Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Make your own homemade chicken satay, a popular Southeast Asian street food (and restaurant appetizer here in the States!), at home with a delicious marinade! Give it a quick turn on the grill and it's ready in just minutes.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 main course, or 8 appetizer

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill

For the peanut dipping sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped, including some of the green part
  • 3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter, preferably¬†all-natural and sugar-free
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water

To serve

  • Rice
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Fresh pungent greens such as Thai basil or arugula

Method

1 Soak the bamboo skewers: If using bamboo skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes.

2 Marinate the chicken: In a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, stir together the brown sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, sriracha, and ginger. Add the chicken strips and toss to coat.

Cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight. You can also marinate them in a resealable gallon-sized plastic bag to save space in the fridge, if you prefer. 

3 Make the dipping sauce: In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the scallions, and cook, stirring for 30 seconds or so, until wilted. Stir in the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, sriracha, lime juice, and 1/3 cup of the water.

Cook, stirring with a whisk, just until the peanut butter melts into the sauce and the sauce is blended. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is the consistency of heavy cream. Taste and add additional hoisin, Sriracha, or lime juice to taste.

Transfer to a bowl to serve, or cool, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to a week.

Chicken Satay Recipe with Peanut Sauce make the marinade

4 Prepare the skewers: Thread 1 to 2 slices of the marinated chicken onto each skewer. Set them on a baking sheet.

Chicken Satay Skewers marinate the chicken

5 Prepare the grill: For charcoal grills: Light one chimney full of coals and when they are covered with ash, spread them out evenly. Allow the grill grates to heat for 5 minutes. With a pair of tongs, dip a folded square of paper towel in oil and generously oil the grates.

For a gas grill: Heat the grill on high heat for about 20 minutes. With a pair of tongs, dip a folded square of paper towel in oil and generously oil the grates.

6 Grill the chicken: Grill the chicken for about 3 minutes per side, or until browned on both sides and the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a platter and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve as an appetizer with the dipping sauce, or with rice or cucumbers and greens for a meal.

Chicken Satay Skewers grill the chicken