Thinly slice then finely chop the
shallots, garlic and ginger.
Now finely chop the chilli,
including the seeds. This amount
of chilli gives a spicy but not too fiery
kick to the chicken satay, but discard
the seeds if you don’t like the heat.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low
heat. Add the shallots, garlic,
ginger and chillies and fry for 1-2
minutes just to soften. Pour in a couple
of tablespoons of water to soften, then
stir in the spices (and freeze-dried lime
leaves, if using) and fry for a minute.
Remove the pan from the heat, let the
mixture cool down, then blend
to a paste with a pestle and
mortar, using an up-and-down motion
with the pestle. It will take several
minutes to make a soft paste.
Mix the spice paste, the coconut and, if
using, the shredded fresh
lime leaves with the minced chicken.
Season with salt.
Break off pieces of the mixture the size of
a large walnut. For each, flatten
into a round and lay a
lemongrass stalk or wooden skewer in
the centre. Mould around the bulbous
end of the stalk (or skewer), working it
so it goes about 8cm up it.
Rough up the surface a little with your
fingers so that the meat is not
completely smooth and has
some texture, then set aside while
you shape the rest of the skewers.
Brush each skewer with extra oil.
Cook the skewers on a preheated BBQ, griddle pan or grill
for 8-10 minutes, turning several times. Serve on banana leaves.