Deliciously smoky chicken, marinaded in bold spices and served with a creamy peanut sauce on the side. This popular street food is now a household favorite. Learn how to make this easy chicken satay recipe that’ll have your family asking for more!
What does satay mean?
These mouthwatering grilled chicken bites are definitely a crowd pleaser and it all starts with the marinade, a simple creamy peanut sauce, and ends with happy tummies. Satay is a popular appetizer in Asia made up of small pieces of marinated meat that’s grilled on a skewer. It’s also commonly paired with a dipping sauce, usually peanut.
Tips to Make This Easy Chicken Satay Recipe
Here are a few tips to help you make the juiciest and most flavorful chicken satay right at home.
- When selecting your piece of chicken to use, I highly recommend using chicken thigh. Yes, you can use chicken breast, but chicken thigh is more forgiving when grilling and less likely to go dry.
- For the deepest flavors, marinate your chicken overnight to give it a chance to soak up all the spices and goodness!
- Don’t have a grill? No problem! You can still make these absolutely succulent on a cast iron, skillet, or even the oven.
- If you're tossing them on the grill, soak your bamboo skewers for at least 2 hours to prevent them from burning to a crisp!
This easy chicken satay recipe is perfect as an appetizer at home or a fun addition to a park barbeque! Serve it with the creamy peanut sauce and some fresh veggies on the side, and you’ll definitely have some happy friends and family!
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Easy Chicken Satay Recipe
- ⅔ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 teaspoon galangal sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 4 lemongrass stalks white parts only, pounded*
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into 1-inch cubes
For Cooking / Serving
- 8 bamboo skewers*
- ¼ cup peanut sauce homemade or store-bought
- 1 cucumber sliced, optional for serving
- In a blender, combine marinade ingredients except for the chicken and lemongrass. We want to easily remove the lemongrass later and it’ll be much more challenging if it’s blended.
- Pour the marinade into a Ziplock bag or airtight container, then add the lemongrass and chicken. Make sure the chicken is well coated and push out as much air as possible from the Ziplock bag. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 2 hours up to overnight. I like to occasionally mix and massage the chicken in the bag so they're all coated in the marinade.
- Spread out 4 - 5 pieces of chicken onto the bamboo skewers, leaving some space at the bottom of the skewer to easily pickup later while eating.
- Heat a cast iron or large skillet on medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of oil. You can also cook these on a grill (see notes for skewer instructions). Cook the chicken for about 3 - 4 minutes per side, or until charred on the outside and cooked through. Remember to not overcrowd the pan, otherwise, you won't get nice browning on them. Serve with peanut sauce and sliced cucumbers on the side, if desired. Enjoy!
- Bamboo Skewers: If you're planning to cook the chicken on the grill, soak the skewers in cold water for at least 2 hours. This prevents them from burning or catching fire with grilling.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass is typically sold at Asian markets and should look fresh without any dry edges. To prep the lemongrass, peel off the tough outer layers to reveal the softer white bottom part - about the bottom third of the stalk. Cut the white part of the stalk then use the back of the knife to break it up into large chunks. You don't want them too small, otherwise, it'll be tough to remove them from the marinade later.
- Galangal: Galangal adds a distinct earthy flavor to the marinade that makes a world of difference! I HIGHLY recommend making the effort to find it at your local Asian market.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce adds a depth of flavor along with its saltiness. It may smell pungent for first-time users, but don't let that scare you away! It blends beautifully with the rest of the ingredients.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.