Thai Chicken Satay Recipe


Thai Chicken Satay Recipe is loved worldwide. Its taste is so special! This recipe is going to share about how to cook Thai Chicken Satay in the easiest way with detail steps and pictures. So, you’ve decided to start eating healthier, but don’t know where to begin. You’ve also decided to take a foreign cuisine class, but are too intimidated to try and make something on your own. Well, Thai Chicken Satay is the recipe for you.


Chicken Satay is a traditional Thai appetizer made with chicken breast or thigh, that is marinated in coconut milk, and curry powder threaded onto bamboo skewers, then grilled to perfection and served with a flavorful Thai peanut dipping sauce.

ingredients for chicken satay


Chicken skewers

Listed below are helpful kitchen notes on a few key ingredients for the chicken satay below. The complete ingredient list is in the recipe card at the end of post.

  • chicken or tofu – chicken breast keeps this nice and light, but thighs work too (or sub tofu, for a plant-based option, see recipe notes)
  • coconut milk – use full fat for the best flavor
  • yellow curry powder – Use store-bought or make your own homemade yellow curry powder
  • ground turmeric – Turmeric is what gives satay its iconic natural yellow color and the earthy and slightly peppery taste. If you have access to fresh turmeric, use it but will need to use about 1/2 tablespoon extra for the recipe.
  • sugar- use palm sugar, or brown sugar, honey or agave for your sweetener.
  • salt –  or use Fish sauce  as a substitute which adds more umami flavor to your satay. Just need to add a little extra (1/2 teaspoon) if using fish sauce.
  • soy sauce – I prefer this mushroom soy sauce or substitute GF liquid amino acid.
  • peanut oil – or sub olive oil or oil of your choice
  • skewers – bamboo skewers are traditional or use metal skewers
  • garnishing options – crushed roasted peanuts, limes, and cilantro

Peanut Dipping sauce

  • peanut butter -smooth, or chunky. Use natural peanut butter  if possible. 
  •  red curry paste -homemade or storebought
  •  coconut milk -full fat is best
  • sugar, or brown sugar, honey or agave
  • vinegar – white, rice, apple cider or lime juice works great for this recipe.
  • fish sauce – depending on your brand, some are saltier than others.  Start small and adjust at the end.


Step one: Soak Skewers

Soak the wooden skewers for 30-60 mins. You can use metal skewers, too, if you have those.

soaking the skewersStep two: Make the Marinade.

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a shallow pan. Whisk together until all the ingredients are well blended.

making the marinadeStep three: Marinate chicken or tofu

Add the chicken to the marinade, and make sure both sides are covered with the sauce.

Cover the meat, marinating in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

The longer you marinate, the more flavorful the chicken and tofu.

chicken marinating Step four: Make the Satay Dipping Sauce 

Make the peanut dipping sauce by adding all the ingredients together in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Whisk the sauce often to mix all the ingredients. Once the sauce thickens, remove it from the pan into a serving bowl, and serve at room temp- and let’s get the chicken on the grill!

Ingredients in the peanut dipping sauceStep five: Skewer and grill. 

Preheat the grill to medium-high and spray the grates with spray oil. Thread all the chicken on the skewers.

Don’t throw away the leftover sauce! We will use it to baste the skewers while grilling. This good stuff will help season your chicken satay even more!

chicken skwers grilling on the grill

Grill the chicken satay on medium-high heat at 3-4 minutes per side.

Generously brush the leftover sauce on each side when you flip the chicken.

(If using chicken thigh, lower heat to low to cook all the way through.)

Keep a close eye to avoid burning or overcooking the chicken as the pieces are smaller and can burn quicker, especially in the last few minutes.

This recipe for Chicken Satay is bursting with authentic Thai flavor! Chicken (or tofu) is bathed in a fragrant marinade of coconut milk and Thai spices, then grilled to perfection and served with a flavorful peanut dipping sauce.  Vegan-adaptable!Step seven: Serve!

Place the skewers on a platter and serve with the peanut dipping sauce. Sprinkle with crushed roasted peanuts and cilantro for garnish and serve with our Asian Cucumber Salad.


  • Be careful not to overcook the chicken skewers. The pieces are thinner, and the hot flame can easily burn them. Set a timer to help remind yourself to check on the chicken.
  • To prevent sticking, make sure to grease the grill well.  If your skewers are cooking too fast,  lower the heat,  and use a very thin metal spatula to help ease the meat from sticking to the grates.
  • I love the flavor of Mushroom Soy Sauce, but you can use any soy sauce at home. Adjust the saltiness of your marinating sauce before adding the raw chicken.


Yes!  Chicken satay can be made vegan. Substitute high protein tofu ( very grillable!) or extra firm tofu for the chicken and leave out the fish sauce, subbing more salt or soy sauce to taste.


  • Use tamari, fish sauce or coconut amino if you want a gluten-free version. Taste and play around with the marinating sauce before adding the chicken to check that you love the sauce.
  • Instead of chicken or tofu, try beef, shrimp,  tempeh, or vegetables if you want different protein and vegetable options variations.
  • The best vegetables for satay are; bell peppers, zucchini, onion, mushroom, and tomatoes. Thread them like a kabob but marinate them only for 30-60 minutes.
This recipe for Chicken Satay is bursting with authentic Thai flavor! Chicken (or tofu) is bathed in a fragrant marinade of coconut milk and Thai spices, then grilled to perfection and served with a flavorful peanut dipping sauce.  Vegan-adaptable!

I hope you enjoy this Chicken Satay recipe! I love sharing tasty Thai food and bringing a little bit of my Thai culture to your kitchen. I hope this recipe brings great delight to your heart and home. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thai Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce

thai chicken satePRINT

Thai Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce – Thai chicken sate with peanut sauce. Make these at home with this easy recipe-much cheaper, delicious, and you can have as many sticks as you want!

PREP TIME30 minutes

COOK TIME20 minutes

TOTAL TIME50 minutes


  • 2 pounds (1 kg) skinless and boneless chicken breast, sliced 1 inch wide x 4-5 inches length
  • 20 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced


  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2.5 teaspoons sweet soy sauce
  • 2.5 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Masaman curry paste
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon masaman curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind juice
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts


  1. Slice the chicken breast across grain with at least 1 inch wide each piece. Mix in the Marinade and make sure all pieces are well coated. Marinate the meat for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the peanut sauce by adding all the Peanut Sauce ingredients in a 2 quart sauce pan. Mix well and cook on medium heat. Stir the sauce while cooking. Turn off the heat when the sauce is slightly thickened. It takes about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator. Insert the wooden skewers through the meat lengthwise. Grill the Sate for 4 minutes on each side or until desired tenderness. 
  4. Serve with Peanut Sauce and some sliced cucumber.


You can find Masaman curry paste in a pack at any Asian Grocery Stores.

Traditional Thai Chicken Satay

Delicious chicken satay is one of the most well-known and most-loved of Asian street foods. My traditional Thai version will transport you from the very first bite, and is perfect served as an appetiser or as part of a sharing platter when entertaining. While 10 minutes of marinating is absolutely fine, leaving the meat overnight cranks up the flavour, so do plan ahead if you can!



15 minutes + 30 minutes soaking


30 minutes


Makes about 20


500g (1 lb) chicken thigh fillets, cut into roughly 4cm cubes

20 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes


1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Thai cucumber relish (Ajat):

½ cup white sugar

½ cup white vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

½ small cucumber, sliced into rounds and then quarter the rounds

1 small Asian red shallot, sliced

1 long red chillies, sliced

Satay sauce:

¼ cup roasted peanuts

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1½ tbsp Thai red curry paste

1 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

1 tsp fish sauce

2 tsp white sugar


Step 1

Place the chicken in a large bowl add the curry powder, salt and oil. Mix until well combined. Thread the chicken onto bamboo skewers. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes or overnight if you have the time.

Step 2

To make the cucumber relish, heat the sugar, vinegar and salt in a saucepan over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. Place the cucumber, shallot and chill in a small bowl. Pour over the cooled vinegar mixture.

Step 3

For the satay sauce, use a mortar and pestle or food processor to grind the roasted peanuts to a fine consistency. Set aside.

Step 4

Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, roasted peanuts, peanut butter, fish sauce and sugar. Cook for a further minute. Then remove from heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more fish sauce and/or sugar. And keep warm or reheat when ready to serve.

Step 5

Heat a barbecue grill plate or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken skewers for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Serve warm with the warm satay sauce and the Thai cucumber relish.


Chicken Satay is juicy, tangy, and absolutely divine. Marinated and then grilled to perfection serve these with a savory peanut sauce that is positively addicting.

Grilled Chicken satay with peanut sauce on a plate.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay is a national dish of Indonesia. A popular Southeast Asian street food that involves marinated meat that is skewered, grilled and served with a saucy dip. Satay can be served using a variety of meats but today we are using chicken. The combination of spices and coconut milk creates a marinade that leaves the chicken exploding with flavor in every bite. The ease of making this dish is going to have you making it on a regular basis. The intense taste will keep your family asking for more.

Serving the chicken satay with peanut sauce is a must. It is the ultimate companion for these with its spicy, peanutty, and creamy taste and texture. Your whole family is going to love them. Typically served as an appetizer, these can easily be turned into a main dish by adding rice, cucumber salad, or noodles.

What You Need For Savory Chicken Satay

Spices come together to create a chicken that bursts with flavor. This chicken satay is quick and simple to make. It makes for the perfect appetizer or light dinner. Find all ingredient measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Chicken thighs: Use boneless, skinless thighs to make it easier to cut.
  • Coconut milk: Find Coconut milk in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store. It’s usually in a can.
  • Soy sauce: You can use low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Brown sugar: LIght or dark brown sugar work here, giving it flavor.
  • Minced ginger: Adds heat with a warm spicy note.
  • Garlic cloves: I chopped the garlic but you can also mince it.
  • Tumeric: Adds an earthy, punchy flavor that is traditonal of satay.
  • Curry powder: a mixture of spices that can be bought in mild, medium or hot strengths.
  • Juice of one lime: Gives the marinade some zing.
  • Salt and Pepper: Add more or less to taste.
  • Peanuts chopped: Gives it a bit of a crunch and adds a nice flavor.
  • Chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish: Optional but I highly recommend.
  • Peanut Sauce: An out of the this world sauce that is traditionally served with Chicken Satay.

How to Make Grilled Chicken Satay

Simple and easy, this is going to become a family favorite recipe! Chicken satay is placed on skewers and makes the most tender chicken pieces.

  1. Chicken: Cut the chicken thighs into pieces and set aside.
  2. Making the Marinade: In a medium sized bowl whisk together the coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, turmeric, curry powder, juice of one lime and salt and pepper. Stir in the peanuts.
  3. Marinate Chicken: Add the chicken pieces and marinate 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Skewer: Thread the chicken onto the skewers and grill 8-10 minutes turning once until the chicken reaches 165 degrees and is no longer pink. Garnish with chopped cilantro and peanuts if desired.
  5. Enjoy: Serve with peanut sauce.
Mixing the marinade, letting the chicken marinate and skewering them.

Thai Chicken Satay Tips

We love these grilled chicken satay with a nice char on them, they are so good! Choose your chicken, marinate and add to skewers! It is that simple with these tips.

  • Chicken: Chicken thighs are a moist tender cut of chicken that cooks easier without drying out as fast. Chicken breasts can also be used with good success. You can leave the chicken in long strips if you desire but the bite sized chunks are easier to eat.
  • Marinate: The longer you can marinate the chicken the better, but don’t marinte it for too long or it will break down the proteins. Stick to between 6-24 hours for maxium flavor. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking so that the chicken comes to room temperature. It will help the chicken cook more evenly.
  • Skewers: If you are using wooden skewers be sure to soak them for at least an hour before threading the chicken. You can even soak them overnight if you desire.
  • Different Meat: Use this recipe for beef, pork, or shrimp. Check the grilling times however as they will be different from the chicken.
  • How you know your chicken is done: When the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 degress you can remove it from the grill ( the internal temperature will continue to rise as it rests) and let it rest, allowing the juices to redistribute in the meat. Loosely cover with foil while it rests for about 5 minutes.
Chicken on skewers grilled with chopped peanuts for garnish.

Cooking Variations for Chicken

Grilling isn’t the only way to cook your chicken! Thai chicken satay can be cooking in the oven or stovetop too.

  • Stove Top: Using a cast iron grill pan or just a cast iron skillet work the best for giving it a good crust on the outside. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and heat over medium high heat. Place the chicken in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per a side or till the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • Oven: This a great way to cook the chicken without having to babysit it. Preheat the oven to 350 degress. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and lightly spray. Space out the chicken on the baking sheet so there is ample space between them so it doesn’t steam them. Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the internal temp is 165 degrees.
  • Add: You can add pineapple, peppers, onions or zucchini to the skewers if you desire.

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