Happiness on a stick
A skewer is a thin metal, bamboo or wooden stick used to hold food while it is being cooked. Lots of street food is sold on skewers because they conveniently hold food and keep your fingers clean.
Skewers are great to use on the barbecue, because they allow you to blend the flavours of meat and vegetables with that yummy charcoal taste. Always remember, though, that wood burns, so you need to soak natural skewers in water before use.
Yakitori (below) is a popular Japanese dish consisting of grilled food on skewers. It's usually chicken or chicken innards, but beef tongue, pork, leeks, mushrooms and tofu are all common options.
Try: Yakitoritei, G/F, Tsing Fung Building, 10 Tsing Fung Street, Tin Hau, 2566 9982, and G/F, 49-51, Shing Wo Road, Happy Valley, 2838 5377.
Satay was originally an Indonesian dish, but can now be found in the cuisines of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. It is usually served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce.
Try: IR 1968, Shop 601, Grand Century Plaza, Mong Kok, 2619 1926, and 28 Leighton Rd, Causeway Bay, 2577 9981.
Awesome summer skewers
Celebrate the last days of summer with your friends and a yummy set of fruit skewers (above), which you can serve with a creamy, dreamy sauce.
For the skewers:
half a fresh, ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
punnet of ripe strawberries
Kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
musk melon, peeled and sliced
Thread the skewers with the fruit so they look really colourful.
For the dip:
2 cups fresh, plain yogurt
2 tbsp of fresh mint chopped finely
3 tbsp honey
Mix the ingredients together and chill before serving.
These traditional South African dishes can be a lot of work, but the end result is worth it. You will need:
1 cup whole dried apricots
2 cups cubed mutton
1 cup cubed, fatty pork
1/2 cup small onions
For the sauce:
2 medium onions, cut into fine rings
oil (for frying)
2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
5 bay leaves or 12 lemon leaves, smashed with the back of a knife to bring out their flavour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp mild garam masala
1 tsp ground ginger or 1 heaped tbsp grated fresh ginger
6 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white vinegar (grape or wine vinegar)
1/2 cup good quality dry red wine
1 tbsp apricot jam
4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 Make the sauce. Fry the onions until golden brown. Mix all the dry ingredients and add them to the pan. You might need to add a bit more oil to make sure the spices don't burn.
2 Once they have released their flavour, lower the heat and add the wine, jam, garlic and vinegar. Stir it all together and simmer until it thickens.
3 Taste to see if you need to adjust sugar, spice or vinegar. Cool the sauce.
4 Soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes.
5 Add the milk to the sauce and, if the sauce is too thick, add some water.
6 Cut the lamb and pork into bite-sized pieces. Thread the meat, apricots and onions onto the skewers. There should be two pieces of lamb to one piece of pork.
7 Stack the skewers in a glass or plastic dish, and pour the sauce over them. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed- they can keep for up to five days to cure.
8 Cook on a barbecue or griddle pan.