Close up of Thai Chicken Satay being dipped into Thai Peanut Sauce
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4.93 from 92 votes

Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Recipe video above. Thai Chicken Satay Skewers are tasty enough to eat plain but we'd never skip Thai Peanut Sauce for dipping! The essential ingredient for a really great peanut sauce is natural peanut butter with no added sugar or oil. But normal peanut butter will work fine too.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Mains, Starter
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Chicken satay skewers, Thai chicken satay, Thai peanut sauce
Servings: 15
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

  • 400 g/14oz coconut milk (1 can), full fat
  • 13-16 bamboo skewers , 16cm / 6.5" long (Note 1)

Marinade:

  • 600 g / 1.2lb chicken thighs , boneless skinless, cut into 2cm/4/5" pieces (Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (Note 3)
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp red curry paste (Note 4)
  • 1 tsp salt

Thai Peanut Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp red curry paste (Note 4)
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter, smooth (Note 5)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce (Note 6)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar (Note 7)
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) water

Serving:

  • 2 tbsp peanuts finely chopped
  • Lime wedges (optional)
  • Coriander / cilantro leaves and sliced red chilli (optional)

Instructions

  • If cooking on a BBQ or over charcoal, soak skewers for 2 hours in water.

Thai Chicken Satay Skewers:

  • Mix together the chicken and Marinade with 1/4 cup of coconut milk, then set aside for at least 20 minutes, or overnight.
  • Thread onto skewers - I do 4 to 5 pieces each.
  • Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a large non stick pan over medium high heat.
  • Cook skewers in batches for 3 minutes on each side until golden.

Thai Peanut Sauce:

  • Place remaining coconut milk and Peanut Sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat.
  • Stir to combine then simmer, stirring every now and then, for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust consistency with water - it should be a pourable but thickish sauce.
  • Cover with lid and keep warm while cooking skewers.

Serving:

  • Pour some sauce into a bowl. Sprinkle with some peanuts - stir some through if you want.
  • Pile satay skewers onto a platter, sprinkle with remaining peanuts, coriander and chilli.
  • Serve with sauce on the side for dipping.

Notes

1. Skewers used for Asian chicken satay tend to be shorter than Western skewers. I like them because they fit in skillets! Feel free to make giant ones with longer skewers.
2. Chicken - can be substituted with breast or tenderloin but thigh is best for juiciest chicken. Can also sub with beef or pork - use a good, nicely marbled cut suitable for quick cooking.
3. Curry powder - any is fine here. I use Clives or Keens.
4. Red curry paste - The best Thai red curry paste (in my opinion) is Maesri which comes in small cans and also happens to be the cheapest. Sold at large supermarkets (Coles, Woolies, Harris), Asian stores. But any brand will do because it's an enhancer rather than key flavouring.
If using homemade Thai red curry paste, double the curry paste, add 1 tsp fish sauce + 1 tsp sugar into chicken marinade, and 2 tsp fish sauce + 2 tsp sugar into Peanut Sauce (homemade doesn't have the seasonings jar paste does).
5. Natural peanut butter is 100% peanuts and has a stronger peanut flavour than commercial peanut butter which has sugar and other additives. It is also thinner so less water is required to achieve the right consistency. Pretty widely available nowadays in the health food section of supermarkets.
Can use normal peanut butter spread but the peanut flavour is not as good and sauce will be thicker. Do not be tempted to dilute with too much water - it will dilute the flavour.
Sub: 1 cup raw unsalted peanuts blitzed until smooth with 1/2 cup or so coconut milk called for in the peanut sauce (helps make it super smooth).
6. Dark soy sauce adds seasoning and deepens colour of sauce. Can sub with light or all purpose soy sauce but sauce colour will be lighter.
7. Cider vinegar can be subbed with plain white vinegar. Lime juice, rice vinegar or other clear vinegars are an ok substitute but not 100% authentic.
8. Peanut Sauce - makes more than you will need, probably only use 1/3.  Hard to make less, also this recipe uses a whole can of coconut milk. Lasts 1 week in the fridge - or freeze.
Use leftover for:
9. Nutrition is VERY overstated. It assumes all the peanut sauce is consumed but only realistically, only 1/3 or so is likely.

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1.6mg