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Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce

Updated on September 30, 2010

About Chicken Satay...

Go into any good Thai or Southeast Asian restaurant and you're sure to find chicken satay on the menu. Chicken satay is basically a chicken skewer that has been marinated and grilled over a hot flame then brushed with a spicy-sweet peanut sauce. Traditionally, dark meat chicken is used (thigh meat usually) because it grills up faster than breast meat and has a tendency to be juicier however there's no rule against using white meat. In fact, some cooks prefer using white meat because it's easier to skewer. In the streets and canals of Bangkok, you can find vendors cooking up chicken satay over portable wood-burning grills and though it's considered "street-food", it's sought after by tourists in-the-know and locals alike. Whether you use dark meat or white, follow the recipe below for an authentic taste of Thailand. Bon Appetit!

What you'll need

For the Marinade:

  • 4 lbs Boneless Chicken Breast or Thigh Meat
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp BBQ Spice Rub
  • 1/4 Cup Fish Sauce*
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha (Rooster Sauce)**
  • Approximately 50 6" Bamboo Skewers

For the Thai Peanut Sauce:

  • 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 12 Oz Can Coconut Milk*
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 2 Seeded Jalepenos
  • 1/4 Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Green Chives or Green Onion
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt

* Items available in Asian food stores.

** You can subsitute your favorite hot sauce for Sriracha or leave out for less spicy skewers.

  1. Cut the chicken meat into strips approximately 1" thick and carefully work onto the bamboo skewers. Once finished, set aside covered in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, BBQ spice rub, fish sauce and sriracha and stir until the sugar disolves completely. Take the chicken skewers and place them into baking pan or flat storage container and add the marinade. Make sure to spread the skewers out as much as possible and coat every one completely. Ideally, you'll want the skewers to be covered with the marinade but if they aren't completely covered, it's no big deal just as long as they've all been completely coated. Wrap the dish in plastic and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
  3. Next, place the peanut butter, coconut milk, honey, jalepenos, cilantro and chives or onions into a food processor or blender and puree together. Squeeze in the juice of the limes taking care not to get any seeds in the mix and season with salt.
  4. Get a hot grill going (I prefer charcoal to gas) and place the skewers towards the front of the grill with the ends of the bamboo skewers hanging off the side (to avoid them catching on fire). Keep an eye out for flare-ups because the sesame oil will drip.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side (depending on how thick the meat is). You can always check for doneness with a good meat thermometer but you should be able to tell by feeling the chicken with your fingers.
  6. Right before removing from the grill, brush both sides with the Thai peanut sauce and cook for another minute or so.
  7. Serve immediately. These skewers also store well in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat beautifully.

Serving Suggestions...

 These skewers are great alone but here are a few delicious condiments.

  • Sticky rice
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Fresh cucmber slices
  • Black bean sauce
  • Lime wedges
  • Hearts of palm
  • Pickled carrots
  • Oyster sauce
  • Pho (Vietnamese oxtail soup... delicious!)
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Sriracha


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    • Delaney Boling profile image

      Delaney Boling 8 years ago

      I did see that habee. Thanks! I'll probably do a smoked tri-tip, your chili recipe and your buttermilk cornbread recipe this weekend. Of course, homemade ice cream and some good beer. Have fun making these skewers!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Yum! I love this dish but have never prepared it at home. Thanks!

      BTW, did you check out my spicy black iron skillet cornbread recipe to go with the chili? I have a regular buttermilk cornbread recipe as part of my hub on how to make Southern cornbread dressing.

    • Delaney Boling profile image

      Delaney Boling 8 years ago

      This recipe also works great for doing beef or pork skewers. One of my Sous-Chefs is Cambodian and he told me they sometime use chicken skin instead of actual meat but I haven't had a chance to try that version yet. You can also subsitute yellow curry powder instead of the BBQ spice rub for a more Indonesian version of satay.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      I love this recipe and am very anxious to try it. Thanks so much and have a very happy and healthy new year.