Easy Satay Chicken


If you love taste of satay, then you will love this Easy Satay Chicken recipe. Satay has its origin as a spicy meat dish in Southeast Asia. Satay is also known as saté or sate in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, sorpotel in Goa, and shish kebab (not to be confused with shashlik) in Arabic and Persian cuisines.


Chicken Satay 3-2-1

 Prep: 15 mins
 Cook: 20 mins
 Serves: 4


  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 tsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • to taste pepper
  • 400 g skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup rice (uncooked)
  • 2 tbs peanut butter (no added sugar or salt)
  • 1 x 400g can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • spray olive or canola oil spray
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, ends trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, ends trimmed, thinly sliced diagonally


  1. Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, pepper and chicken in a small bowl and set aside to marinate.
  2. Prepare rice according to packet instructions.
  3. Spoon peanut butter into a cup with a splash of the coconut milk, stir well to combine then add the rest of the coconut milk and set aside.
  4. Spray a non-stick wok or large frying pan with oil and heat to high. Add half the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes until browned but not cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside and repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Respray pan, add onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring often until softened.
  6. Add celery and cauliflower, stir-fry a further 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle in curry powder and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  8. Add coconut/peanut mix and chicken (including any juices and the leftover marinade) to the pan. Add a splash of water now if you like more sauce. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes until heated through.
  9. Divide rice and chicken satay between plates; serve garnished with cucumber slices.

Variation: Substitute lean pork, beef or tofu for chicken. Vary vegetables to include any combination of asparagus, baby corn, broccoli, capsicum, carrots, Chinese vegetables, green beans, snow peas or zucchini. Serve with cauliflower ‘rice’.

Serving Suggestion: >To make this dish even lower in saturated fat, use coconut flavoured evaporated milk or skim evaporated milk with a teaspoon of coconut essence. >Cover dish, refrigerate and marinate chicken for as long as time permits, from 5 minutes to overnight.

Easy Grilled Chicken Satay

Chicken satay is an incredible flavor explosion at every step of the process. The peanut chicken marinade has that umami flavor that makes the Asian flavor desirable. Plus, it helps to make the chicken juicy and tender so that it practically melts in your mouth.

A pile of easy grilled chicken satay skewers on a platter.

This chicken satay skewer ready is easy to prepare and cooks quickly. Easy grilled chicken satay is perfect for an appetizer or served as a weeknight dinner with rice or Asian noodles. And be sure to make extra sauce because it’s what makes this chicken with peanut sauce so irresistible. 

Why You’ll Love This Grilled Satay Chicken

  • It’s easy to prep ahead. Make the peanut sauce up to 3-4 days in advance, store it in the fridge, and marinate the chicken up to 24 hours. Simply grill the chicken in minutes and warm the peanut sauce, so it spreads easily.  
  • It’s picky eater approved. Everyone, including kids, will love this recipe. The chicken is succulent, the sauce is flavorful, and it cooks in just a few minutes, so no one gets grumpy waiting for dinner to be served. 
  • It’s versatile. Serve chicken satay skewers as an appetizer or main dish. You can even swap the chicken for shrimp or thinly sliced beef. 

Chicken Satay Ingredients

Ingredients needed for easy grilled chicken satay.

Main Satay Ingredients

  • Olive Oil: Or use your favorite light, neutral-flavored oil.
  • Soy Sauce: Use low sodium soy sauce to control the saltiness. Swap in gluten free tamari or amino acids for a gluten free option. 
  • Brown Sugar: for a touch of sweetness. Substitute with honey or omit if desired. 
  • Fish Sauce: fish sauce adds a bold umami flavor, but you can substitute it with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce or mushroom broth if preferred. 
  • Aromatics: chopped shallots, minced garlic and chopped ginger add a warm, earthy flavor. 
  • Seasonings: a blend of curry powder, ground cumin, salt, turmeric powder, and black pepper give this dish an authentic flavor. 
  • Chicken: cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1-inch size pieces. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. 

Chicken Satay Marinade

  • Peanut Butter: use creamy peanut butter. You can substitute other nut or seed butter but it will slightly alter the taste of the sauce. 
  • Chili Garlic Sauce: adjust the amount to increase or decrease the heat level of the peanut sauce. 
  • Soy Sauce: substitute a gluten-free alternative if desired. 
  • Lemon Juice: Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
  • Brown Sugar: substitute your favorite sweetener. 
  • Sesame Oil: sesame oil has a nutty flavor and will provide an authentic taste. 
  • Ginger: use freshly grated ginger.
  • Smoked Paprika: while you can use regular paprika, smoked paprika gives the sauce a smoky flavor. 

For garnishing

  • Red Chili Flakes
  • Crushed Peanuts
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges

How To Make Chicken Satay

How to marinate chicken satay.
  • Prepare the satay marinade. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients to marinate the chicken; olive oil, soy sauce, shallots, brown sugar, fish sauce, curry powder, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt, turmeric, and black pepper.
  • Marinate the chicken. Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces and coat them well. Allow the chicken pieces to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Marinated chicken is threaded onto skewers.
  • Thread the skewers. Thread the chicken soaked in peanut chicken marinade onto a wooden or metal skewer until the end of the skewers.
  • Grill the chicken. Place the chicken skewers on the griddle or grill pan and cook for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, turning the skewers often.
  • Brush with peanut sauce. Once done, brush the prepared peanut sauce over the chicken skewers and garnish with red chili flakes, peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges, and serve.

Tips To Make Easy Chicken Satay at Home

  • Cut the chicken into similar-sized pieces for even cooking. 
  • Marinate in the peanut chicken marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight if desired. 
  • Chicken thighs can also be used, and they don’t dry out. 
  • Use beef or shrimp in place of the chicken. 
  • Adjust the amount of chili garlic oil to adjust the heat level. 
  • If using wooden or bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them for at least 30 minutes before grilling. 
  • Preheat your grill so it’s nice and hot when you add the chicken. 
  • Prepare the peanut dipping sauce up to 4 days in advance and warm it before serving with the chicken satay skewers. 
  • Use leftover peanut sauce in rice or noodles, as a salad dressing or on sandwiches. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is satay?

Satay is skewered meat that has been marinated, then grilled and served with a sauce, usually containing peanuts.

Do I have to grill chicken satay?

Chicken satay skewers cook quickly, so they hold up well to the high heat of grilling. If you don’t have a grill, you can cook these on a grill pan or a griddle. 
You can also place the skewers on a baking tray and broil them for 5 to 6 minutes or until cooked through.

How do I store and reheat Chicken Satay recipe?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a skillet or the microwave. Chicken satay skewers also taste great cold. 

Can I freeze chicken satay skewers?

Yes! Wrap the raw, uncooked chicken skewers tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Grill and serve. 

What to serve with chicken satay?

Easy grilled chicken satay goes well with rice and noodles. For a lower carb option, serve with cauliflower rice or grilled veggies. I also like to have chicken satay with a side of salad.

Chicken Satay Skewers

Makes 5 portions

Total 15min

Cook 15min

Chicken Satay Skewers

A recipe from Annabel Karmel, these satay chicken skewers are a real crowdpleaser. They only take minutes to create and come with an irresistible dipping sauce.


2chicken breasts
10bamboo skewers
For the marinade:
small piece of fresh ginger
1garlic clove
juice of 1 lime
1 tbspsoy sauce
1 tbsprunny honey
1 tsppeanut butter
For the sauce:
100g (4oz)peanut butter (crunchy)
5 tbspcoconut milk
1 tbspsweet chilli sauce
1 tspsoy sauce


1. Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes to stop them from scorching when you grill them.

2. Mix the marinade. Peel and grate the ginger (you should have about ¼ teaspoon), crush the garlic and put in a bowl along with the lime juice (set 1 teaspoon of the lime juice aside for later use), soy sauce, honey and peanut butter and whisk together.

3. Put the chicken breasts into a sealable polythene bag or cover with clingfilm and use a mallet or rolling pin to bash the chicken breasts until they are about ½ cm (¼ in) thick. Slice each chicken breast into 5 strips, add to the marinade and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.

4. While the chicken is marinating you can make the sauce. Put the peanut butter, coconut milk, 5 tablespoons of water, the sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Warm gently, stirring constantly, until everything has melted. Simmer for 1–2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, then stir in the leftover lime juice and set aside.

5. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Thread the chicken strips onto the soaked skewers and put on a foil-lined baking sheet. Grill each side for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with the dipping sauce.


You have heard of satay, right? Satay is famous in Southeast Asian countries especially in my home country, Malaysia. It’s seasoned meat on skewers that’s then grilled on the barbecue and served with peanut sauce.

Easy chicken satay stacked on a plate view from top

There’re many style and versions of satays and today I’m sharing with you my quicker version of Malaysian satay. This easy chicken satay can be cooked on the stove or outside on the grill.


Texture and flavour – Crisp and charred, tender and juicy chicken with amazing flavours of spices.

Size – 30 satays of 6 inch (15 cm).

Level – Easy preparation, with some time to kill when you marinade the chicken.

Occasion – Perfect for parties or a small gathering with the family where people can just grab a few satays, sauce and sit wherever they want or mingle about.


Making the traditional chicken satay does need more elaborated ingredients and preparation steps. Don’t get me wrong, I totally LOVE it as it’s super delicious.

While I do like to go all the way when preparing delicious food, sometimes I do find myself not having the ingredients or the time to make it the traditional way. That’s when this recipe came to be, by:

  • Simplifying the ingredients – Using easier-to-find ingredients without compromising the essences of a delicious satay.
  • Simplifying the method – Less steps in preparing the meat, which makes everything faster and easier.


Chicken – I like to use chicken thigh because it’s more flavourful and it doesn’t get dry as fast as chicken breast. But of course, chicken breast works also.

Curry powder – I use mild curry powder. Use whatever you have.

Honey – Love the flavour and the sugar helps with the charred look of our satay when we cook them.

SUBSTITUTION: Use any type of sugar. Coconut sugar, brown sugar, white sugar, they all work fine.

Chilli powder – For the heat, adjust or skip to your liking.

Cumin and coriander powder – Although they don’t taste exactly the same, they can substitute each other, with a pinch. If you have only one of the two, just use the amount mentioned. Don’t double it to compensate the other missing powder, for this recipe.

Coconut milk – Gives flavour and helps in tenderising the chicken.

SUBSTITUTION: You can use the same amount of natural yogurt, of any kind.

Low sodium soy sauce – Helps with the umami flavour. I use this low sodium soy sauce because it’s versatile and the fact that it’s with less salt enables me to use more amount for the flavour, without worrying the food getting too salty.

SUBSTITUTION: Use half amount of normal soy sauce or fish sauce.


I would really recommend you to marinade the chicken. Yes, this is a simplified chicken satay recipe but you’d also want the amazing flavours of the spices to be infused into the chicken. And that, requires a bit of loving time.

2 hours should do it, you’d be surprised on how tender and delicious the chicken will be.

If you can, leave overnight in the fridge.


Steps of making easy chicken satay

In my home country Malaysia, satay is synonym with outside grilling. Just the thought of it makes me excited!

But yes, not everybody has the equipment, time or the will (haha!) to do that. And that’s when this recipe comes in.

You can easily cook this on the stove in your kitchen. The satay will have that amazing charred look, nobody’s going to know that you were nowhere the grill *wink!*. Tips for cooking on the stove:

  • Use medium heat – Remember sugar from the honey will char the chicken fast so don’t use high heat.
  • Type of pan – Both cast iron and non-stick pan work great.
  • Give space – Don’t crowd your pan, make sure there’s a bit of space between 1 skewer to another so that they get the heat and char beautifully.

And of course it goes without saying, you can definitely grill them outside also.


These satay are great to be served with some peanut sauce to dip in. My 5-minute peanut satay sauce will blow you away. It’s simple, ready in a blink and yep, delicious!

For that fresh taste and texture, serve them with some sliced cucumber and onion. Yum!


Cooked satay last up to 3-4 days in the fridge. You can freeze them up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge.

To reheat, simple place in the microwave for a few minutes. Or just place in the oven at 400ºC (200ºC) for a few minutes.

You can also freeze raw marinated chicken, up to 8 weeks. Thaw in the fridge and simply cook as the instructions mentioned in the recipe card below

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