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Easiest Chicken Satay

Easiest Chicken Satay

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This seasoned, grilled chicken is so juicy and flavorful no one will believe it was so easy to make.

Kristie Collado

If you’re planning to cook the chicken indoors (in a cast-iron skillet), make sure you trim the wooden skewers to size before you thread the chicken onto them.


For the Chicken

  • 1 Pound chicken breast tenders
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ Teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

For the Peanut Sauce

  • ¼ Cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon soy sauce
  • Pinch Korean red pepper flakes

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • ¼ Cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 Key lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt, to taste

For Serving

  • Bib lettuce leaves, optional
  • Bell peppers, thinly sliced, optional
  • Carrots, shredded, optional
  • Key lime wedges, optional


Calories Per Serving647

Folate equivalent (total)40µg10%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg11.8%

    • 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" strips.
    • Marinade:
    • 1 tsp. minced ginger
    • 2 cloves minced garlic
    • 1 tsp. brown sugar
    • 2 tsp. soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • 1 tsp. sesame oil
    • 1 tsp. lime juice
    • 1 tsp. curry powder
    1. If using bamboo skewers soak in water to prevent burning. Blend marinade ingreadients in a glass bowl. Marinate chicken strips for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. Skewer chicken strips and grill on hot grill until cooked through. Serve with peanut sauce.

    If you’re using bamboo skewers, it’s good idea to soak them in water for about 10 minutes so you can avoid burning the sticks on the barbecue.

    An indoor grill will also work as will baking the sates in a 400F degree oven until firm and glazed. The most flavor and authentic taste is to use an outside electric or wood-fired BBQ.

    Traditionally, sates are served with peanut sauce. Many commercial varieties are available including the Thai Kitchen brand. For 2 people, a scant 1/4 cup should do.

    Dipping chicken satay in spicy peanut sauce

    Quick Peanut Sauce Recipe:
    If you’re feeling ambitious then process together 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 garlic clove, 2 teaspoons reduced salt soy sauce, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon orange juice, 2 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce.

    This quick version is quite tasty and has a lot less sodium than commercial varieties if you’re watching that part of your diet.

    Per tablespoon, you’ll add 98 calories, 2.9 fat grams, 3.8 g carbs, .1 g fiber and 3.4 g protein.

    Trader Joe’s Easy Chicken Satay Recipe

    When I want to make a quick and easy dinner, no matter the time of the year (I grill all year long here), I turn to something like Chicken Satay because I know my kids will eat a ton of it no matter what. It’s easy and if you serve it with some sautéed vegetables and rice, it make a complete meal that they will all love.

    This is one of those recipes that you can make with 100% Trader Joe’s ingredients (minus the bamboo skewers which you can get on Amazon). I highly recommend grilling it but if you can’t, you can broiled the skewers in your oven. They quick exceptionally quickly which is why I like to make them. The hardest part of this whole thing is probably the peanut sauce. Once you add all the ingredients together and if it’s not thin or thick enough, you can adjust easily.

    You can store the peanut sauce for a few days after you make it in the fridge if you have leftovers. I like to serve this with Trader Joe’s Jasmine rice and make a quick stir fry of some green beans or bok choy, although you could easily use the frozen Trader Joe’s stir fry vegetables in the bag. They are quick and easy.

    Either crunchy or smooth is fine. Alternatively you can whizz up your own dry-roasted peanuts in a food processor to a chunky or smooth texture.

    You can leave the chilli flakes out entirely if you prefer. I like it a little spicy, but it's completely up to you.

    Chicken Satay

    • 1.5 lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs, cubed
    • 0.5 cup coconut milk
    • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
    • 3 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp fish sauce
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 2 tbsp neutral oil (such as corn oil), plus extra for grill
    • peanut butter, to taste
    • hoisin sauce, to taste
    • cucumber, onion, cilantro, lime, and peanuts&mdashfor garnish

    Whisk together coconut milk, ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, cumin, turmeric, and oil. Add chicken cubes and coat the chicken thoroughly with the marinade. Cover/seal and store in refrigerator to marinade overnight.

    Prep 12 bamboo skewers by soaking them in water overnight to prevent them from burning on the grill.

    Spear chicken onto the skewers and leave covered in the refrigerator until ready to grill. (If making ahead, wrap exposed bamboo with a damp paper towel to prevent from drying out.)

    Pour the leftover marinade into a small sauce pan and bring to a full simmer. Whisk in hoisin sauce and peanut butter to taste. Set aside until ready for serving.

    Prepare the grill for cooking. Brush the grill rack with a bit of extra oil. Add chicken skewers to the grill, turning occasionally until the chicken is cooked through.

    Transfer peanut sauce to a serving dish and top with chopped peanuts. Serve chicken satay with cucumbers, onion, cilantro, lime, and peanut sauce.

    For more food ideas from me, check out my Instagram, @lilybubbletea.

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    • 1 lb. (.46 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thigh (cut into bite-size pieces or strips)
    • 2 tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass (or bottled/frozen lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
    • 4 to 5 cloves garlic
    • 1 tsp. freshly grated galangal (or ginger)
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
    • 2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
    • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper (in your supermarket aisle)
    • 1 fresh red chili (minced, or 1/3 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper OR chili flakes, to taste)
    • 4 tbsp. fish sauce
    • 3 tsp. brown sugar (or palm sugar)
    • 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar (or other vinegar)
    • 2 tbsp. liquid honey
    • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

    Marinade (A)

    • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
    • 80g sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
    • 2 teaspoons fennel powder
    • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
    • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup (about 125ml) vegetable oil

    Marinate (B)

    • 1 medium size onion (about 120g)
    • 10 cloves garlic
    • 120 g galangal
    • 10g belacan
    • 70g lemongrass

    Easy Chicken Satay with the Best Peanut Sauce

    Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is an easy and delicious appetizer to be served anytime. I even love it for breakfast. This recipe is also savory and scrumptious. Strips of chicken breast are marinated in Asian flavors and spices, skewered, and then quickly grilled on the stove top.

    What makes this dish over-the-top delicious is the BEST Peanut Sauce served with the Chicken Satay for dipping. I was so excited when I figured out a perfect recipe based on easy-to-get pantry items. One trick is using a combination of Cream of Coconut, Coconut Milk, and Creamy All-Natural Peanut Butter. The secret to the flavor is to use a good Red Curry Paste. My favorite is Maesri Red Curry Paste that comes in a small can. I order it online and keep them in the pantry. Adjust the amount of Red Curry Paste to your preferred level of spiciness. I use the whole 4-ounce can! The recipe will make enough for multiple meals. It keeps well in the fridge for weeks and even freezes well. Click here for the recipe.

    To make the Chicken Satay, follow this step-by-step guide:

    Cut the chicken breasts in even-sized, thin strips.

    Marinate in a combination of peanut oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, turmeric, ginger and garlic for at least 60 minutes.

    Thread the chicken strips on 6-inch wooden skewers. Brush a cast iron grill pan with peanut oil, and grill Chicken Satay over a medium-high heat on the stove top. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your grill pan. I did NOT soak the wooden skewers for stovetop grilling. If you are grilling on the BBQ with open flames, you will then need to soak the skewers for 30 minutes in water.

    Grill 3-4 minutes on each side until the chicken is caramelized with lots of grill marks, and no longer pink in the center.

    Serve immediately with Peanut Sauce on the side.

    One important note for cooks:

    Cooking with turmeric is tricky because it stains anything porous a bright yellow/gold color. I learned this lesson the hard way. The key is to avoid using wooden spoons to mix the marinade. Be sure the marinade is mixed in a glass bowl. Turmeric will also stain your fingers when you pick up the chicken to thread it on the skewer. Use parchment paper as your work surface – NOT your good wood cutting board! When finished skewering, wash up with a good enzyme-powered dish soap such as Dawn to wash your hands immediately afterward. It is a good sanitary practice as well after handling raw chicken. Tumeric is a key ingredient in Satay to achieve that beautiful color, so don’t leave it out.

    What Does Satay Mean?

    The word satay (or sate in Malaysian or Indonesian spelling) on its own though refers to the skewered meat. As mentioned before, it is common in Malaysia and Indonesia. This Southeast Asian food is a popular street food snack and makes a great appetizer also.

    Satay may consist of diced or cubed chicken, goat, mutton, beef, pork, fish or even tofu. The popular ones we see are chicken and beef.

    Adding sides to it though makes it a complete meal. Enjoy this fast and easy meal any time. Your kids will love it, and you will love how simple it is to make.