How to Make Chicken Satay


Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Chicken satay, a Southeast Asian dish of skewered grilled chicken, has earned fame as a staple appetizer on Thai menus. The word satay is actually of Indonesian origin, but the dish is widely available throughout the region and can be made from a variety of marinated meats. Turmeric provides chicken satay's recognizable yellow tint. It is usually accompanied by a peanut sauce and often a spicy cucumber salad as well.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 lime


  • You can substitute chicken breasts for chicken thighs if you wish, although the thighs have a richer taste.


Step 1: Prepare the Skewers.

If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes first. Thread the strips of chicken meat onto the skewers the long way, keeping the meat as flat as possible. Leave a space at the bottom of the skewer to act as a handle.

Place the skewers in a shallow dish and set aside.

Step 2: Marinate the Skewers.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl and stir until smooth to form the marinade. Pour the marinade over the skewers in the shallow dish. Let the meat stand for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, turning once.


  • You can also marinate the chicken first, then thread them on skewers.

Step 3: Grill.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Grill the skewers over direct heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until well-browned. Turn the skewers and grill for 5 to 6 minutes more, until the meat is cooked through -- cut into the end piece of the skewered chicken to check for doneness; the juices should run clear and the meat should be white at the center. Alternatively, you may broil the skewers under high heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

Serve with peanut sauce for dipping.

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