Thai Satay Kebabs

Thai beef satay
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinate: 60 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
433 Calories
26g Fat
18g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 433
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 110mg 37%
Sodium 1447mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 586mg 12%
*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 a grilled meat dish famous throughout Southeast-Asia. Indonesia is thought to be the true birthplace of satay, but the dish was carried to surrounding countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and others. The most popular satay is chicken or pork satay, but beef is also used as well as tofu satay.

To make satay, the meat is cut into thin strips or small bite-size pieces, then marinated in a flavorful mixture of herbs and spices. The meat is skewered onto wooden sticks (known as satay sticks) and grilled over charcoal or your own backyard BBQ.

Satay is traditionally served with satay sauce, which is a fresh peanut sauce, a must for any true satay lover. This Thai kebab or satay recipe comes to us courtesy of a family that has both Malaysian and Thai roots. It has been handed down through generations and we ​gladly share it here with you. 

You will need skewers (bamboo, metal, or otherwise) for this recipe.


Click Play to See This Thai Beef Satay Kebabs Recipe Come Together

"The beef satay was packed with flavor and very easy to make. I made the dish with top sirloin steak, and the marinade flavors were well-balanced and easy to adjust. I grilled the skewers over high heat on a closed gas grill for about 7 to 8 minutes, turning them every few minutes." —Diana Rattray

Thai Beef Satay/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 pounds beef steaks

Satay Marinade:

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh or frozen lemongrass

  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander, more to taste

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh turmeric, or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 medium shallots or 1 small onion, sliced

  • 1 (1-inch) piece galangal or ginger, thinly sliced

  • 1 to 2 red chili peppers, sliced, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for about 1 hour to prevent burning while you prepare the beef.

  3. Slice beef into very thin strips or cut into small bite-size pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl.

  4. Put the brown sugar, fish sauce, lemongrass, soy sauce, oil, coriander, cumin, turmeric, shallots, galangal, chiles, and garlic in a food processor. Process until mostly smooth, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Taste the marinade. The strongest flavors should be sweet and salty for the finished satay to taste its best.

  5. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You can also add more chili if you want it spicier.

  6. Pour the marinade over the beef and toss to coat. Marinate the beef for at least an hour or more.

  7. When ready to grill, thread the beef onto the skewers. Fill up to 3/4 of the skewer with meat, leaving the lower half empty so the cook has a "handle" to easily turn the satay during grilling.

  8. Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire, or a stovetop grill. Grill the meat, basting with the leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl, and flipping once or twice. Depending on how thin your meat is, the satay should cook in 7 to 10 minutes.

  9. Serve with Thai jasmine rice and real satay peanut sauce for dipping.

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 you don't have a grill, you can broil the meat in the oven on a broiling pan or baking sheet. To do so, place satay close beneath the heating element and turn the meat every 5 minutes until cooked. Be sure to use metal skewers for this cooking option.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate leftover beef in a covered container or leave the beef on skewers and wrap tightly with foil.
  • To reheat, put the beef in a baking pan and cover tightly with foil. If the beef is still on skewers, wrap with foil. Bake in a preheated 250 F oven for about 15 minutes or until the meat reaches 165 F.

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