Sate Kerang Recipe (Blood Cockle/Clam Saté)

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Blood Cockle Satay
What is your favourite saté or satay? This blood cockle saté is one of my favourites which I brought to the potluck party on Saturday along with bitter melon omelette. Blood cockle (kerang darah) is a species of ark clam, has a high economic value as food. This clam is found throughout the Indo-Pacific region from eastern Africa to Australia to Polynesia to Japan.

Blood cockles are very popular in Indonesia. People usually steam, grill/roast, stir fry or boil them into soup. When you go to East Java province, you will find this clam saté/satay at most eatery places that offer lontong kupang (spicy baby clam soup with rice cake), lontong lodeh (vegetables in coconut milk with rice cake), lontong balap (bean sprout soup with rice cake) and lontong mie (noodle soup with rice cake).

All those Eastern Javanese foods that I mentioned above are added with Petis (Seafood Base Paste). Petis has a darker colour, gooey texture, stronger and richer flavour than terasi udang (dried shrimp paste). Yes! The Eastern Javanese indeed loves petis. We even eat our fritters with petis and chili. There are three kinds of petis; udang (shrimp), ikan (fish) and kupang (baby clam). The most common to be sold outside Sidoarjo and Surabaya is petis udang (dark shrimp paste).

You can’t find blood cockle, you can always substitute for other clams or mussel.

Sate Kerang
– Eastern Javanese Blood Cockle Saté/Satay –

400 gram blood cockle without shells
150 mL young coconut water
2 Indonesian bay (salam) leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf, tear
3 tablespoons kecap manis
2 tablespoons cooking oil
bamboo skewers

Spices to be ground:
3 shallots (double up the amount if you use a smaller size)
3 cloves garlic
1 kaffir lime leaf, discard the vein and chop
1-cm long galangal, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon toasted ground coriander
red long cayenne pepper*
bird eye chilies*

Sambal Petis (Dark Shrimp Paste Sambal):
2 cloves garlic, roasted/fried
5 bird eyes chilies, roasted/steamed*
1 1/2 tablespoons petis udang (dark shrimp paste)
2 tablespoons kecap manis
2 tablespoons warm water
sugar (optional, I didn’t add this)
key lime (in this recipe, I used calamansi)

1.  In a skillet, heat the oil.  Add salam leaves, kaffir lime leaf and the spice paste.  Stir fry until you smell the aroma.

2.  Add young coconut water, kecap manis and seasalt.  Bring to a boil.

3.  Add blood cockle, keep stirring until the sauce thicken.

4.  Remove from the heat.  Once the blood cockles are at a room temperature, start threading 5-6 pieces of clam into each skewer.

5.  Grill until done.  While you grill them, keep basting the remaining sauce on.Then, transfer them to a basting 2 plate and bast. Regrill them until done.

6.   In Sidoarjo and Surabaya, the saté/satay is served to company lontong kupang (baby clam soup with rice cake) or lontong balap (bean sprouts soup with rice cake) and sambal petis (shrimp paste sambal).

Sambal Petis:
Squeeze key lime to get 1/2 tablespoon juice. Combine all ingredients, stir and mix well. Serve with Sate Kerang.

Cook’s Note:
The amount of long red cayenne pepper and bird eye chilies can be add more or reduce less depend on how strong your palate to handle the heat is.

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About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.