Chicken Satay

Today’s recipe is for one of the most celebrated Asian dishes of all time: Chicken Satay! Thought to be originally from Indonesia, this tasty chicken dish is widely enjoyed through many Asian countries and in the West as well. These delicious chicken skewers come with a rich peanut sauce, and are the perfect starter or a great suggestion to have with a few beers in a hot day. You can barbecue them or cook them in the stove, they are pretty simple to make. The trick is in the marinade!

Preparation Time: 10-20 min | Marinating Time: 24h | Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 2 | Spice level: 0

What you’ll need:

  • About 400-500g of chicken thighs, deboned and diced
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of finely chopped lemongrass
  • About 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 or 3 cloves
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 80ml coconut milk
  • 60ml water

For the peanut sauce

  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste (either homemade or storebought)
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind juice (you can replace with lime juice)



  • Start by toasting the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cloves in a hot pan for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
  • Once they are toasted, use a pestle and mortar (or a spice grinder) to reduce them to a powder.
  • Combine all the other ingredients together, along with this spice powder, in a big bowl. Add your chicken to it and involve everything together. (Fair warning: turmeric can be very tricky to wash off from your hands, so I definitely recommend you use cooking cloves here)
  • Let it marinate for 24h (again, if you are in a big rush, you can reduce this but I would recommend 24h for best flavor results).
  • Before assembling the skewers, and if they are made of wood you can soak them for 10-20 minutes so they don’t burn in a barbecue. If you’re using a stove grill pan, you should be okay.
  • Assemble your skewers with the marinated pieces of chicken and grill them either in a hot grill pan or in a barbecue until done. How long this takes depend on how thick your chicken pieces are, but shouldn’t be much longer than 5-7 minutes on each side.


  • To make the sauce, grind the peanuts to your desired consistency (some people like a chunky sauce, others don’t).
  • Add about 1/4 of the coconut milk to a pot and let it cook until it reduces by about half. At this stage, add the curry paste, whisking through until it thickens a little bit.
  • Now add all the other ingredients and cook for a few more minutes.
  • You should try it to adjust the flavors (adding more lime or fish sauce, for example). You can also blend the sauce if you want it super smooth.
  • You can serve your skewers with some steamed white rice, generous serving of sauce and some chopped cilantro.
  • Enjoy!


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