Chicken Satay

5 from 4 votes
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This chicken satay recipe features bite-sized pieces of chicken marinated in a delicious mixture of coconut milk, ginger, Thai red curry paste, and more. The chicken is threaded onto skewers, grilled to perfection, and served with a flavorful peanut dipping sauce. Prepare yourself for an explosion of flavors.

If you’re looking for more chicken recipes to get you thinking outside the box, get the recipe for these Chicken Skewers with Macedonian Taratur Sauce, or make this fantastic Chicken Adobo Recipe.

Overhead of chicken satay near a bowl of peanut dipping sauce


 

With its tender chicken, bold marinade, and luscious peanut butter dipping sauce, each bite of this chicken satay will take you on a journey through the exotic flavors of Southeast Asia. The chicken is cut into bite-sized pieces and soaked in a mixture of coconut milk, red Thai curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, and ginger. Once it has fully absorbed the flavors of the marinade, the chicken is threaded onto wooden skewers and grilled.

The end result is succulent bites of chicken that are perfectly charred on the outside and wonderfully tender and juicy on the inside. The icing on the cake is a peanut dipping sauce that has the tiniest hint of sweetness and just the right amount of heat.

Why We Love Chicken Satay Skewers

Delicious. Flavorful chicken recipe marinated in coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, and more, then served with a delightfully zingy ginger-peanut dipping sauce!

Tender and juicy. Tenderized by a rich coconut milk marinade and then grilled to perfection, the chicken gets a wonderful char on the outside while maintaining a succulent, juicy interior.

Customizable. You can easily adjust the spice levels in this recipe by regulating the amount of Thai red curry paste in the marinade and in the dipping sauce. If you like it hot, add more red curry paste! If not, ease back. Feel free to add additional spice via chili powder or another favorite if you’d like.

That dipping sauce, though. The star of the show might be the peanut dipping sauce here. Velvety smooth and packed with sweet and spicy, gingery, peanut flavor, it’s so dang good!

Close-up of skewers with Chicken satay drizzled with peanut dipping sauce and garnished with cilantro.

What Is Chicken Satay?

Chicken satay is a popular Southeast Asian street food that has won the hearts and taste buds of food lovers worldwide. The dish typically marinates bite-sized chicken pieces in a flavorful blend of spices such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, curry, and more. The chicken is then threaded onto skewers and cooked over an open flame or grill, giving a nice charred flavor to the meat, while the marinade keeps it tender and moist. To top things off, it is often served with a smooth, sweet, spicy peanut dipping sauce that’s absolutely delicious!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ready to learn how to make this super tasty Asian-inspired street food at home? It’s easier than you might think, and this recipe is 100% worth a trip to the grocery store.

For The Chicken

  • Coconut milk – Adds a creamy texture and a bit of sweetness to the marinade. You can try it with almond milk, too, though the flavor will vary.
  • Salt – To flavor the marinade
  • Curry powder – Provides a warm flavor with a mix of spices.
  • Ground Turmeric – Contributes to the color of the dish and adds an earthy flavor.
  • Ground ginger – Adds a spicy and zesty kick.
  • Thai red curry paste – Infuses the marinade with authentic Thai flavor.
  • Sugar – Balances the savory and spicy flavors in the dish.
  • Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are best but boneless, skinless thighs will work as well.

For The Peanut Sauce

  • Peanut butter -Used for the base of the sauce.
  • Water – Thins the peanut butter to a saucy consistency.
  • Thai red chili paste – Adds heat.
  • Soy sauce – Substitute with Tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free option.
  • Honey – Adds sweetness to balance the spicy and savory flavors.
  • Ground ginger – Fresh grated ginger can also be used.

How To Make Chicken Satay

Whether you want to enjoy chicken satay as a main course or as a fun party appetizer, this delicious dish is bound to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Plus, it’s quite simple to make so, no matter your level of culinary mastery, you can pull it off.

  1. Marinate the chicken. Whisk together the coconut milk, salt, curry powder, turmeric, ground ginger, Thai red curry paste, and sugar. Toss the chicken in the marinade and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  2. Grill. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, thread the chicken onto wooden skewers, and grill for about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Rest. Remove the skewers from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
  4. Serve. Serve hot with peanut dipping sauce on the side.
  5. Make the dipping sauce. Blend the peanut butter with water, red chili paste, soy sauce, honey, and ground ginger.
Peanut dipping sauce in a blender.

Oven Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  • Place chicken skewers about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, then finish under a HIGH broil for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, achieving that irresistible char on the chicken.

Recipe Tips

  • Marinating time. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours to ensure that the chicken tenderizes and soaks in all those fantastic flavors.
  • Evenly sized pieces. Cut the chicken into even-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • Soak the skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before threading the chicken onto them. This will help prevent them from burning on the grill.
  • Let it rest. Allow the chicken satay skewers to rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a much more flavorful, tender bite.
Chicken satay skewers drizzled with peanut dipping sauce and garnished with cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

If dipping succulent chicken satay in a fabulous peanut sauce isn’t enough, I highly encourage you to serve it with some delicious Thai Chicken Soup, Teriyaki Noodles, or Pad See Ew. I love the refreshing crunch of perfectly dressed cucumbers in this Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad and this Sesame Cucumber Salad.

I also like my recipe for Spicy Thai Rice. Or you could also try this light and low-carb Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice. For a fun takeout dinner party, fill your table with chicken satay, Tom Yum Noodle Soup, Creamy Coconut Shrimp, Air Fryer Spring Rolls, and/or Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

How To Store & Reheat

Seal leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store the sauce in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the chicken for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

To reheat, wrap the satay loosely in aluminum foil and reheat in the oven at 350˚F for about 10 minutes or until warm. Reheat the sauce in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds or heat it in a pot over low heat until it barely simmers. You might need to add a splash of water to thin it out.

Overhead of chicken satay on a plate near a bowl of peanut dipping sauce and some silverware.

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5 from 4 votes

Chicken Satay

The ideal blend of savory and nutty, these juicy marinated chicken satay skewers are grilled to golden perfection and paired with a rich and creamy peanut dipping sauce.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

Chicken Satay

Peanut Sauce

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Instructions 

  • Marinate the chicken. Whisk together the coconut milk, salt, curry powder, turmeric, ground ginger, Thai red curry paste, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Make the sauce. While the chicken is marinating, make the sauce by combining the peanut butter, water, red chili paste, soy sauce, honey, and ground ginger in a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  • Preheat. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  • Assemble the skewers. Thread the marinated chicken onto the soaked wooden skewers. The chicken pieces should be pressed together.
  • Grill. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred.
  • Rest. Remove the skewers from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Serve. Serve the chicken skewers hot with peanut dipping sauce on the side.

Notes

  • Chicken: I used chicken breasts here, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs, but they’ll need a little more time to cook through – chicken is done when its internal temperature registers at 165˚F. 
  • Customize: Adjust the spice levels by reducing or upping the amount of curry paste or chili paste in the marinade and the dipping sauce. Feel free to add spices like chili powder or another favorite if you’d like.
  • Red Chili Paste vs. Red Curry Paste:  Red curry paste often includes a mix of spices like galangal, coriander, and cumin. On the other hand, Thai red chili paste focuses primarily on just chilis and maybe garlic. You can use chili paste instead of red curry paste, but it lacks many other ingredients, resulting in a less complex flavor profile.
  • Marinating: Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  • Evenly-sized pieces. Cut the chicken into uniform pieces so they all cook evenly and at the same time.
  • Soak the skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes prior to skewering the chicken. This stops them from burning while on the grill.
  • Let it rest. Rest the chicken before serving so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat.
  • To Prepare In The Oven: Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place chicken skewers about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 12 minutes and then broil on HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes on each side to get that bit of char on the chicken.

Nutrition

Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1191mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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3 Comments

  1. CyndiTX says:

    Made this last night in the oven. Gulf Coast TX is too HOT to grill right now. It was really good! I used chicken breast and placed a cookie cooling rack on the aluminum foil lined cookie sheet to keep it off the juices. The chicken was moist and tasty, peanut dipping sauce was a great addition. I am going to use the leftovers with Naan and Tzatziki tonight!

  2. Joni says:

    Could I make this without grilling ? Baking ?
    Thank you.

    1. Katerina says:

      Sure! Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place chicken skewers about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy cleanup. Bake for 12 minutes and then broil on high for 3 to 4 minutes on each side to get that bit of char on the chicken.