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besT beeF sATés in singAPore

For the Singapore Cucumber relish

variations on this simple relish/salad turn up throughout southeast Asia. The purpose is to give you a bite of cool, crisp crunch to counterpoint the spicy hot meat.

1. cut the cucumber(s) into 1/4-inch dice. Place the cucumber(s), shallot, chile, rice vinegar and sugar in a mixing bowl and toss gently to mix. season with salt and pepper to taste. The relish can be made up to 2 hours ahead.

makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups

2 kirby (pickling) cucumbers, or 1 medium-size cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and seeded. Note: it is not necessary to peel or seed kirby cucumbers.

1 shallot, minced (2 to 3 tablespoons), or 1 scallion, both white and green parts, trimmed and minced

1 small hot red chile, such as a bird or cayenne pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground pepper

For the Fried Garlic Peanut Sauce 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic, 3 cloves thinly sliced crosswise and 2 cloves minced

1 shallot, minced

1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and minced, or 2 strips (each 1/2 x 2 inches) lemon zest

1 to 3 small hot chiles, such as Thai chiles or serrano or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced (for a hotter peanut sauce, leave the seeds in)

1 tablespoon dried shrimp, minced/1 teaspoon fish sauce (both optional)

3/4 cup peanut butter 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, or as needed 2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground pepper

  • 1.

    heat the oil in a wok or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. remove the garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic, the shallot, lemongrass, chile(s), and dried shrimp or fish sauce, if using, to the wok and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 minutes.

  • 2.

    stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, and 3/4 cup water. reduce the heat and gently simmer the sauce until it is thick but pourable, 5 to 8 minutes. stir in the cilantro during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

  • 3.

    Just before serving, stir in the fried garlic slices. if the sauce has gotten too thick and pasty, add a tablespoon or so of water. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper, and more sugar and lime juice if needed. The sauce should be richly flavored.

recipe courtesy Planet Barbecue (Workman, 2010).

Journalist, TV host, and multi-award winning autho , Steven raichlen is the man who redefined our notion of barbecue. His bestselling books include the newly released P anet Barbecue!, The Barbecue! Bible and How to Grill. Each week, he hosts Primal Grill on PBS

and French-language Le Maître du Grill in Quebec. He has appeared on The oday Show, Good Morning Americ

, CNN,

The Oprah

in rey Show, The

iew and Live! with Reg s and Kel y.

siriusXm channel 110


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