Authentic Thai Satay

Chicken Satay
The Spruce
Prep: 50 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
788 Calories
43g Fat
30g Carbs
69g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 788
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 55%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 209mg 70%
Sodium 1979mg 86%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 69g
Calcium 96mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(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.

For a low-fat chicken version, try this recipe for Low-Fat Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce.

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


Click Play to See This Authentic Thai Chicken Satay Recipe Come Together


  • 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
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs, cut into small, thin pieces
  • 1 package wooden skewers
  • For the Sauce
  • Peanut dipping sauce (as desired)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for Thai Satay
     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. Allow at least 2 hours for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours).

    season chicken pieces
     The Spruce
  6. 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 skewers
     The Spruce
  7. 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 Satay meat
     The Spruce
  8. Serve with Thai jasmine rice and Thai peanut sauce for dipping. For extra special occasions, serve with Thai coconut rice.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them before you thread the chicken on them and barbecue. Soaking will ensure that the skewers don't catch fire and burn.
  • To soak the skewers, place them in a container large enough to hold them. Cover with water and let soak for at least 20 minutes, and up to 4 hours. Drain well, thread on the chicken, and grill.