Saturday, September 6, 2008

Meat on a Stick

The ritual of barbecuing meat on a stick is one of the oldest recorded cooking techniques. As a result, there are hundreds of cultural and regional adaptations of this ancient delicacy.

One of the most popular types of kebab is Indonesian satay. Indigenous to almost everywhere in Southeast Asia, satay consists of three small cubes of meat threaded onto skewers made from bamboo or from the spines of coconut palm fronds. Chicken, lamb, beef or pork is marinated in a blend of spices consisting of coriander, cumin, turmeric, aniseed, chilli, lemongrass, ginger and garlic. After a few hours of marinating, the satay is grilled over low heat and basted using a stalk of lemongrass which adds a delicious lemony fragrance to the meat. These succulent and exotic morsels are then served with rice packets and peanut sauce.

Yakitori is a delicious snack eaten in Japan as well as an essential cultural experience. Millions of bamboo sticks of chicken are sold everyday in every region of Japan. A popular appetizer eaten with beer, yakitori is marinated in teriyaki sauce, grilled over hot direct heat and basted during the process. Variations abound ranging from salty (shio) to sweetish (amai); however the basting sauce is typically made from soy sauce, sake, mirin (sweet rice wine),and sugar.

The Indian version of kebab is known as tikka. This is usually meat, lamb, chicken or fish that has been marinated in a preparation of yogurt and spices for a few hours and grilled in a traditional clay oven called a Tandoor. According to the BBC, the most popular dish in multicultural Britain is Chicken Tikka Masala. This meal consists of a creamy tomato sauce enhanced by garlic, ginger, lemon and coriander which is served over marinated chicken tikka

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