Simple Satay Sauce


Everyone loves satay sauce! My Simple Satay Sauce recipe makes the most delicious satays ever, and it’s so easy to make. Once you try out this recipe, you’ll never go back to eating your boring, ordinary chicken satays ever again. Spice up your boring old chicken kebabs with some simple, fresh and delicious homemade Satay Sauce!


An Easy Satay Dipping Sauce, using simple ingredients and ready in less than 5 minutes! Pour it over chicken or seafood, or beef for Satay right at home!



  • 1 2/3 cup coconut milk (1x 400ml | 14fl oz. tin)
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (all natural preferable)
  • 2 tablespoons Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional – replace with soy sauce if desired)
  • ½ tablespoon Tamarind puree (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (adjust to your tastes)


  • Combine all ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan EXCEPT for the lime juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until combined and thickened (about 5-6 minutes). Once thickened, take off heat and stir in the lime juice (start with 1 tablespoon and adjust accordingly to suit your tastes).
  • Serve over chicken, seafood, or beef!


Nutritional information is calculated using reduced fat coconut milk and ‘light’ peanut butter. Serves 8 (about 1/3 cup per serve.

A Taste of Thai: Easy Peanut Satay Sauce

I love this fragrant and light Thai Peanut Satay Sauce. The recipe is quick and easy to make and great on these Vegan Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps. It can also be used on anything from soba noodles to roasted bok choy or even this recipe for Simply the Best Crispy Tofu. Because it will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, you can whip it up and keep it on hand for a taste of Southeast Asia on the fly.

bowl of satay peanut sauce

What is Satay?

Satay is a famous Southeast Asian street food, made traditionally from char-grilled meat skewers basted in spices and peanut sauce. I am enamored with the spices of Southeast Asia. The recipes combine the brightness of local fresh herbs with the traded spices of India, Persia and the Subcontinent. This combination gives a depth of flavor that speaks to the heritage of many countries and the signature flavors of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

How do I make Peanut Satay Sauce

This recipe is as simple as it gets. Coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, shoyu (or soy sauce), and peanut butter all get whisked together and then brushed on hot food to create a glaze, especially good on char grilled or roasted ingredients. Here’s a little shopping list to help:

Satay Chicken Curry

This Satay Chicken Curry recipe is one of the easiest and tastiest curry recipes on this blog. It’s a Malaysian style creamy chicken curry with well-marinaded chicken thigh, peanut butter and coconut milk. Incredibly delicious!

A white bowl containing Chicken Curry, crushed peanut, white rice and lime wedges.

The best Chicken Satay Curry recipe, made with everyday cupboard-friendly ingredients that anyone can simply make at home. This satay sauce is perfectly balanced with a spicy, sweet, savoury flavour.

I’ve tried lots of curries but this satay curry sauce is one of my favourite creamy curries. Simply serve it with fluffy plain rice or coconut rice. This recipe is easily adaptable and customizable. You can swap chicken thigh with chicken breast or beef.

What is Satay Chicken Curry?

Satay Chicken Curry is a Malaysian style chicken curry with coconut milk and peanut butter. Chicken is first marinated, then grilled, and cooked in curry sauce. It is also known as Peanut butter chicken curry in the UK.

Takeaway style chicken satay curry and stir fry are usually made with chicken breast, onions, bell peppers, curry powder, lemongrass and a ready-made Jimmy satay sauce. But readymade satay sauce is not available in some parts of countries and I’ve got many friends who wish to make this peanut sauce from scratch.

What do we need?

Labelled peanut butter chicken ingredients, displayed on the white table.

The key of satay curry is the sauce! It must be spicy, sweet and savoury taste. To achieve the perfectly balanced curry sauce, you will need chicken and few simple pantry-friendly ingredients.

Chicken – Use boneless skinless chicken thighs as you need to grill it first and then cook in the sauce. Chicken thigh contains more fat content than chicken breast and I prefer to add chicken to this recipe.

You can also try it out with boneless chicken breast, prawns or tender beef. If you use beef, cook more time with low heat until the beef is soft and tender.

For vegetarian options, you can add paneer, firm tofu, potato, sweet potato, or cauliflower instead of chicken.

Peanut Butter – To make the best satay peanut sauce, you will need creamy peanut butter. I usually use pure smooth peanut butter, no added sugar, no salt. It is totally fine to add the crunchy peanut butter if you love a bit of peanut crunch in the curry sauce.

Coconut Milk – Recommend using full fat or creamy coconut milk which has more coconut content percentage for a rich curry taste.

Curry Powder – Add any of your favourite mild or hot Indian-style curry powder. I usually add mild Madras curry powder to this recipe.

Chilli Powder – I usually use hot chilli powder to bring more colour and flavour to the dish. If you want to make it a milder or kid-friendly version, you can use paprika or mild chilli powder.

Lemongrass – Lemongrass is ideal for this Malaysian satay chicken curry marinade and curry sauce, it has a hint of lemon, mint, citrus flavour. To prepare the lemongrass, use the bottom part, remove any dry layers and chop it, or grind it into a finely grated texture.

If you cannot get lemongrass, you can add a teaspoon of lime zest in the curry sauce for a bit of zesty flavour.

Crushed Peanuts – Sprinkle some roasted crushed peanut as a garnish, just before serving.

Lime juice – I do not add lime juice to the curry sauce while cooking. I love to a queeze of fresh lime juice just right before serving.

Chilli and Coriander – Add a handful of chopped coriander and hot red chilli slices just before serving. Adjust the chilli amount according to your taste.

Salt or Soy sauce? I don’t usually add soy sauce or fish sauce to this recipe. Simply season with salt for a perfectly balanced curry flavour.


  • Mariante the chicken with spices and coconut milk.
  • Grill the marinated chicken pieces on the skillet or grill pan.
4 Image collage showing how to prepare satay sauce with coconut and peanut butter.
  • Saute the onions, garlic, lemongrass and follow with the spices.
  • Follow with coconut milk, peanut butter, and season with salt and sugar.
  • Bring it to simmer and add the grilled chicken pieces.
  • Combine the chicken with satay sauce evenly and continue cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve with plain rice and garnish with coriander, lime wedges, roasted crushed peanut.

Cooking Tips

  • Do not overcook the chicken while grilling, as you need to add in the curry sauce. You will need only 2-3 minutes on each side to char the chicken pieces.
  • Important to add coconut milk in the chicken marinade to achieve the subtle aromatic moist chicken satay.
  • To prep-ahead or making for a crowd you can simply double or triple the amount of marinade and satay sauce ingredients. You can cook the satay curry one day ahead keep it cool in the fridge and reheat it until piping hot just before serving. Add a splash of water to prevent the sauce drying out.


What to serve with satay chicken curry?

Simply serve it with basmati rice, jasmine rice, or a choice of plain rice. It also goes well with coconut rice, pulao rice, naan, chapati or flatbread. Add simple sides and salads like Indian-style onion and tomato salad, and lime wedges. You can also pair it with papadom, pakora, samosa, Chilli Chips, or lentil soup and make it a wholesome curry dinner.

What is the difference between Chinese satay curry sauce and Malaysian satay?

Chinese takeaways and restaurants chicken satay stir fry is milder and has less sauce than Malaysian satay curry sauce. Malaysian style satay curry is Chicken is grilled before adding to the sauce but Chinese satay chicken is tenderized with baking soda and added to the stir fry without grilling.

Is this dish healthy?

This curry is 588 kcal per serving and the nutritional data and slightly varied by the number of factors. This dish is rich in protein and contains peanuts in the sauce. If you have any particular nut allergy or dietary concerns, consult with your health adviser.

Mr Lee’s Balinese-style Skewers with Peanut Satay Sauce

Serves 2 as a main (makes 12 skewers)

Total 25min

Cook 25min


These Balinese-inspired noodle and turkey skewers are served with a moreish satay dipping sauce. They make an excellent party snack, but are quick enough to make for a midweek meal, too.



Things on sticks are always a winner and these skewers serve up a world of fragrant South East Asian flavours, all drizzled in the super-savoury nutty satay sauce. And it’s adaptable to lots of other dishes. Great as a simple stir-fry sauce with vegetables and the protein of your choice, or as a marinade or dipping sauce for simple vegetable skewers.


½ tbspvegetable oil
200ml (7fl oz)Mr Lee’s Healthy Peanut Satay Sauce,
For the Healthy Peanut Sauce (makes about 450ml/16fl oz):
400ml (14fl oz)good-quality coconut milk
4 – 5 tbspcrunchy peanut butter (use one with no added sugar)
1 tbsplight soy sauce (or use tamari, for a gluten-free alternative)
½ tbspdried chilli flakes
2 tsphoney (or agave syrup for a vegan alternative)
1 tspready-made fish sauce
1 tbspalmond flour or fine ground almonds
½ tspdark soy sauce (optional, to enrich the sauce)
sea salt, to taste
For the skewers;
20g (¾oz)dried rice vermicelli noodles or mung bean noodles
280-300g (10oz)lean chicken or turkey mince
1 heaped tspfinely chopped lemongrass stalk
2anchovies, finely chopped
1 tspgarlic paste, or 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
½ tspblack pepper
1 tspready-made fish sauce
1 tsplight soy sauce (or use tamari for a gluten-free option)
1 tbspcornflour (corn starch)
½ tbsppeanut butter
½ tspground turmeric
1 tsphoney or agave syrup
½ tsplemon or lime zest
For the salad:
100g (3½oz)cucumber, cut into small dice
100g (3½oz)beetroot, cut into small dice
100g (3½oz)red onion, cut into small dice
To serve
freshly chopped coriander
freshly sliced red chilli

Essential kit

You will need: a large frying pan (skillet) and 12 x 15cm (6in) bamboo skewers.


For the Healthy Peanut Satay Sauce: Put all the ingredients into a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and place over a low–medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer for 3–4 minutes, then take off the heat. Serve warm or let it cool. The sauce will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

Soak the vermicelli noodles in a bowl of boiling water for 1 minute, then drain well. Roughly chop the noodles and place them in a large mixing bowl with all the other skewer ingredients. Using your hands (you can wear food-safe gloves if you like), combine everything together, mixing well. Wet your hands and shape the mixture into 12 small sausage shapes, each around 5cm (2in) long. Thread each one on to a bamboo skewer, to make 12 skewers. Set aside in fridge for 10-15 minutes if you have time.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat. Add the skewers and fry for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 1 minute on one side only. Remove the skewers from the pan and lay on a plate lined with paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Mix together the salad ingredients and place on a large serving platter (or divide between plates). Lay the skewers on top and drizzle the skewers with the peanut satay sauce (warmed through if you prefer). Scatter over a few fresh coriander leaves and some fresh red chilli slices. Serve immediately, with extra satay sauce on the side.

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