Throughout most parts of Southeast Asia – particularly in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia – satay is an extremely common and popular dish that can be found in most hawker centers and street stalls.
“Satay” basically refers to skewered and grilled meat, served with a spicy sauce that tends to involve peanuts.
What kind of meat is used? That depends on personal preference. This dish can be made with chicken, pork, beef, lamb, or even fish.
The most common meat used to make this dish is chicken. Today, we’re making chicken satay, a spicy peanut sauce to go with it, and a refreshing cucumber salad to cool down your taste buds!
While satay is usually cooked on a grill, I’ll show you a simple alternative method that you can use to cook satay even if you don’t own a grill.
In addition to the basic grilling instructions that I’ve provided below, I’ll also teach you how to make it in the oven instead. Either way, this dish is delicious, and the meat is particularly juicy.
If you aren’t a cilantro fan, feel free to substitute parsley in this recipe.
Is your mouth watering yet? Let’s get cooking!Print
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1×3” strips
- 12 bamboo skewers soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Chopped peanuts, for garnish
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 small Thai or serrano chili thinly sliced (plus more for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for garnish)
Start by making the marinade. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut milk, red curry paste, ground turmeric, brown sugar, chopped fresh cilantro, and fish sauce. Mix well.
Add the chicken strips to the marinade, making sure to coat the meat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
While the meat marinates, soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the peanut sauce. Pour the coconut milk into a skillet and bring it to a simmer. Whisk in the red curry paste for a couple of minutes until it dissolves. Whisk in the peanut butter, chicken stock, and brown sugar, then reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until you get a smooth sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the tamarind paste, lime juice, and salt. Stir well and then set it aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Thread the marinated meat onto the bamboo skewers. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the skewers in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once halfway through until meat is cooked through. (Alternatively, preheat your grill to medium-high, lay the skewers on the grill, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until cooked through, turning once.)
While the satay is cooking, prepare the salad dressing by combining the rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.
Combine the cucumber, chili, and red onions in a large mixing bowl and drizzle the dressing over the salad.
Serve the cooked chicken satay drizzled with spicy peanut sauce and garnished with cilantro, sliced peppers, and chopped peanuts if you like, with cucumber salad on the side.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Chicken
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: satay, peanut, cucumber
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare the Marinade
Measure out the quantities of coconut milk, red curry paste, and ground turmeric needed for the marinade.
Slice the chicken breasts into rectangular strips about one inch wide by three inches long – you’ll get roughly 10 to 12 strips.
Chop the cilantro as finely as possible.
Combine the coconut milk, red curry paste, ground turmeric, freshly chopped cilantro, and fish sauce in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
Place the chicken strips in the bowl with the marinade, and mix well to ensure that all the meat is coated. Cover the bowl and let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
You can soak your bamboo skewers at the same time.
Step 2 – Make the Peanut Sauce
While the meat is marinating in the refrigerator, let’s make the peanut sauce.
Measure out the coconut milk, red curry paste, peanut butter, stock, brown sugar, tamarind paste, lime juice, and salt.
Pour the coconut milk into a large skillet over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
Add the red curry paste and whisk well until the paste is dissolved.
Add the peanut butter, stock, and brown sugar. Bring the heat down to low and continue to cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the tamarind paste, lime juice, and salt until you get a homogeneous brown sauce. Set aside to cool.
Step 3 – Prepare the Skewers and Cook
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Thread the marinated chicken strips onto the soaked bamboo skewers, spreading the meat out as much as possible to ensure that the pieces cook evenly.
Place the skewers in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the meat is cooked.
If you will be grilling your skewers instead, light your coals or preheat the grill to medium-high. Arrange the skewers in a single layer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.
Step 4 – Prepare the Cucumber Salad
While the chicken is cooking, it’s time to prepare the salad.
Set out the chilies, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt.
Thinly slice the cucumber, red onion, and chilies. Chop the cilantro.
In a medium bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Mix well.
In another bowl, combine the sliced cucumber, red onion, chili, and cilantro together. Drizzle the dressing on top, and toss to coat.
Step 5 – Garnish and Serve
Garnish the satay with fresh cilantro, and serve it with the spicy peanut sauce and the refreshing cucumber salad.
Tuck in and enjoy this delicious meal!
Spice Up Your Taste Buds
If you love spicy food, then you’re definitely in for a real treat with this spicy peanut chicken satay – these skewers will leave your taste buds tingling with some serious heat. Cool them down with a refreshing cucumber salad, and soon you’ll be begging for more!
Have you made satay before? What other types of meat do you like to use for your skewers? Send us your suggestions in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!
Chicken dinners keep the whole family full and happy during the week! Here are even more recipes to try:
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.