Flavoured with rich peanut sauce and fragrant lemongrass, these chicken satay skewers are the ideal entree or cocktail party finger food.
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Combine the lemongrass, ginger, pepper, half the kecap manis and half the garlic in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 mins or overnight to develop the flavours.
To make the pickled cucumber, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add the cucumber and toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 mins or overnight. Drain the cucumber and place in a bowl. Add the chilli, if using, and toss to combine.
Combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, chilli flakes and remaining kecap manis and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 mins or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add the lime rind and juice. Stir to combine. Season.
Drain the chicken and discard marinade. Thread the chicken evenly among skewers. Spray with oil spray and season with white pepper.
Heat a large lightly oiled non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the skewers, in batches, turning, for 3-4 mins or until cooked through.
Divide the chicken skewers, pickled cucumber and satay sauce among serving plates. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced chilli. Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: If you have ginger leftover, it will stay fresh longer if you store it in an airtight container or a sealed bag in the fridge.
Smart swap: Don’t have peanut butter in your pantry? You can easily substitute it for smooth peanut butter in this satay chicken skewers recipe.
Chicken satay skewers are a South-East Asian street food classic, often found at cocktail parties or on sharing menus due to their ease of eating while standing and socialising. There’s just something about the fragrant lemongrass combined with creamy coconut and peanut sauce that is a little bit spicy and a little bit sweet, and goes perfectly with tender chicken thighs. While the true origin of the satay chicken skewers recipe is thought to be Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and India also lay claim to it – a truly international dish.
When it comes to cooking the best chicken satay skewers, follow these tips and you will be well on your way to a tasty snack:
Make sure you give the chicken thighs a good marinade overnight to both tenderise the meat and add flavour.
Fresh lemongrass (or paste) and ginger give a fragrant flavour and a salty sweetness from kecap manis. If you’re not familiar with kecap manis, it’s a sticky, sweet Indonesian soy-based sauce. It adds a syrupy sweetness and touch of that umami goodness that adds so much flavour to Asian dishes.
The creamy peanut sauce is absolutely essential to turn this dish into something spectacular. Most satay sauce recipes recommend crunchy peanut butter to ensure an extra layer of texture, as well as flavour. However, if you have a preference for a smoother finish, smooth peanut butter will work just as well.
To give this satay chicken skewer recipe extra oomph, we have added a zingy pickled cucumber on the side for a fresh contrast to the creamy sauce. Bring it all together with some steamed rice and you have yourself a perfectly tasty meal.
Can’t get enough of satay? We have a few variations to suit any taste. Try our simple chicken satay with coconut rice or, if you prefer noodles, this satay chicken stir-fry recipe. If you love a tray bake, you’ll be won over with our one-pan peanut butter chicken, or why not cook up this satay beef with cabbage salad.