Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe


This Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe is the best! Made with a marinade made of curry powder, cumin, garlic and soy sauce, then grilled on skewers with a homemade peanut dipping sauce. While this Malaysian chicken satay recipe is incredibly easy to prepare, it does take a little time to marinade the meat. It’s worth the wait, though! Your house will smell amazing!

Malaysian Chicken Satay

This Malaysian Chicken Satay is absolutely excellent because of the juicy, tender chicken pieces that have been marinated in a warm curry sauce with a tinge of sweetness. This recipe’s marinade also works fantastically with beef and hog.

 Course Main Course

 Cuisine Asian Cuisine, Malaysia, Southeast Asian

 Keyword chicken satay with peanut sauce, easy chicken satay, malaysian chicken satay

 Servings 20 Skewers


  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 6 (4 oz) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-size pieces

For serving

  • peanut sauce
  • thickly sliced cucumber
  • thickly sliced red onion


  1. Soak 20-24 think bamboo skewers in warm water for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the chicken satay, mix together the curry powder, turmeric, brown sugar, onion, garlic, salt and oil in a large bowl. Add the chicken thigh pieces to the marinaded and combine thoroughly. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour (or preferably overnight in the refrigerator).
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat 400-450 F (204-232 C). Thread 3-5 pieces of chicken onto each skewer, depending on the size of the chicken pieces. The chicken should cover only the top third of the skewers.
  4. Grill the skewers for 2-3 minutes per side, then move the skewers to medium heat (350F [177 C]) and cook the skewers for a further 2-3 minutes per side until the chicken is opauq all the way through when cut open.
  5. Serve the satay skewers with the peanut sauce, cucumber and red onion.

Chicken Satay Curry (Malaysian)

Fans of satay, rejoice! This dish features chicken that has been marinated in a delicious handmade satay seasoning and then cooked in a Satay Peanut Sauce (Malaysian restaurant recipe). Simple to create, easy to acquire materials, and guaranteed to blow your mind!

Chicken Satay Curry (Malaysian) in a skillet, fresh off the stove

Different types of satay

Chicken on a skewer marinated with satay ingredients, grilled over charcoal, and served with a peanut sauce is what is considered authentic satay chicken. There are versions in many South East Asian nations, but the most well-known are Thai, Indonesian (Bali), and Malaysian (this recipe).

Despite modest differences, they all share a similar undertone.

Thai Chicken Satay (seen below, on the left) has a moderate red curry flavor and is sweeter and more coconut-like (the secret ingredient).

The simplest and most peanutty satay is the Indonesian version (below right).

The most intricate, rich flavors are found in Malaysian satay, which is considered to be the king of all satays. less peanutty and coconutty than Thai and Indonesian, stronger satay flavor.

Thai and Indonesian Chicken Satay

What this  tastes like (and why it’s not on skewers)

As far as I’m aware, this curry-like rendition of chicken satay is not an actual Asian dish. But compared to tiny little skewers, this method is my favorite since it is so much more satisfying to consume. and far simpler to produce in large quantities (again, no skewering!).

However, even though this Satay Chicken Curry recipe may not be in the traditional Asian format, I guarantee that the flavor is. because I prepared the handmade satay flavor using a chef’s recipe, and the peanut sauce using a restaurant’s recipe.

When you see the Satay Seasoning’s ingredients, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. All of these spices may already be in your pantry.

Satay Seasoning
Homemade Satay Seasoning

Ingredients in Satay Seasoning

The handmade Satay Seasoning, which is used both to marinate the chicken and in the satay sauce, is the basis of this dish. Coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, chili, curry powder (any brand is good), sugar, and salt are the necessary spices.

Satay Seasoning ingredients

US readers note: the “chilli powder” in this recipe is not what you call “Chili Powder” (with one “l”) which is a spice mix that is not very spicy. This recipe calls for real chilli powder which is pure ground dried chillies and it is spicy!

Satay Seasoning Marinated Chicken

With the Satay Seasoning, the chicken is absolutely divine by itself. I could honestly eat it straight out of the pan, without the peanut sauce.

But with the peanut curry sauce….it just takes it to a whole new level……

Ingredients in Satay Curry Sauce

And here’s what goes into the sauce:

Ingredients in Chicken Satay Curry (Malaysian)
  • Chicken – thighs are best for the juiciest pieces of chicken, but breast and tenderloin work fine too. Other proteins: pork and beef work too, but it needs to be slow cooking cuts simmered for an hour or so until fall-apart tender. I’ve popped tips in the recipe notes;
  • Peanuts – roasted, unsalted. Some for blitzing into the sauce, some added later for a bit of crunch in the sauce;
  • Peanut butter – NATURAL is best (ie no added sugar or oil) because it has the most intense peanut flavour and is thinner than sweetened peanut butter spread. But ordinary peanut butter spreads will work fine too – the peanut flavour is slightly less intense;
  • Fresh red chilli – I’ve used birds eye chilli here (a common type Australia). 6 chilli = noticeable spiciness but won’t blow your head off. Dial it down if you can’t handle the heat. If you can’t find these specific chillies, don’t worry – use any red chilli you can find, remembering the rule that the smaller the chilli, the spicier it is. You can also leave it out, or take the safe route and start with less then use chilli powder at the end to dial up the spice. Some alternatives: Thai Red Chillies are around the same spiciness. Cayenne is much less spicy (and larger). Habanero is spicier so use 1/2 of 1 (about 1/2 tsp);
  • Kecap Manis – this is a sweet soy sauce with a consistency like syrup. Here in Australia, kecap manis is available in major supermarkets, in the soy sauce section. And if you can’t find it at your supermarket, don’t worry! It is SO easy to make – just reduce soy sauce and brown sugar. Seriously. I’ve included directions in the recipe for you;
Kecap Manis - Sweet Soy Sauce
  • Dark soy sauce – the intense colour of this soy sauce is what darkens the sauce colour from a pale yellow colour to a deeper orangey reddy colour. Don’t have it or can’t find it? That’s ok – you can use normal or light soy sauce, just know your sauce colour will be lighter. Won’t affect flavour that much;
  • Coconut milk – full fat, for best flavour (because coconut flavour is in the fat);
  • Chicken stock/broth – to thin about the sauce. Much tastier than using water;
  • Lime juice – for a touch of sour, to balance out the flavour. Not the end of the world to substitute with a vinegar (it’s not a major flavour component in this recipe);
  • Garlic and onion – essential aromatics;
  • Lemongrass OR kaffir limes leaves – plonking either of these into the sauce as it simmers adds a special extra touch of flavour that really elevates it to “real restaurant” flavour. It is still mighty tasty without (I’ve made this plenty of times without either of them) but with, it really is that little bit more special. They both add similar flavour – so use whichever is easier for you to find.

Kaffir lime leaves – sold in small packets at fruit & veg stores, Asian stores and most large grocery stores in Australia. Leftovers freeze perfectly, and it’s used in most authentic Thai dishes

Lemongrass – using a fresh stalk is best if you can get it (bashed to release flavour), otherwise a dab of paste from a tube will works wonders too. If you use paste, just stir in 2 teaspoons when the lemongrass is supposed to go in

How to make Chicken Satay Curry

And here’s how to make it – very straightforward!

How to make Chicken Satay Curry (Malaysian)
  1. Mix the Satay Seasoning ingredients together;
  2. Marinate the chicken in the Seasoning with some grated onion for extra flavour;
  3. Sear the chicken just to get some nice colour on it – no need to cook the chicken through;
  4. Saute aromatics – onion, garlic, chilli;
  5. Transfer to blender (or Nutribullet, in my case) with most of the peanuts and chicken broth;
  6. Blitz until smooth;
  7. Pour back into the skillet along with the coconut milk, and lemongrass or Kaffir Lime leave;
  8. Add chicken back in then simmer until it reduces and thickens, your mouth is watering and it looks like THIS ↓↓↓:

Chicken Satay (The Best Recipe!)

Delicious chicken satay or grilled chicken skewers marinated with spices and served with peanut sauce. Easy, authentic and the best chicken satay recipe you’ll find online!

PREP TIME50 minutes

COOK TIME10 minutes



  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) boneless and skinless chicken thigh and leg meat
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 2 hours
  • 1 cucumber, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • oil, for basting

Chicken Satay Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 small shallots or pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey


  1. Cut the chicken meat into small cubes. Set aside.
  2. Blend all the he Marinade ingredients in a food processor. Add a little water if needed.
  3. For the chicken satay dipping sauce, please click here: satay peanut sauce recipe.
  4. Combine the chicken and the Marinade together, stir to mix well. Marinate the chicken for 6 hours in the fridge, or best overnight. When ready, thread 3-4 pieces of the chicken meat onto the bamboo skewers.
  5. Grill the chicken satay skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side until the meat is fully cooked and the surface is nicely charred, on both sides. Baste and brush with some oil while grilling. Serve hot with peanut sauce the fresh cucumber pieces and onions.

Chicken Satay

Delicious grilled chicken skewers or chicken satay that has been marinated in a tasty sauce and served with peanut sauce. The best chicken satay recipe you can find online is simple, real, and delicious!

Delicious chicken satay or grilled chicken skewers marinated with spices and served with peanut sauce.  Easy, authentic and the best chicken satay recipe you'll find online!


When I think of satay or chicken satay, I image succulent chicken skewers that have been expertly cooked and attractively browned.

Chipotle Satay

Everyone enjoys chicken satay, one of the most well-known Asian snacks.

How can chicken satay be prepared at home?

I have the best and most authentic chicken satay recipe for you, along with the satay sauce recipe, and it’s extremely simple!

Many readers have tried and tested my chicken satay recipe. They are delicious and totally delectable. Enjoy!

Satay on a plate, with satay sauce.

Malaysian Chicken Satay Is the Best!

Chicken Satay Marinade

The marinade is the most important part of the recipe. The best satay are marinated with lots of spices and ingredients, such as the following:

  • Lemongrass
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Turmeric powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and sugar

Traditionally, home cooks pound all the ingredients above with a mortar and pestle until it becomes a fine paste.

Mix the meat (either chicken, beef or mutton) with the marinade overnight to ensure that that every skewer is s bursting with robust flavors.

Peanut Satay Sauce

This dipping sauce is a must for satay. To make the sauce, please check out my peanut sauce recipe.

Satay sauce in dipping bowl for chicken satay.

Cook’s Tips

For the best and most authentic flavors, please follow my secrets and techniques below:

  • You can use a combination of chicken breasts, chicken thighs and legs. Cut each piece of the chicken meat into uniform pieces.
  • Marinate the chicken overnight with the marinade for deeper flavors.
  • Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least two hours. This will prevent the bamboo skewers from burning on the grill.
  • Use a pair of scissors to snip off the over charred and burned bits on the satay.
Chicken satay on bamboo skewers, marinated with chicken satay marinade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chicken Satay Healthy?

Yes, satay is very healthy as the spices used in the marinade have a lot of nutrients and health benefits, for example: turmeric.

Can You Bake In The Oven?

You can certainly bake satay in the oven, or pan-fried on a skillet. They will taste delicious.

Can I Pan Fry On Skillet?

Yes, you can. For the best result, use a cast-iron grill pan to pan fry and cook on the stove top.

Can I Freeze Uncooked Chicken Satay?

Yes, you can. Just wrap uncooked and raw skewers with a few sheets of aluminum foil tightly and freeze in the freezer.

Thaw them at room temperature before grilling.

Chicken satay skewers coated with satay sauce.

How Many Calories per Serving?

This recipe serves six people and the calories are 263 per serving.

What to Serve with Chicken Satay Skewers?

They are best served with Peanut sauce, sliced cucumber and cut onions. The cucumber and onion clean the palate between each skewer.

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