Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Delicious chicken satay with peanut sauce. Easy, quick and bursting with flavor!

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Before I jump into this recipe just a quick reminder for all the food bloggers among you: You still have a few days left to enter your blog photo into the DMBLGiT contest! See more details here: DMBLGiT – Call for Entries.

Now, about this chicken satay. It’s one of my favorite recipes and I make it often, partially because it tastes fantastic but also because I usually have the ingredients on hand so if I didn’t have time to get groceries it’s always a great fallback. Here’s how it goes: You whisk up a quick marinade with just pantry ingredients: soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and sesame oil. Then you cut up some chicken breasts, plop them into the marinade and let the mix sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. For the sauce you use some of the same ingredients: garlic, sesame oil, brown sugar, soy sauce and then add some sambal, lime juice, coconut milk and, of course, peanuts. Put it all in the food processor and let it spin until your sauce is smooth. Thread the chicken onto skewers, grill it, sprinkle with a little lime juice and chopped green onions and there’s your dinner!

Just one quick word of caution, don’t be tempted to shortcut this recipe and skip the marinade, it’s a very important component that turns the chicken from bland to bursting with great flavor. Enjoy!

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Recipe type: Main/Appetizer
Serves: 2
For the chicken:
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • lime juice
For the peanut sauce:
  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sambal
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • green onion, for garnish
For the chicken:
  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the marinade by mixing soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and sesame oil together in a bowl.
  3. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and place in the marinade. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill until its internal temperature registers 165 degrees F.
For the peanut sauce:
  1. Place all ingredients except for the green onion in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth sauce.
  2. Sprinkle lime juice and chopped green onion on the chicken and serve with the peanut sauce.

Food Photography and Styling: I find it generally very difficult to photograph anything on skewers. They are by definition rigid and straight and therefore can look really awkward on a plate so I decided to cut them quite short and place them in a bowl instead. That made them look a little more lively, I thought. I used a slate tile as the backdrop because I liked its texture and the colors worked well with the rest of the photo. The food is sitting on a brown tray, the same one I used as the backdrop in this green tea photo and I lit this photo from the side with my strobe.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/8, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.


  1. Nagi@RecipeTinEats says:

    You’re right. I usually have the ingredients for this too!! This is better than the one I have on my blog. Mine is a simple Indo one. This is more like a restaurant style.

    When I saw the photo, it reminded me of being in a modern Thai restaurant. Love it. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Ah, I doubt it’s better, I’d say they both are great! I think it’s the slate background that gives the photo a modern restaurant look. By the way, I stole embraced the idea of cutting the chicken into cubes from you. Up until now I had always made long, thin strips but cubes look way better in a photograph, so thank you! :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Medha! By the way, you never fail to put the Beatles song into my head every time I see your blog name or even just your gravatar. I’m a fan of that song so I love that. :)

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