Thai Satay

Chicken Satay
The Spruce
Prep: 50 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Marinate Time: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
791 Calories
46g Fat
30g Carbs
71g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 791
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 12g 61%
Cholesterol 367mg 122%
Sodium 2238mg 97%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 71g
Vitamin C 20mg 99%
Calcium 120mg 9%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 1125mg 24%
*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.)

Satay is popular throughout Southeast Asia, and this Thai satay recipe offers a traditional taste of the succulent grilled meat dish. It's an excellent choice for a barbecue but can also be broiled in the oven, and satay makes a great party appetizer.

To make satay at home, you'll marinate strips of chicken or beef in a flavorful combination of lemongrass, garlic, chiles, galangal, and a few spices. Soy sauce and fish sauce, along with brown sugar, give the marinade a sweet-salty foundation that adds to its intrigue. Once marinated, the meat is skewered and grilled, then served with a homemade peanut sauce and jasmine rice.

The marinade can be adjusted to taste. You can also try the recipe with strips of pork, and there's a vegetarian satay that's equally irresistible.

1:46

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

Ingredients

For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen

  • 2 shallots, or 1/4 onion, sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 to 2 fresh red chiles, sliced, or 1/2 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 

  • 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

For Serving:

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; sweet and salty should be the strongest flavors. Add more sugar or 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 the chicken in a bowl and pour the marinade over the top (reserve some marinade if you want it for basting). Stir well to combine. Marinate for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours).

    season chicken pieces
     The Spruce
  6. When ready to cook, thread the meat onto wooden skewers. Fill up to 3/4 of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty as 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 reserved 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.

Tips

  • According to the USDA's food safety guidelines, marinade that comes in contact with raw meat should not be reused for basting. To avoid contamination, keep a portion of the marinade refrigerated separately from the meat and use that as a baste while cooking.
  • To broil satay, place the prepared skewers on a foil-lined baking sheet about three inches below the broiler. Broil for about 5 minutes on each side, basting if desired, or until cooked through.

Do Wooden Skewers Need to Be Soaked Before Grilling?

When using wooden skewers, soak them before you adding the meat to 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 meat, and grill.