Easily the most delicious appetizer of Thai cuisine, so much so, I’d rather eat chicken satay as a main course. It’s fun, it’s vibrant, and it’s a great communal dish to enjoy with friends and family. Then again, anything served on a stick is just better.
Chicken satay is one of those dishes with a serious flavor punch. The sour tang of tamarind, sweetness from palm sugar, a kick of heat from sriracha chili sauce, and a blast of briny salt from the fish sauce. Even a hint of bitter from the char of grilling. These flavor meld into one cohesive taste experience and what you end up with is a perfect balance.
This is a simple recipe that goes great as a side dish to any grill party or picnic. Of course there’s the issue of peanuts and allergies, but the peanuts can be subbed out for cashew butter, almond butter, or tahini paste (sesame). However, if using tahini I’d recommend cutting the quantity by half, as it tends to be much stronger in flavor than the other butters/pastes. So give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think.
- 150ml water
- 100g (3.53 ounces) peanut butter
- 50g (1.76 ounces) palm sugar, chopped
- 30g (1.06 ounces) fresh tamarind
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- 3 kafir lime leaves, crushed
- ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- 2 red chilies, sliced for garnish
- Handful of fresh coriander to garnish
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges
- Peanut oil for brushing
- 3 or 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
- 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water
1. Bring water and sugar to a boil. When the sugar has dissolved remove from heat and add the tamarind. Let soak until cool enough to handle..
2. Using your hand, mix the tamarind into the water until it thickens. Strain into a bowl.
3. Add peanut butter, fish sauce, sriracha, and crushed kafir lime leaves. Stir to mix well. Reserve ½ cup for dipping.
4. Slice chicken into thin strips and add to the satay sauce. Let marinate for at least 4 hours in the fridge. Then skewer the chicken, leaving the bottom third of the skewer free. Brush with peanut oil.
5. To cook, either heat up the grill on high, or the broiler on the oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until a nice char develops.
6. Put the finished chicken skewers on a platter and garnish with chopped coriander, peanuts, chili and lime wedges or cheeks.