Recipe : Balinese Sate Lilit ( Minced Tuna Satay )

A flavorsome satay from the 'Land of Gods'

Indonesia has wideee range of dishes all over the country. It is said that we have 3.257 dishes including appetizer, main courses, dessert and drinks! Can you imagine that? Even me as an Indonesian, not sure if I have tried all of those ! 

Indonesian cuisine is very complex and diverse according to each area. Some are very spicy, some are very sweet, there's many that you can choose from! But one thing that can't be missed from Indonesian cooking.... Spices! Indonesian loveeeees spices, and in fact, we already played a big roll in the mid-century when nutmeg and mace ( the world's only source of the spices)  was found in a tiny island called Banda.

Candlenut, coriander seeds, lemongrass

I lovee Balinese food, and clearly, they love using spices in their food ! Most of them was spicy, but its also fragrant and flavorsome in taste. The recipe that I made for you, is actually a complementary dish that usually put in a plate of 'nasi campur' ( a rice-based dish that has multi-dishes in one plate ). There's many version of this satay and you can opted with using chicken, pork, or maybe shrimp. But today, I'm using Tuna fish. You can use other fish as well like snapper or mackerel.


Many people think that it's hard to cook Indonesian food. But I guarantee you, the recipe that I make today it's not hard at all. You can put all in the food processor and done! Of course it's need a lot of spices to use, but if you missing one or two, its okay, its excusable! I did couple of times making this Sate Lilit, and I did forgot to buy some of the spices. But turns out the flavor still okay. Just don't missed the turmeric and chili, otherwise it doesn't taste like one !

Balinese Tuna 'Sate Lilit' ( Minced Tuna Satay )
Yield : 8 Satay

Ingredients :
250gr Tuna Or other fish that you like
100gr Grated Coconut ( or dessicated coconut if you don't have any fresh one )
2 tbsp Tamarind Water 
½ tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Palm Sugar
6 red shallots, peeled and sliced 
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced
3cm  fresh turmeric, peeled

2cm ginger, peeled
3pieces of candlenut
1tsp coriander seeds
2 long red chillies, seeded and chopped
½ teaspoon belacan, toasted 

1 ¼ tsp Salt
4 lemongrass, cut into half for the skewers.
2tbsp Coconut Oil ( for the grill )

1. Put all the ingredients in your food processor ( spices first and add tuna ) and process into a fine paste. If it's hard to mix, you can add some oil or more tamarind water.
2. Wit wet hands, mold the paste until 8 balls. Mould each ball around the thick half of a length of lemongrass stalk.
3. Heat your grill pan, around medium heat. Add coconut oil, and grill each skewers around 2 minutes per side.
4. Serve and enjoy with jasmine rice.


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  1. is this tuna- red or white tuna (albacore)

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Hi ! My name is Natasha. V. Lucas, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. What I do : Food Stylist | Food Photographer | F&B Consultant | Culinary TV Host | Social Media Managing For any inquiries you can email me to