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Sosaties 3-ways

By July 22, 2022October 3rd, 2023FinGlobal

Sosaties 3-ways

July 22, 2022

When we think of a braai, many different things come to mind. Chicken in a sweet marinade, lamb chops cooked to crispy perfection and even braaibroodjies. But honestly, is any braai complete without sosaties?

Sosaties can be made with any meat of your choosing, marinated in any sosatie sous you like. There is a rich history surrounding this delicious braai day classic, and its origins differ from country to country; it depends on who you ask!


The origin of sosaties and their importance

The term sosatie comes from the Malay terms for sauce and skewered meat, sauce and sate or satay. The main meat used is mutton or lamb, but the dish is often made with a whole host of other meats such as chicken, beef and even ostrich. As with most Cape Malay dishes, they’re known for being sweet and mild.

They are essentially kebabs with the meat of a chosen variety marinated in a sauce of your choosing. But nearly all types of sosatie sous are tangy in nature, and some can include chilli, which is a rarity in Cape Malay cuisine. The cubes of meat are skewered onto a wooden stick. And just in case you thought it was all about meat – you’re wrong. You can add additional items, from dried fruits to peppers and even slices of fat.

The sauce is a personal preference for many; however, the majority have sugar, vinegar and various spices. Ingredients include Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, lemon, honey and sage.

As for its origin, in the early days of the Voortrekkers, they needed a way to cook meat over a fire, a stick being the obvious choice. And so the sosatie was born. The origins of the kebab, on the other hand, are rather interesting. It is thought that kebabs come from Turkey when soldiers would grill the meat of freshly hunted animals that they skewered on their swords. Moreover, the word kebab is mentioned in ancient Turkish scripts dating back to 1377.

I don’t think there are many South Africans who haven’t savoured the delicious smell of kebabs roasting over a fire. It is one of the many things that any South African looks forward to when having a braai. It’s also equally welcome next to pap or whole roasted corn on the cob on a plate!

Are sosaties enjoyed anywhere else in the world?

Simply put, yes, sosaties are popular worldwide in every country you can think of! Like saffas, every country has its variation of a “braai,” and on them, you will often find a sosatie – although they probably call it something else!

A kebab, while technically the same as a sosatie due to its preparation and cooking methods, can mean something very different in another country. For example, the doner kebab, which is of Turkish origin, is very popular in Germany. Here’s the catch, though, it’s not prepared over a fire or even on individual sticks! Traditionally, it is created using lamb and lamb fat that has been skewered onto a long metal rod which is then placed into a vertical oven where it cooks as it rotates. As it cooks, thin slices are cut off and served on pita bread. It doesn’t sound like a sosatie at all, does it?

Shish Kebabs, however, are very similar to sosaties. They consist of small pieces of lamb skewered onto sticks cooked over an open flame. The shish kebab is also of Turkish origin.

For now, we will let these countries have their kebabs – after all, we have sosaties, and they’re heavenly!

3 Ways to have sosaties

If you’re looking for three separate ways to have sosaties, we recommend you choose between using chicken, beef, or lamb Sosaties!

You can modify our recipe below to make your sosaties your way!

If you’re looking for three separate ways to have sosaties, we recommend you choose between using chicken, beef, or lamb Sosaties!

You can modify our recipe below to make your sosaties your way!

What you need:

  • 1kg chicken breast fillets or beef or lamb steaks (cut into 3cm cubes)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 250 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon of mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar, white or brown, will work

What to do:

  • Add all ingredients except chicken (or meat of your choice) to a bowl and mix until combined. Add the meat, being sure to coat it completely. Cover the bowl and allow the meat to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • Thread the meat onto pre-soaked skewers. If you wish, you can thread pieces of your favourite veggies in between each piece of chicken.
  • Cook on the braai for 3 to 5 minutes per side.

* Notes: 

For the beef sosaties, we suggest adding fresh pineapple pieces or dried apricots onto the skewers for a delicious sweet and savoury combination.

For the lamb sosaties, leg of lamb would be the best cut to use, but any lamb will work will. We also recommend having a side of hummus with your lamb sosaties for a bit of added creaminess.


What you need for sosatie sous

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 12 tablespoons of apricot jam
  • 12 tablespoons of white vinegar (red will work just as well)
  • 4 tablespoons of curry powder (any curry spice blend will work)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Oil

What to do:

  • Coat a saucepan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add your onion and cook until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and then remove from heat.
  • Leave the marinade to cool at room temperature, and then refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.  Soak the meat in the marinade before braaing.

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