish or tilapia, wrapped in banana leaves and then roasted.
Where to find Satar in Malaysia
Satar can be found in most night markets and some restaurants. Now some of the high-end restaurants and hotel also serve satar for their customer for them to taste some local Malaysian food. You can get this tasty snack from Satar & Lekor House (Cheras).
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