“It’s like lok-lok…but with peanut sauce!”

satay celup

Satay Celup originated in Melaka but like most other things it has migrated far and wide. I hear it’s even available at the mobile lok-lok trucks around here, but for the Real Deal (TM), nothing beats going to Melaka to eat satay celup!

ban lee siang

The place we went to is none other than Ban Lee Siang - one of the renowned satay celup establishments in Melaka. There are two other satay celup places flanking Ban Lee Siang and it’s very telling that Ban Lee Siang is the only one packed to the rafters, with people waiting for a free table while the other two are practically deserted.

satay celup sticks

Satay celup is a Malay word meaning “sticks of stuff” and “dip”. The skewers are kept refrigerated and you walk around with a tray to choose the items you want. There’s easily 50 different items on offer, ranging from clams to quail eggs and everything in between. The prawns are surprisingly fresh and sweet, and the balled up vegetables provides a nice, crunchy texture. The mushrooms and stuffed chillis are pretty good too.

satay celup sauce

Satay celup invariably comes with the same setup – there is a communal satay celup pot in a recessed pit in the middle of the table. The satay celup pot is constantly kept full by the staff, who roams from table to table to refill the sauce. The sauce is none other than satay sauce a.k.a. peanut sauce!


This is what makes satay celup interesting. It’s like lok-lok (where you dunk food skewers into boiling hot water or broth) except you dip this into a simmering pot of peanut sauce. The sweet (albeit diluted) satay sauce tastes delicious with the meat, vegetables and seafood on sticks. It’s a great twist to a classic dish.


The satay celup system, for the uninitiated, is rather like a buffet. You pick the items you want from the bank of fridges and put it on a tray. Each stick is RM 0.50 except the red color coded ones, which goes for RM 0.60.

satay celup skewers

You’re free to eat as much as you want and by the end of the meal, a waiter comes over to count the number of sticks you’ve consumed and you pay accordingly. Easy!


Satay celup in Melaka is served with bread. The bread is used to soak up the delicious peanut sauce.

jenn dad mike

I think the peanut sauce actually tastes better after a lot of people have eaten from the same communal pot. The satay sauce absorbs the taste of the ingredients dumped into it by previous diners since the pot is never emptied but refilled.

me satay celup

It’s the shiznit, yo.

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46 Responses to “Satay Celup”

  1. Nice! I must go try one day >.

  2. Nice. It’s been awhile since I had that. I used to go to Capitol for satay celop, and the longer you eat there,the servers will bring out better satays like really big prawns(!!) and stuffs to your table.

  3. it sure taste great but at the same time unhygienic too

  4. Emm.. For the 7th photo, did I see chili on the satay stick? Haha.. Who ate the chili? ;p

  5. Have yet to try this during my previous visit to Malacca but it sure look delicious! Ah!

  6. how to ensure everyone only ‘celup’ once in the satay pot???? ^^
    or i shall say.. the pig virus will be killed after ‘boiled’ at such high temperature??
    ok lar – i kia see ;)

  7. Just in case u missed this…
    A Trip To The Racetrack
    A group of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders accompanied by two female teachers went on a field trip to the local racetrack – Churchill Downs – to learn about thoroughbred horses. When it was time to take the children to the bathroom, it was decided that the girls would go with one teacher and the boys would go with the other.
    The teacher assigned to the boys was waiting outside the men’s room when one of the boys came out and told her that none of them could reach the urinal.
    Having no choice, she went inside and began hoisting the boys up one by one so they could reach the urinals.
    As she lifted one, she couldn’t help but notice that he was unusually well endowed. Trying not to show that she was staring, the teacher said, “You must be in the 5th grade.”
    “No, ma’am,” he replied. “I’m the jockey riding Silver Arrow in the seventh.”

  8. Yah that place is great and cheap, best after beer food ever!

  9. is it available in pj?

  10. Dude, the uncle a sixseal fan or he’s also a hip Nuffnang serving blogger?

  11. HB, you showed a new way to enjoyed satay. It looked easy enough for me to make it at home in San Francisco. I use fried tofu also? What the best vegetables for it? When my friends and I saw this entry we all will make for this weekend.

  12. HB, Got to try it out for get together. My mom like it so very much too. Simple cooked ahead dish and since being Chinese I like it with rice or steamed bread. Board of Health would not allowed other people use same pot after table customers left. That one thing can’t have in States.

  13. i never tried this before… is it harder to get those raw stuff cooked with thicker sauce of satay if compared to the normal lok lok broth??
    it looks tasty though,…

  14. err…… not for me . .i still prefer loklok than this. . .personal taste . . .communal pot or not, who cares so long as the food is right for ya

  15. holy moly…i was waiting for someone to do an entry on this eating spot. i was there a few years back and i remembered the 3 of us (2 guys and 1 girl) gulped down RM80 of satay celup! the kuah is second to none….

  16. It’s nice probably due to the vast mixture of saliva! Never know what you’ll get in that pot. Anyways it looks good.

  17. Jac: Yeah, it’s great stuff eh? :)
    SW: Capitol is the other famous satay celup place too! :)
    Haven’t tried it though.
    headsteadi: I don’t really mind, I’m not very particular about food hygeine, so long as it tastes good. ;)
    Hmm…maybe I should take that back. I woke up real early this morning and dashed to the toilet coz of some bad nasi kandar I ate last night.
    Shirley Snow: I ate it and Jenn’s dad ate it too. I love chillis! I’m a big fan of spicy food. This one is stuffed though.
    chefmel: Satay celup and chicken rice balls are must-eats when going to Melaka. Nevermind, we go again some other time. :)
    cynthia: You don’t actually celup it once. You have to leave it in there for a while, just like lok lok. The food is raw so it needs a bit of time to cook. :)
    DYMM_Tuanku: Haha! Cheers mate, that’s a good one. :)
    ShaolinTiger: Yup, it’s awesome stuff. :)
    They have century eggs too, and other stuff on dishes.
    Chuck U. Farley: I hear those lok lok trucks (e.g. Fat Man Steamboat) has satay sauce too, so yeah. :)
    e: He’s Jennifer’s dad. :)
    Michael (Mike): I’m not a big fan of tofu, never liked it in my life. Some things I learned to like as I got older (e.g. veggies) but NEVER tofu. :)
    Erica: Yeah, it’s easy to cook at home too. :)
    cindy khor: It’s about the same, since the temperature of the sauce in the pot is close to boiling. I scalded my tongue coz I thought it wasn’t hot. :)
    mike aka foodcrazee: Yup! I totally agree, I don’t care too as long as the food is good! :)
    heaven: Yeah, it’s easy to eat a lot, coz the stuff is just bite sized. :)
    Like the prawns – there’s only 2 to a stick. I love the satay celup here, awesome stuff. :)
    eiling: Haha! Probably but the heat would probably kill most germs. ;)
    It’s good stuff.

  18. uh? they don’t change the pot for every new customer? eewww…. @ Capotol they do, and they put extra spices when u sit down at your table.. check out the youtube of it at my blog :)

  19. I ate here with friends way back in 2004. It was fantastic! Yet another gastronomic reason to consider emigrating to Malaysia.

  20. shimmers999: Nope, and it tastes better like this. Heh! :)
    Capitol looks nice!
    notablogger: Eating is practically a national institution in Malaysia. :)

  21. HB, like to know directions of getting there. Google map will be helpful. GPS coordinate is even better. You need GPS to explore further.

  22. Satay celup, I like! But HB, I remembered the one that we went, was using new kuah, instead from the previous customers. And we can add more spicy sauce to rank up the hotness. I think we did not go to this one, as my friend told me the original are always too cramp with people. I prefer this over the lap lap chicken rice much more. :P

  23. One of the famous store :)
    Last time was Rm0.40 per stick =.=”

  24. yay for tongue piercing


  26. cool. There was a place like that around here ( WNC). for lunch you could get two skwers ( your choice of chicken, beef, lamb or shrimp), rice and tea for under five bucks usd. It was great. tom

  27. Thanks for the unexpected laugh. I had an uncle and aunt in England who followed the races ( and bet a little) most every day. They were great people, fun to be around. Thanks for the joke. It is something uncle Jack would have told. Tom

  28. HB, is Lok Lok which I heard about it like steamboat? In Beijing they have hotpot to cooked the food and do not drink the soup at all when done. Unlike Taiwanese it the best part of hotpot.

  29. Lingky: Ah, unfortunately, I don’t have the GPS coordinates. Melaka isn’t that big though…ask around and you’ll find your way there. :)
    fish fish: New kuah not nice. Have to use the old kuah which everyone has already used. Tastier. ;)
    Anyway, I like the older establishments, it has more character. :)
    TianChad: Oh, RM 0.10 price increase. I like the century eggs on the plates too, just love the stuff. :)
    Jess: Yup, I’m gonna get another one. :)
    dylan: I ate at the truck lok lok over the weekend too – some really do have the celup sauce. :)
    Tom Robinson: Nice, sounds like a bargain! :)
    Vickie: It’s kinda like steamboat except you don’t drink the broth/sauce and the food you put inside has sticks attached for easy retrieval. :)

  30. This is damn good! cuz i was just about to plan a one day trip to malacca with my friend.
    thankyouuuuu :DD

  31. kamen: Hello Kamen! Ya, Melaka is great, if you’re going for fun, I strongly recommend sleeping on the ship (RM 95) which comes packaged with a lot of other stuff – night safari, boat rides etc before retiring to sleep on an actual ship (a large wooden one) at night. Awesome! :)

  32. How come your post made the food in Melaka looks so good? LOL. Now I feel like going home to eat.
    As a Malaccan, I hereby thank you for promoting Melaka and its food. Come again soon.
    :) Should have taken you to Perigi Hang Li Po. They believe that if you drink the water from the well, you will always go back to Melaka :)

  33. jenn: Heh! I like Melaka food, it’s awesome! :)
    Okay, next time we’ll go there. I want to go back anyway. It’s a very relaxing place…only problem is the heat. ;)

  34. hellooo!
    oh oh, is it the ship which kinda is a museum one?? i’ve been to that one, many many years ago. thanks yea for the info aye! but i think i’ll only be going for a one day trip :x
    and, i’ve linked ya ;-)

  35. kamen: Hello Kamen! Yeah, that’s the ship I’m talking about. I’m planning to stay on the ship next time I’m in Melaka! Cheers for the link! :)

  36. I love satay celup and I have my fix at least once a week … I have tried all the shops, Capitol, McQuek and Ban Lee Siang and I used to think Capitol was great until I chanced upon a new shop called Satay Celup Nyonya at Taman Melaka Raya, towards Dataran Pahlawan. Their sauce is a little tangy and sweet and it taste just great. Looking back, I think all the other shops’ sauce taste bland in comparison to this nyonya style. Go try and judge it for yourself … and check out their website http://www.sataycelupnyonya.com (I had a hard time to suss their website out)

  37. Angie: Interesting! Thanks for the tip Angie! I’ll check out the other places when I’m in Melaka. I’ve been there twice in two years, it’s close enough to drive down and it’s a chill place to be to (except a bit hot). :)

  38. Hi I have just traveled to Melaka recently and tried at this store. Now I really crave for satay celup…would anyone know if there are satay celup sauce being sold in Malaysia? Or does anyone know how to concoct this sauce..really tastes yummy….

  39. victoria: Hmm…you can make your own or buy it. It’s just satay sauce (peanut sauce). :)

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  44. The new rule for Lok Lok and Fat Man Mobile and other Satay Celup Steamboat operators has agreed to follow…”One Dip” per stick only as more cases in recent years was a number of salmonella virus infection that caused LBS (Loose Bowel Syndrome) to patrons of these wonderful street cuisine. Remember that next to you is a stranger carrier of a virus and the next thing you know is you’re vomiting and having a hard time with LBS.

  45. [...] This is my selection from the fridge where the skewers of food is kept. The premise of satay celup is simple – you take what you want and when it’s time to pay the bill, the waiter comes over and counts the number of sticks you have on your table. I have to say though, I was not impressed by the meager selections they have – it’s less than half of what you’ll find at Ban Lee Siang. [...]

  46. Remember that next to you is a stranger carrier of a virus and the next thing you know is you’re vomiting and having a hard time with LBS.

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