Recipe video above. Forget skewers - THIS is how you get a satay fix! This Malaysian Chicken Satay Curry features chicken marinated in a homemade satay seasoning, simmered in a heady peanut satay sauce that's coconuty and heavily seasoned. Truly restaurant quality. Yet -simple. No hunting down unsual ingredients!Spice level: Pretty warm buzz but not that spicy. If concerned, read note 1 & 3 for how to play it safe with the chilli!Adapted from a Satay recipe by a Malaysian chef and the Satay Sauce from Chinta Ria, a popular Sydney Asian restaurant - refer Note 10.
400g / 14ozcoconut milk(preferably full fat but light will be ok)
2tbsppeanut butter, pure best but spread ok too, crunchy or smooth
2tbsplime juice, to taste
Flavour Infusion - choose ONE:
3kaffir lime leaves
1lemongrass stalk, white part only, smashed to burst open (Note 6)
Cilantro / coriander leaves
Fresh chilli, finely chopped
Combine Satay Seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
Marinate & Cook Chicken:
Marinate - Combine chicken with 3 1/2 TABLESPOONS Satay Seasoning and onion in a bowl. Marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, minimum 20 minutes (Note 6)
Cook - Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick skillet over high heat (Note 7). Cook chicken in 2 batches until browned all over but still raw inside. Transfer to bowl, cover and keep warm.
Saute aromatics - Using the same skillet, turn heat down to medium and heat 1 tbsp oil. Add chill, onion and garlic cloves. Sauté until onion is translucent - around 2 minutes.
Satay Seasoning - Add remaining Satay Seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
Blitz - Transfer to a blender or small food processor (I use a Nutribullet). Add chicken stock and 1/2 cup of the peanuts (rest gets added later). Puree until pretty smooth - some peanut chunks can remain. Pour mixture back into the skillet.
Add remaining ingredients into sauce - Add remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, kecap manis, dark soy sauce, coconut milk and peanut butter. Stir to combine.
Add kaffir lime or lemongrass - Crush kaffir lime leaf in hand a bit (to break leaf to release the flavour). Add kaffir lime leaf OR lemongrass and chicken to sauce.
Simmer - Bring to simmer, turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened.
Serve - Add lime juice to taste. Serve with rice (jasmine, white rice or brown rice). Garnish with peanuts, cilantro/coriander leaves and more chilli if desired. See Note 9 for suggested sides.
1. Chilli powder - This recipe calls for pure ground Chilli Powder. Chili Powder (one "l") in the US is not just pure ground chillis, it has other flavours which will change the flavour of the satay seasoning. Substitute with cayenne pepper.2. Chicken - best made with thigh fillets. Breast and tenderloin ok but add them 10 minutes until sauce simmer time ie only simmer for 5 minutes (lean = dry if overcooked).Other proteins - absolutely works and 100% delicious, I've made it with beef and prawns/shrimp (pork will work same as beef):
Beef - 1kg / 2lb chuck or beef ribs cut into 4cm / 1.5" pieces. Marinate and sear per recipe (use a pot) then make sauce per recipe. Now, before adding beef back in, add about 2 cups of water, enough so that the beef is mostly submerged. Put lid on and cook on low simmer for 1.5 hrs (topping up water as needed) until beef is fall apart tender. Remove lid towards end to reduce sauce to pictured thickness. Crazy delicious!
Prawns/Shrimp - Using about 500g/1lb peeled prawns, follow recipe as written except with following changes: prawns will cook through during sear step, so simmer to reduce the sauce without the prawns in it. Just add the prawns back in right at the end, just to warm through, making sure you tip in all the juices dropped by the prawns in the bowl.
Fish - I personally wouldn't because I think the sauce is too rich for fish in this saucy curry form, but you certainly can if you want! Follow prawn steps using large fish cubes It would be great for economical freshwater fish that has a tendency to taste a bit muddy (those fish are always served with strong sauces to disguise the muddy flavour).
3. Chilli - Use as much chilli as you think you can handle! I use 6 birds eye chillis (small red chillis, about the same heat as Thai red chillis) and it's a bit spicy, but not "blow your head off" spicy. Use 3 for mild heat. Remember there is quite a lot of sauce!Leave it out if you're worried about spiciness then just add chilli powder right at the end, to taste.4. Kecap Manis (Ketjap Manis) is a dark sweet soy sauce with the consistency of syrup. It can be purchased in the soy sauce section of most supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths in Australia). Also easy to make your own! Just combine 1/4 cup ordinary soy sauce (I use Kikkoman) and 1/4 cup brown sugar over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce until it becomes a maple syrup consistency. It will thicken more when it cools.5. Dark soy sauce has a more intense day colour than all purpose soy sauce or light soy sauce. I use dark to deepen the colour of the satay sauce. You can substitute with all purpose or light soy sauce but sauce colour will be paler (not much impact on flavour). Read more about Different Soy Sauces.6. Kaffir lime leaves and/or lemongrass are the secret to peanut sauces that taste truly like what you get at (good) restaurants. When making a dipping sauce, it is usually sauted with the spices. To make a curry sauce, it works great to simmer it with the sauce to infuse the flavour into it. Most recipes use lemongrass, some use kaffir lime leaves.I like using kaffir lime leaves because I always have them in the freezer - fresh leaves freeze brilliantly. I stand firmly in my position that using either is great!HOW TO PREPARE LEMONGRASS: Cut the top 3/4 reedy green part off and keep the white part at the bottom. Use the side of your knife or anything heavy to smash it to split it open to release flavours. Plonk it in to simmer, then take it out prior to serving.LEMONGRASS PASTE: This is a great sub for those who can't get fresh! Just stir in 2 teaspoons when the lemongrass is supposed to go in. (Use leftover paste for Thai recipes like Thai Meatballs, Red Thai Curry, Poached Salmon in Coconut Lime Sauce, Thai Coconut Noodle Soup)7. Marinating: 3 hrs - overnight ideal, but even 20 minutes is enough because there is so much flavour packed into the seasoning!8. Pan type - Strongly recommend using non stick because of the chunky paste on the chicken.9. Serve this with:
10. Storage - will keep for 4 to 5 days in the fridge, or freeze it (thaw, reheat, mix well, if too thick add a touch of water).11. Recipe Source: The satay seasoning is adapted from this recipe from Christine's Chinese Recipes which is from a Malaysian chef (!!!) and the Satay Sauce is adapted from this Food Safari recipe by the very popular Chinta Ria restaurant in Sydney.The key changes I made were: i). Make one common seasoning (because the ingredients are very similar); and ii) Converted the sauce into a curry sauce rather than dipping sauce, but keeping the flavour; and iii) Change the Satay Sauce steps to avoid grinding the peanuts with a mortar and pestle a) for convenience; b) because the sauce for this recipe should be silkier than chunky satay peanut dipping sauces for satay on sticks; and c) because depending on the quality of the peanuts, sometimes it can make the sauce a bit gritty. Also because of the vast volume of the sauce compared to making a dipping sauce, I added a small amount of peanut butter to help create a thick smooth curry sauce as well as adding a touch of sweet rather than using sugar.12. Nutrition per serving, curry only no rice. Sauce is rich, coconut, peanutty, heavily spiced!