Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

I looked online for a authentic recipe for this. When I found one written by a guy with the last name Ng, I knew I was on the right track. I went and purchased the ingredients came home and started making the dish. However, right away I noticed he had two separate recipes: one for the marinade and one for the peanut sauce. But his recipes for the marinade and for the peanut sauce were very much the same, so I factored to combine the common ingredients for both and saved a lot of work. He used whole peanuts and buzzed them in the food processor to make the peanut sauce, but I just skipped that part and used creamy peanut butter.

My problem was the lemongrass. Although I went to the best store in Santa Barbara for produce, I think the lemongrass was old and woody. When I buzzed the ingredients and tasted them there was a grainy component from the lemongrass. I added some water and buzzed some more but I was not able to get rid of the graininess. I gave up and started over minus the lemongrass. I have seen lemongrass paste in stores, but I was not going to go back and try to buy some at this stage. Too bad, I am sure the lemongrass would have added another level of complexity to the dish, but it tasted amazing without it.


Author: Jim Kirkley

Goes well with white rice and toasted pine nuts.

Serves: 4

Thai Chicken Satay


1 pound, boneless chicken breast – cut into 1-inch wide pieces
2 tablespoons, light brown sugar
2 tablespoons, fish sauce
2 tablespoons, fresh lime juice
4 cloves, garlic – peeled
1 1-inch knob, fresh ginger root – peeled
2 tablespoons, peanut oil
2 tablespoons, chili with garlic sauce (sambal oelek) (if you do not have this you can use red pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon, ground cumin
1 teaspoon, ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon, ground turmeric
2 tablespoons, water
1 cup, coconut milk
4 tablespoons, peanut butter – creamy
2 tablespoons, cilantro – chopped
wooden skewers – soaked in water


  1. Carefully cut chicken breast into slices and pound flat with the bottom of a skillet.
  2. Add light brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, peanut oil, sambal oelek, cumin, coriander and turmeric to a food processor. Pulse into a paste. Remove 4 tablespoons of mixture and reserve. Add water to remainder and pour off and add chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. I like to use a Ziploc bag.
  3. For peanut sauce combine coconut milk, 4 tablespoons reserved sauce and peanut butter in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and reduce heat to low, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened. Add more peanut butter until it is to your taste. Oil will separate out. When ready to serve whisk to recombine oil. Keep warm.
  4. Heat grill.
  5. Drain chicken reserve marinade. Weave chicken onto wooden skewers. Place chicken on grill and baste with reserved marinade. Discard remaining marinade.
  6. When chicken is no longer pink, but still juicy, remove and serve with warm peanut sauce for dipping.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.


5 thoughts on “Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

  1. Once again, I suggest you look at Hugh Carpenter’s cookbooks — they are fantastic ,,

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