Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce (Indonesian / Bali version)
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4.91 from 32 votes

Satay Chicken with Restaurant Style Peanut Sauce (Indonesian/Bali style)

Though Satay Chicken is better known as Thai or Malaysian food, it actually originated from Indonesia and the Indonesian version is by far the simplest. The Peanut Sauce is my own - refer to the notes for why I prefer this to the authentic version. It is thick so it is great for dolloping, rather than a thin dipping sauce. Satay Chicken is fabulous for outdoor BBQ's, parties and for fast midweek meals! They also reheat really well in the microwave. They can be cooked on the outdoor grill, on the stove or under the grill/broiler.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Chicken
Cuisine: Asian, Indonesian
Servings: 12 - 14
Calories: 66kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats



  • 1 lb / 500g chicken thigh fillets (skinless and boneless)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp kecap manis (thick sweet soy sauce - see Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
  • 12 - 14 small bamboo skewers , soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (peanut, canola, vegetable)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion , diced (red, brown, yellow or white)
  • 3 birds eye chillis , sliced (or sub with hot sauce)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat is better, but light is ok)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp kecap manis (Note 1)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup crushed unsalted roasted peanuts (buy crushed or chop your own)
  • 1 - 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Garnish (optional)

  • Crushed peanuts
  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced shallots/scallions



  • Cut the chicken into 1.5cm/0.5" cubes. Thread onto skewers - 4 to 5 pieces per skewer.
  • Combine kecap manis and butter, then brush onto chicken.
  • Cook the skewers on a hot BBQ (outdoor grill) or on the stove in a large non stick fry pan (add a splash of oil, and make sure the skewers will fit in the pan). Grill/broiler would also work.
  • Serve, garnished with crushed peanuts, shallots and with lime wedges and Peanut Sauce on the side.

Peanut Sauce

  • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and chillis and cook for 3 minutes until onion is translucent.
  • Turn heat down to medium, then add peanut butter, coconut milk, kecap manis, soy sauce and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  • Use a handheld stick to puree (so the onion and chilli blends throughout the sauce - this is key). (See Note 2 for blending instructions) Stir through crushed peanuts and lime juice and simmer for 2 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving or to room temperature - it will thicken.


1. Kecap Manis is a thick soy sauce that has the consistency of syrup. It can be found in the Asian or sauce section of supermarkets and it is cheap - in Australia, it is $2 for a small bottle or $4 for a very large one. It tastes like sweet soy sauce with smokiness, and it is a key ingredient in this recipe. It's the secret ingredient in 90% of Indonesian recipes!
2. If you puree in a blender, make sure the sauce cools before you blend it. Otherwise it will literally "explode" when you start whizzing it and sauce will splatter everywhere. I made this mistake. :)
3. I find that the traditional recipe for Indonesian satay peanut sauce does not come out smooth and rich like you get at restaurants, it comes out a bit gritty, like it has desiccated coconut in it (which it does not). It may be because peanuts in Australia are different. Also, it requires considerable effort to ground the peanuts into a paste (food processor does not work). So this recipe is one I created using peanut butter. It is heavily flavoured with other ingredients so it tastes just like what you get at restaurants.
Here is an authentic Indonesian Peanut Sauce recipe if you want to give it a go: 100g roasted unsalted peanuts, 3 to 5 birds eye chillies, 50 ml kecap manis, 3 shallots/scallions, sliced and 1 tbsp lime juice. Ground all ingredients together, season to taste then serve.
4. This recipe makes more Peanut Sauce than you will need. It is hard to make a smaller batch. It goes great with steamed vegetables and rice, and lasts for at least a week in the fridge (it should last longer, but I think the flavour might fade). Freshen up leftover peanut sauce with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
5. Nutrition for chicken skewer only (Peanut Sauce is below).
Chicken Satay Nutrition - Chicken Skewers
Nutrition for Peanut Sauce based on my estimate that one batch is sufficient for 3 batches of chicken skewers.
Chicken Satay Nutrition - Peanut Sauce


Serving: 46g | Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.4g | Protein: 8.1g | Fat: 3.2g | Saturated Fat: 1.1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 42mg | Vitamin A: 50IU | Iron: 0.4mg