Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

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Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay (skewered marinated meat that is grilled and served with a sauce) is often linked to Thai food because of the popularity of Thai satay with spicy peanut dipping sauce.  However, satay actually has its origins in Indonesia and there are now variations all over Southeast Asia and beyond.

I have always liked peanut sauces and over the years I’ve made several versions for pastas and stir-fry dishes.  When I came across Simply Scratch’s Beef Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce I realized that I was drooling over her pictures and that it had been a while since I had made peanut sauce.  Then, while guest editing for DailyBuzz Moms, I discovered a “peanut sauce to die for” on This Week for Dinner.  At its base, my peanut sauce recipe follows more closely Simply Scratch’s recipe but I ultimately adapted it quite a bit.  The addition of curry powder and lemongrass in the second recipe gave me the idea to use red curry paste for a quick and easy way to add a depth of flavor to the spicy dipping sauce.  My family likes it hot but you can adjust the spiciness of the sauce to taste with the cayenne.

As for the chicken I used my family’s fail-proof teriyaki marinade which paired well with the peanut sauce.  Using flank or skirt steak with the teriyaki marinade would also be a yummy option.

{In my family we don’t have a structured meal plan but we definitely tend to fall back on our simple favorites for busy nights.  I love it when we find a new quick and easy meal that can be added to our weeknight meal rotation.  This spicy peanut sauce makes the cut!  Though we made it with chicken satay the first time, it can be put to use in many other dishes, too, such as our {Chicken} Quinoa Satay Salad.}

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4+
Red curry paste is the quick and easy key to adding depth of flavor to the spicy peanut dipping sauce.
Peanut Sauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • ⅓ cup light coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 Tbsp torn cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp curry paste
  • ½ tsp chili oil
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • A couple squirts of lime juice
  • A couple drops of fish sauce, optional
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar, optional, to taste
  • ¼ tsp cayenne, to taste
Chicken Marinade
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (I prefer using balsamic)
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced (You can substitute 1½ tsp ground ginger but I prefer fresh ginger.)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 3-4 chicken thighs or 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  1. Whisk the peanut butter and the hot water.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until a smooth sauce forms.
  3. Adjust the spice and sweetness of the sauce to taste.
Chicken Satay
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl or a ziploc bag.
  2. Cut the chicken into chunks and put it on skewers.
  3. Put the skewered chicken in the bowl or the bag so that the chicken is covered by the marinade. You can also marinate the chicken chunks first and then skewer them on the sticks.
  4. BBQ the chicken skewers rotating them periodically so that the chicken cooks evenly on all sides.
  5. Or you can broil them in the oven for 5-7 minutes on each side, until the chicken is done.
  6. Serve the chicken satay with the spicy peanut dipping sauce.

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