Authentic Thai Satay

Chicken Satay
The Spruce
Ratings (203)
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 50 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2-4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
788 Calories
43g Fat
30g Carbs
69g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's satay, and then there's real satay. If you've never had the real stuff, then you'll fall in love with the succulent taste of this special Thai satay recipe.

Strips of chicken or beef are marinated in a special Thai paste -- unless you go with the vegetarian version -- then skewered and grilled or broiled in the oven. It is then served with homemade peanut sauce for the ultimate taste sensation.

Satay makes a great party food and the kids will love it. 


  • For the Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass (fresh or frozen)
  • shallots (or 1/4 onion, sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 fresh red chiles (sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste)
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger, thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce (available at Asian food stores)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar (you need all of this)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For the Meat:
  • 2 beef steaks (or 8 boneless chicken thighs, cut into small, thin pieces)
  • 1 package wooden skewers
  • For the Sauce:
  • Peanut dipping sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

     The Spruce
  2. Make the marinade by placing the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chiles, galangal or ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and oil in a food processor or chopper. Process well.

    use food processor
     The Spruce
  3. Taste-test the marinade. You should taste sweet, spicy and salty. In order for the satay to taste its best, the strongest flavors should be sweet and salty. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You also can add more chile if you want it spicier.

  4. Cut beef or chicken into small pieces or strips—thinner is better. 

    cut chicken into pieces
     The Spruce
  5. Place in a bowl and pour the marinade over. Stir well to combine.

    season chicken pieces
     The Spruce
  6. Allow at least 2 hours for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours).

  7. When ready to cook, thread meat onto the skewers. 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.

    put meat on sticks
     The Spruce
  8. Grill the satay, basting the first time you turn it with a little of the leftover marinade from the bowl. Depending on how thin your meat is, the satay should be done in 10 to 20 minutes.

    grill meat
     The Spruce
  9. Serve with Thai jasmine rice and Thai peanut sauce for dipping. For extra special occasions, serve with Thai coconut rice.