Chicken Satay with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

Molly Aronica

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

Chicken satay is a quick and easy appetizer that's satisfying as well. The slightly tangy peanut sauce has a warm kick from the red pepper flakes and a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar.

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Thai Dishes.


For the chicken satay:

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, lower bulb and tough outer leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juice and zest reserved
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound chicken tenders (about 6)
  • 6 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

For the peanut sauce:

  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped


For the chicken satay:

Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Transfer the marinade to a zip-top plastic bag, add the chicken and shake to coat the meat. Refrigerate the chicken until you're ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to broil. Thread the tenders onto the wooden skewers and place on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake the chicken for 6-8 minutes, or cooked through.

For the peanut sauce:

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small mixing bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Whisk in the brown sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and cilantro. Serve immediately alongside the chicken satay.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

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Chicken satay with peanut sauce may seem like an exotic Thai dish, but it’s really just a simple mix of a few ingredients for the chicken marinade, with those same ingredients showing up in the peanut sauce. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes, and in the meantime make the sauce. Heat it up for a few minutes to let the flavors mingle, and set it aside to cool while you skewer and grill the chicken. Serve the chicken and sauce together with some spicy pickles for a unique appetizer at your next cookout.

Special equipment: You’ll need 30 (8-inch) wooden skewers. Be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand to keep them from burning on the grill.

Game plan: The chicken is ready to grill after 30 minutes of marinating, but for the best flavor let it marinate up to 24 hours.

The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let it come to room temperature and stir before using.

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Chicken thighs – Making this spicy Thai recipe with chicken thighs ensures the meal is as juicy and flavorful as possible. The thighs are scored before they’re marinated and cooked, meaning they’re guaranteed to soak in as much flavor as possible.
  • Olive oil – To make the chicken extra juicy on the inside while crisping up the outside.
  • Lime zest – Seasoning the chicken thighs with some lime zest makes each bite taste a little bright and citrusy.
  • Spicy peanut sauce – It isn’t chicken satay without peanut sauce. This homemade sauce is made from creamy, all natural peanut butter, garlic, soy sauce, and fresh lime juice. A bit of heat from a red chili pepper gives this dish its signature flavor!

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 small red chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ cups coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour

Toss chicken, garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a bowl until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Cover, and marinate for 1 hour.

While the chicken is marinating, heat the peanut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots, garlic, ginger, and chile peppers. Cook and stir until the shallot begins to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, and lime juice until blended. Simmer very gently for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and keep warm.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Thread chicken onto skewers.

Grill chicken skewers on preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with warm peanut sauce.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Yield: 6 servings

prep time: 2 hours 30 minutes

cook time: 20 minutes

total time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Perfectly grilled chicken satay skewers in the most flavorful marinade. Served with THE BEST creamy peanut sauce ever.


  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the peanut sauce

  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger


  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons water until desired consistency is reached set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and coconut milk mixture marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
  4. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
  5. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers. Brush with canola oil season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 12-15 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with peanut sauce.

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Place the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, constantly, for 1-2 minutes or until they are lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer them to a spice grinder along with the cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, and cloves. Process to a powder. Place in a food processor along with the lemon zest, shallots, and garlic and puree until the mixture forms a paste. Place the paste in a bowl.

Add the lime juice, peanut butter, coconut milk, honey, and wine to the bowl. Mix well. Add the chicken strips and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce by combining the oil, shallots, garlic, and lemon grass in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the red curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the peanut butter, palm sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, adding water if needed if it becomes too thick.

Preheat a grill to high heat.

Soak bamboo skewers for 10 minutes. Thread the marinated chicken strips on the skewers. Place on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

Thai chicken kebabs make me feel like summer has arrived!

And … it almost has. I spent yesterday laying on the beach with my handsome man soaking up some much-needed sunshine. Today I keep getting distracted by the wicked new color of my skin. Seriously guys, having a tan makes me so happy.

Do you know what else makes me happy? Dipping some tasty Thai chicken kebabs into spicy satay sauce. Maybe this sounds cheesy but I've always loved food that has to be dipped. No matter what it is, that little plunge into something saucy just makes my day.

The chicken is marinated in some simple but flavorful Thai spices before it's popped on the BBQ and covered in tasty grill marks.

The satay sauce can be made two ways:

Then there's the cool cucumber salad. It's so simple that I was hesitant to share the recipe with you. Can I even call it a recipe when it only has five ingredients, including salt and pepper? Even though it's super basic I absolutely love it with the spicy Thai chicken kebabs. It's just a bonus that it can be made in less time than it takes the chicken to cook.

The other big bonus: this whole dinner comes together in 30 minutes flat!

Seriously, you can start this dinner and be sitting down to eat a half hour later. That's faster than it takes for a pizza to arrive. And healthier. And 1.987 million times tastier. IMO.

See that cucumber salad in the background photobombing the Thai chicken kebabs? I've been making that salad since I was about eight years old. No lie. My mom taught me how to make it and for years it would be my contribution to BBQs and picnics. Then, after too many childhood cucumber salads, it fell off my radar and was completely forgotten about until a month ago.

I knew I wanted to share this Thai chicken recipe with you, but I wanted to make it a meal. I don't know why or how this long forgotten cucumber salad recipe came screaming back into my brain, but it did. And it works! The truth is, I've been making this with so many meals again cause it's super stinkin' easy make, it's so tasty and it goes with just about everything. Hope you love it too!

PS. If you're looking for more chicken recipes, make sure to check out the Meat and Chicken category.

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Traditional Thai Chicken Satay

Place the chicken in a large bowl add the curry powder, salt and oil. Mix until well combined. Thread the chicken onto bamboo skewers. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes or overnight if you have the time.

To make the cucumber relish, heat the sugar, vinegar and salt in a saucepan over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Place the cucumber, cucumber, shallot and chill in a small bowl. Pour over the cooled vinegar mixture.

For the satay sauce, use a mortar and pestle or food processor to grind the roasted peanuts to a fine consistency. Set aside.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, roasted peanuts, peanut butter, fish sauce and sugar. Cook for a further minute. Then remove from heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more fish sauce and/or sugar. And keep warm or reheat when ready to serve.

Heat a barbecue grill plate or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken skewers for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Serve warm with the warm satay sauce and the Thai cucumber relish.

How to Make Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

  1. In a large ziplock bag combine the coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce, and spices.
  2. Soak the skewers in the mixture while preheating the grill.
  3. Take the chicken and weave it onto the skewer and place on a baking sheet
  4. Grill the skewers for a few minutes on each side.
  5. While grilling, puree the ingredients for the peanut sauce and set aside.
  6. Serve the skewers and sauce together while warm.

The Meatwave

I'm closing out an epic five-recipe Wing Month with an oldie, but goodie. Well, the wing recipe is technically new, but it's comprised of a marinade and sauce for Thai chicken satay that I've been using for many, many years. I actually was never much a fan of chicken satay until I started using this specific recipe, which I find much more flavorful and exciting than the satay that most commonly graces plates at Thai restaurants. I also have never been a lover of peanut dipping sauces, but the one here is incredible and I literally can't get enough of it&mdashI'll eat it by the spoonful! So put these two things together, and it makes for one mighty fine chicken wing.

I was actually really excited to try out my satay recipe on wings because in the past I had only used it on chicken breasts, and that worked great, but breasts are my least favorite part of the bird. Wings, on the other hand, are my favorite piece, so I couldn't wait to see how a marinade I already knew was excellent would work on the best part of the chicken.

I did worry though that the extra moisture introduced here wouldn't give me the crispy skin I crave. I had been shying away from marinades for wings altogether for years, but after some recent successes using this method with souvlaki wings and Peruvian wings, I had cautious optimism everything would work out for the best in the end.

While the chicken marinated in the fridge, I put together the dipping sauce. I got this recipe a long time ago from Cook's Illustrated, and it's the only peanut sauce I've made since. I think the magic of it comes by way of mixing in a hearty amount of Thai red chili paste, which gives the sauce a very complex and spicy flavor that I personally can't get enough of.

To change things up a little from my other wing recipes, I decided to use whole wings here. In a quest to get the best exterior, I wanted to expose as much of the skin as possible while grilling. To do this, I threaded each wing onto a skewer and then spread the chicken out as much as possible. My hope was this would lead to least amount of soft skin and maximum amount of crispier skin with the best browning overall.

I grilled these wings using a two-zone fire, where all the coals were situated on one side of the charcoal grate. I placed the skewered chicken on the cool side of the grill, covered, and let cook until well browned&mdashthis almost always takes around 45 minutes with a fresh, hot fire.

The wings certainly looked beautiful after cooking with their yellow-brown hue and some attractive bits of deeper caramelization as well. Compared to my other marinated wings I made this year, these were least successful in terms of crispy skin&mdashwhile the skin wasn't too soft or flabby, it also wasn't crunchy&mdashbut they were a triumph in flavor. The earthy and lemony marinade tasted incredible on the wings, way better than it does on chicken breasts, in my opinion. They also paired great with the spicy peanut dipping sauce. I'll admit that eating and dipping would have been easier had I separated the wings into drumettes and flats, so you may want to make that change to the recipe if ease of eating trumps style for you. Still, these wings did not disappoint at all and just went to show a tried and true recipe can find new legs with just one change that, I contend, made it all the better.

Watch the video: Happy Vlog #23 Πασχαλινό επεισόδιο στα Ιεροσόλυμα! Στάση κ πτήση drone @Tel Aviv (January 2022).