Chicken Satay

Satay is a great barbeque food and fun to eat. Cook Satay sticks right along with your barbeque chicken or hamburger.

This is an easier, and tastier method for making satay than people generally use in Thailand. For some reason the style commonly found on the street there has migrated to using condensed milk, but I prefer it this way. This satay version has fewer, easier to find ingredients and does not compromise the taste.


1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb pork
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
bamboo skewer

Soak bamboo skewers at least half an hour so that the ends do not burn on the grill. Slice the pork into thin strips (about 1/4 of an inch thick) that will fit onto the skewers. Marinade the pork and curry powder, sugar, coconut milk and salt for the same amount of time that you soak the skewers (I do both at the same time). For a shorter marinade time, I massage all the seasonings into the sliced pork for a couple minutes.

Thread the pork onto the bamboo skewers. When you get the skewers at a restaurant, the meat is normally stretched out flat. While this looks nice and makes economical sense for restaurants, I find that stuffing the skewers gives me a moister, tastier result that is tenderer than when it is stretched tight.

In Thailand, the satay is grilled on a rectangular, narrow charcoal grill that fits just one row of satay. The charcoal has been burning for a while. It is hot, but not flaming. There should be white ashes covering the charcoal so that the satay can be cooked evenly without burning.

Grill and serve with peanut sauce and cucumber in vinegar.
Learn more about this and other similarly prepared Grilling (Yang) recipes

Real Thai Chicken Satay

There's satay, and then there's Thai chicken satay! If you've never had the real stuff, then you'll fall in love with the succulent taste of this satay recipe, which has been passed down through my husband's family (from Thailand) for many generations. Strips of chicken (or beef) are marinated in a special Thai paste, then skewered and grilled on the BBQ or broiled in the oven. It is then served with homemade peanut sauce for the ultimate taste sensation. Even your kids will love it. Chicken Satay also makes a great party food!

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: SERVES 2-4 as a Main Entree


8-12 skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips (For a vegetarian version, see my: Thai Vegetarian Satay)
1 package wooden skewers
1/4 cup minced lemongrass , fresh or frozen
2 shallots OR 1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, thinly sliced
1 tsp. minced fresh turmeric OR 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric
2 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. dark soy sauce (available at Asian food stores)
4 Tbsp. fish sauce
5-6 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce: see Easy Satay Peanut Sauce


For an easy step-by-step version of this recipe, see my: How to Make Thai Chicken Satay.
If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the meat (to prevent burning). The kitchen sink works well for this.
Cut chicken into thin strips and place in a bowl.
Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or chopper. Process well.
Taste-test the marinade - you will taste sweet, spicy, and salty. The strongest tastes should be SWEET and SALTY in order for the finished satay to taste its best. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You can also add more chili if you want it spicier.
Pour the marinade over the meat and stir well to combine. Allow at least 1 hour for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours).
When ready to cook, thread meat onto the skewers. Tip: Fill up to 3/4 of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty so that the person grilling has a "handle" to easily turn the satay during cooking.
Grill the satay on your BBQ, OR on an indoor grill, basting the first time you time it with a little of the leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl. OR you can broil in the oven on a broiling pan or baking sheet with the oven set to "broil" Place satay close beneath the heating element and turn the meat every 5 minutes until cooked (be sure to soak your wooden satay sticks in water before skewering). Depending on how thin your meat is, the satay should cook in 10 to 20 minutes.
Serve with rice and my Easy Satay Peanut Sauce for dipping. ENJOY!

The Food of Asia: Authentic Recipes from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam

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Here are dishes inspired by world cuisines, including soups and salads which can be prepared at home, and delicious fish and meat recipes to cook over hot coals. Fresh fruity drinks, wicked cocktails, and indulgent desserts are all part of the mouth watering selection on offer. 
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Title: Barbecue: From Skewered Prawns to Hot Beef Satays (Small Book of Good Taste)
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The Asian Barbecue Book is perfect for barbecue enthusiasts looking for exciting new ingredients and techniques to create that perfect hot-off-the-flame meal. It is full of rich, smoky and meaty barbecue dishes, including classic Asian recipes such as Indonesian Satay, Korean Barbecue and Persian Shish Kebabs—and new favorites like Chicken Wings with Hoisin Honey Marinade, Beef Short Ribs with Teriyaki Glazing and Salmon Filet with Miso Marinade.

Introductory sections include barbecuing fundamentals—essential for beginners and a great review for more experienced grillers—as well as dozens of recipes for Asian rubs, glazes, marinades, basting sauces and condiments to liven up your grill and table. Complete with sides, salads and desserts, this treasury of Asian barbecue recipes will be a resource for years to come.

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Author: Corinne Trang
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