What is Chicken Satay?
Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is skewered marinated chicken, grilled or cooked in pan or baked in the oven and dipped in a luscious, savory Thai peanut sauce.
Boneless chicken thigh is best used when making chicken satay. Chicken breast can be used as well but chicken thigh renders a more moist, tender and juicy chicken satay.
When I was in college me and friends frequented our favorite Thai restaurants and we started our meal with a savory Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce as appetizer.
It is a popular appetizer or even as a main course with white rice. One thing I love to do is slather my rice with peanut sauce while another friend loves his rice with soy sauce. I swear his rice was swimming in soy sauce.
For us, a visit to a Thai restaurant is not complete without ordering this delicious appetizer.
Both Thai chicken satay and Thai peanut sauce are made with layers of exotic Asian flavors such as coconut milk, fish sauce, spices and Thai red curry paste.
It is more convenient to use Thai red curry paste if I have it, instead of making it from scratch.
The common ingredients in making red curry paste are red chilies, kah (a type of ginger), Kaffir lime rind, lemon grass, garlic, onion, shrimp paste and coriander root. All these ingredients are blended into a paste.
I have most of the ingredients but it is much easier to prepare this dish with the instant one. Thai red curry paste is available in most Asian stores.
Whole foods and Sprouts might carry it too but I’m not really sure about my local grocers (Fry's or Albertsons). I know for sure Walmart, Costco or Sams does not carry it.
With the crisis we are faced right now, I don’t suggest going out to get supplies. Be safe and stay at home. Go through your fridge and pantry and try to experiment and use what you have on hand.
Be creative and tweak the recipe by using seasonings you have in your kitchen cabinet. I know it will be hard cooking authentic dishes the next few weeks or months but it is a great time to use all those seasonings you have collected in your kitchen cabinet or pantry.
If you substitute the ingredients in this recipe and it taste good, share it under comments to help others and I will try it myself.
Tips in Making Chicken Satay
If you order this in a Thai restaurant, you can tell for sure that chicken thigh is used instead of chicken breast. It is tender and juicy with every bite.
Place frozen chicken on a tray and defrost overnight in the lowest shelf of the fridge, not in room temperature for food safety.
Use boneless chicken thigh for easier preparation. Cut it into long strips or 1 ½ by 2 inches.
Marinate chicken for ½ a day better yet overnight in the fridge. Chicken will be infused with layers of rich, zesty, tangy flavors that you will love.
Two hours before skewing, submerge wooden sticks in water. Soaking skewers in water before threading will prevent it from cooking along with the food.
If cooking in pan, it is best to use skewer that is 5 inches long. It will fit perfectly in a large pan and would be easier to cook.
Also, don’t overcrowd skewers in pan so they fry instead of steamed.
Chicken Satay can be grilled, baked in the oven or cooked in pan. Regardless of your preferred way of cooking, it is delicious.
Leftover cooked chicken satay, if there’s any, can be stored in the fridge for 4 days in a sealed container and reheat in the microwave.
Tips in Making Thai Peanut Sauce
Thai peanut sauce will give so much flavor to this chicken satay. To replicate an authentic Thai peanut sauce, use real peanut butter or grind your own peanuts with water using a blender. Otherwise, use any conventional peanut butter you already have.
Chicken satay dipped in a rich, nutty, creamy peanut sauce is delicious and enhances the flavor.
If making your own peanut butter, you can prepare it coarser or smoother in texture depending on your preference.
Check out my detailed peanut sauce post “How to Make Peanut Sauce”.
Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce Recipe
Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Chicken Satay Marinade
- 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut into long strips or 1 ½ x 2 inches
- ¼ can (13.5 fl. oz ) coconut milk (remainder will be used for peanut sauce)
- 1 ½ tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil or any oil
- ¾ can (13.5 fl. oz ) coconut milk
- ¾ cup roasted peanut
- ½ tablespoon fish sauce (add more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon thai red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Combine red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, white sugar, lime juice and garlic powder in a big bowl. Stir well.
- Add chicken. Mix well. Cover bowl with saran wrap and store in fridge for at least ½ a day but I prefer overnight.
- Before threading, soak or submerge skewer in water for 1 hour. If cooking in pan, use a 5 inch skewer stick so it can easily fit in a large pan.
- Thread chicken leaving 1 ½ stick for easy handling.
- PAN – Heat peanut oil in pan over medium heat. Fry for 4 minutes each side or when cooked through. Do not overcrowd, so it frys intead of steam.
- GRILL – Brush chicken lightly with peanut oil. Have charcoal on one side of grill. Place chicken on the other side without charcoal and cover grill. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or depending on your preference.
- OVEN – Brush chicken lightly with peanut oil. Preheat at 350 degrees F. Place chicken satay for 25 minutes or until cooked. 15 minutes later flip skewer on the other side. To brown chicken switch dial to broil and brown each side for a minute but not necessary.
- Grind peanuts with water in blender. For a smoother consistency, blend longer otherwise run blender for a short time if coarser texture is preferred.
- Note: A mortar and pestle can be used. If you don’t have cocktail peanuts substitute with ¾ cup conventional peanut butter then omit the 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the recipe.
- In a sauce pan over medium to low heat, combine and stir the ingredients until it simmers. Stir occassionally until consistency is quite thick (but not too thick) that you can pour.
- Serve with chicken satay. Enjoy!
- Any leftover peanut sauce can be used with other meat, fish or vegetables. Freeze for 2 months in an air tight container.
- Refer to blog above for more tips.