If you like chili oil noodles or spicy noodles, you are going to love this Vietnamese version with satế.
Satế is a Vietnamese chili oil made from shallots, garlic, lemongrass and peppers. We always have a pot of sat in the fridge and the other day I whipped up this super easy barely a downside pasta that popped out of my mind.
Your next bowl of spicy noodles
The luxury of butter with the tang and grassiness of chili oil was so good I could have sucked it off with a spoon. Add chewy noodles to savor for the sauce to stick and a touch of herbal freshness and you've got the perfect spicy noodle recipe for the night of the week!
What is satế
Satế, in this case Vietnamese lemongrass chili satế or ớt satế (pronounced like its close cousin satay), is a magic bomb with the taste of spicy chili oil! It's basically a flavored chili oil that adds a salty, winged, sweet, warming warmth with a base note of fresh herbaceous.
Satế is the main flavoring ingredient in our bun bo tint but it is also used as a finishing and flavoring oil also on everything else: as a marinade for meats, stir-fries, eggs, vegetables, rice, you name it, this satế will make it better.
If you love crispy Chinese chili, you'll love sitting down. It has a lightness and freshness thanks to the lemongrass and is super addicting.
Where to sit?
If you live near a Vietnamese grocery store, you can buy prefabricated sat. One popular brand is Cholimex, which doesn't look entirely authentic, but is actually from Vietnam. It is available online in small independent stores, although Amazon sometimes wears it. Go for ớt satế or ớt satế tôm, which is a shrimp-infused version that contains all kinds of umami. Or save yourself the hassle and make Mike's not so secret more authentic secret recipe below.
How to satế
For such a complex and addicting flavor, satế is incredibly easy to prepare.
- Preparation: You can use your food processor to do most of the work, but I recommend that you chop your lemongrass before putting it in the food processor.
- Chop: Add the lemongrass, Thai chili peppers, garlic and shallot in a food processor and mix until very fine. You can also do this by hand if you don't have a food processor.
- Cook: Heat neutral oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the lemongrass-garlic-shallot paste and cook, stirring, for a minute or until incredibly fragrant.
- Finish: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in a few chilli flakes, the sugar and the fish sauce. There you have it!
How to prepare lemongrass
If you've never made lemongrass before, don't be intimidated. It's super simple and adds so much flavor. Here's how to prepare it:
- Reduce: Use a thick knife to cut off the root and tips and discard them. Rinse the stems.
- Peel: Remove the outer sheets - these guys tend to be tough. You can keep them to infuse broths.
- Delivered: Use a large rolling pin to lightly bruise the stems. This will cause the lemongrass to separate into fibers / strings. You can also use your knife to cut the lemongrass lengthwise.
- Chop: Use a thick knife to chop into small pieces.
OR you can use a microplane and grate it. I didn't do this but my mother in law does and she says it's the best thing and I trust her because she cooks the best Vietnamese food.
- Shallot - The classic allium of Vietnamese chili oil: shallots are delicate and sweet with just a hint of sharpness.
- Lemongrass - Lemongrass makes up most of the satế and adds a fresh herb. Be sure to cut and remove the outer stems and chop before placing them in your food processor. Lemongrass is tough and can burn the engine.
- Garlic - Lots of garlic for this flavor that we all know and love.
- Fresh thai peppers - This satế uses a blend of fresh and dried chili peppers so you get the best of both worlds. If you like spices, you can add additional Thai chili peppers.
- Chili flakes - Dried chilli flakes add a touch of smoke and also the ruby red color. We like to use dried Sichuan chili flakes.
- Sugar - A little sugar balances and highlights the spice.
- Fish sauce - A huge umami hit added the at the end for salinity and flavor. Use a high quality first press like Red boat, or any of them that say mắm nhĩ on the bottle.
- Shrimp paste - mắm ruốc huế, a hot pink shrimp paste that is a Hue specialty adds a HUGE touch of umami and depth of flavor. If you can find it, it will take your sat to another level. If you can't find it, don't worry 😊
What else can you do with satế besides spicy noodles
Vietnamese noodles with garlic butter and lemongrass
Satế is the secret ingredient in these super easy and super tasty spicy noodles.
- 8 oz Pasta your favorite shape!
- 2 tablespoon Butter
- 2 tablespoon satiate see below for home
- 1/2 Chopped off Parmigiano Reggiano cheese finely grated
- 1/2 Chopped off herbs e.g. mint, cilantro or green onions, if desired
- 3 rods Lemongrass chopped
- 1 shallot coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 4 Thai bird eye chili
- 1/2 Chopped off neutral oil for example, grape seeds or canola
- 1/4 Chopped off chili flakes Chinese preferred
- 1/4 Chopped off sugar
- 1/4 Chopped off fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste mắm ruốc, optional
- Prepare the satế if necessary: cut the top and bottom of the lemongrass, remove the tough outer layers and chop it. Add the chopped lemongrass in a food processor along with the shallot, garlic and Thai peppers. Mix into a fine paste.Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it sparkles. Add the sat paste and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in the chili flakes, sugar, fish sauce and shrimp paste (if using). Let cool then place in a jar or airtight container. The satế will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.
When the satế is ready, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes unless al dente. Drain well, reserving 1½ cup of pasta water.
Melt the butter with the sat in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add 1/2 cup of pasta water and whisk until the sauce emulsifies and gently bubbles.
Add the drained pasta to the pan and cook over high heat, stirring gently, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce has reduced and becomes thick and shiny, about 3 minutes. Add pasta water if the pan gets too dry.
Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted and shiny. Serve immediately, drizzled with additional satay and finished with fresh herbs.
Estimated nutrition assumes homemade coffee
Vietnamese noodles with garlic butter and lemongrass
Quantity per serving
Calories 573 Calories from Fat 230
% Daily Value *
Fat 25.5 g39%
Saturated fat 11.5 g72%
Cholesterol 128 mg43%
Sodium 574 mg25%
Potassium 238 mgseven%
Carbohydrates 66.9 g22%
Protein 20.1 g40%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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