A quest fulfilled
This will probably end up reading like an ad, but I assure you it's not. Not even vaguely "sponsored". I need to publish this post for two reasons: to celebrate the end of a long quest, and because I've got some recipes up my sleeve and will be referring to it.
I shop at a vast emporium of an Asian grocery (if you're in Melbourne, it's Minh Phat in Richmond, and there's a sizeable outpost opposite the Queen Victoria Markets). I've been shopping there for years and still have not explored it fully.
One of its many, many joys is that it covers the entirety of Asian cuisines, so you find yourself in the Japanese section – there's a whole aisle dedicated to miso alone – or what I've dubbed Chilli Corner, two walls of every chilli preparation imaginable, and then some. There's a whole section where all the labels are in Chinese, and I've spent hours absorbed in flipping around jars to find a tiny English translation and discover what wonders they may hold.
There's an Indonesian section, of course, and it was there I came across shelf after shelf of saté sauces. Having eaten many satés in the streets of Asian countries, I have been on a long quest to bring their magical combination of heat and sweetness into my own kitchen. So many – so many! – times I have been disappointed: peanut butter with some chillies thrown in does not a saté sauce make.
So I've been working my way through the saté sauces on offer and finally – finally! – found the one that works. It's called, sensationally, Jimmy's, and it's superb, exactly the balance of flavours I'd been searching for.
Of course, once I "discovered" it, I also learned that it's been around for 50 years and that it's not made in Indonesia at all – it's from Hong Kong – and that everyone apparently knew about it but were just choosing not telling me.
Here's a cute TV commercial I found for Jimmy's. I don't speak Chinese, but I know exactly what these kids are feeling.