Satay skewers: the benchmark of authentic Thai food! Think deeply marinated chicken with a peanut sauce that’s so good, everyone will be begging for the recipe. Serve this with steamed jasmine or Coconut Rice. Or go all out with a Thai restaurant banquet complete with Thai Fried Rice , Pad See Ew or Thai Chilli Basil Stir Fry!
This is a reader-favourite recipe included by popular demand in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!
Thai Chicken Satay skewers
At the risk of sounding totally obnoxious – this is a recipe for Chicken Satay skewers with Thai Peanut Sauce that truly stacks up to your favourite Thai restaurant.
When it hits the stove, the smell is SO GOOD you will just know they are going to taste amazing.
Then you have a taste of the peanut dipping sauce…… and you’ll just shake your head, wondering how the heck can something so simple taste so good??!!
Or you might be thinking – OMG, I finally cracked it, this tastes EXACTLY like the authentic Chicken Satay I had in Thailand!!! Oh wait, maybe that’s just in my head. 😂
What goes in Chicken Satay and Thai Peanut Sauce
It might surprise you how few ingredients go in Chicken Satay and the peanut sauce! Here’s what you need:
The BEST Thai Red Curry Paste
Thai Red Curry paste is a “secret ingredient” in both the marinade and the sauce. You just need about 2.5 tbsp which doesn’t sound like much, but we don’t want this to taste of red curry. We’re just using it as a flavour enhancer.
It also happens to be the cheapest, at around $1.30 per can at major supermarkets like Coles, Woolies and Harris Farms.
How to make Thai Peanut Sauce
Thai Peanut Sauce is almost unbelievably simple to make. It’s literally just a 5 minute plonk-and-simmer job:
red curry paste
cider or white vinegar (not lime juice!)
pure peanut butter (see below for more info)
sugar and salt
For the BEST Thai Peanut Sauce, use natural peanut butter
While commercial peanut butter spread is ok, if you want a really great authentic Thai Peanut Sauce that truly stacks up to your favourite Thai restaurant, use pure peanut butter. You’ll find it in the health food section of most supermarket nowadays.
Pure peanut butter is made with JUST peanuts – no sugar, oil or other additives – so the peanut flavour is stronger.
Also, natural peanut butter is thinner than commercial peanut butter spreads (see below) which means you need less water to thin the sauce = better peanut flavour in Thai Peanut Sauce!
Ahead of publishing this recipe, I tried the Thai Peanut Sauce with natural pure peanut butter vs commercial peanut butter (Kraft, now Bega) side by side to confirm this!
I’m a firm believer that Chicken Satay skewers should be tasty enough to eat on their own and the peanut sauce just takes it over the top. So I like to marinade the chicken to make it extra tasty.
Chicken Satay Marinade
Here’s what you need for the Thai Chicken Satay Marinade:
Chicken pieces – chicken thighs yield the juiciest chicken skewers but breast or tenderloin are fine
Red curry paste – see above for my recommended brand Maesri
Curry powder – any is fine here
Salt and sugar
It’s best to marinade for at least 3 hours but even 20 minutes is long enough.
Cooking the Chicken Skewers
Chicken satay is a summertime favourite to cook on the BBQ. But I usually cook it on the stove for convenience.
For a really authentic Thai experience, cook the Chicken Satay over charcoal like it’s done in Thailand!
Thai Chicken Satay is a popular starter on Thai restaurants menus along with Thai Fish Cakes. But it’s also ideal served as a main. Serve it with steamed jasmine rice – or with fluffy Asian Coconut Rice (it’s amazing!). Or go all out with Thai Fried Rice or Pineapple Fried Rice!
If you want to go all out with a homemade Thai Banquet, serve this Chicken Satay as the starter with Thai Chilli Basil Stir Fry, a curry (Massaman Curry, Green Curry or Red Curry) with Coconut Rice as the mains. Or Pad See Ew! ~ Nagi x
Recipe source: An original creation but the roots of this recipe are from various Thai cookbooks and renowned Thai food experts like David Thompson and Sujet Saenkham (owner of the famous Spice I Am restaurants). Except I’ve made this recipe so it’s accessible to everyday cooks – without compromising! 🙂
Watch how to make it
This recipe features in my debut cookbook Dinner. The book is mostly new recipes, but this is a reader favourite included by popular demand!
Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
- 400 g/14oz coconut milk (1 can), full fat
- 13-16 bamboo skewers , 16cm / 6.5″ long (Note 1)
- 600 g / 1.2lb chicken thighs , boneless skinless, cut into 2cm/4/5″ pieces (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp curry powder (Note 3)
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsp red curry paste (Note 4)
- 1 tsp salt
Thai Peanut Sauce:
- 2 tbsp red curry paste (Note 4)
- 3/4 cup (180g) natural peanut butter, smooth (Note 5)
- 1/4 cup (50g) white sugar
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce (Note 6)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar (Note 7)
- 3/4 cup (185ml) water
- 2 tbsp peanuts finely chopped
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Coriander / cilantro leaves and sliced red chilli (optional)
- If cooking on a BBQ or over charcoal, soak skewers for 2 hours in water.
Thai Chicken Satay Skewers:
- Mix together the chicken and Marinade with 1/4 cup of coconut milk, then set aside for at least 20 minutes, or overnight.
- Thread onto skewers – I do 4 to 5 pieces each.
- Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a large non stick pan over medium high heat.
- Cook skewers in batches for 3 minutes on each side until golden.
Thai Peanut Sauce:
- Place remaining coconut milk and Peanut Sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat.
- Stir to combine then simmer, stirring every now and then, for 5 minutes.
- Adjust consistency with water – it should be a pourable but thickish sauce.
- Cover with lid and keep warm while cooking skewers.
- Sauce for for rice, noodles, veggies (raw or steamed)
- Make a simple Gado Gado with steam veg, hard boiled eggs and rice
- Dip for prawn crackers and vegetables
- As the dressing for this Chinese Chicken Salad, Satay Noodle Salad, Peanut Noodle Salad or Sesame Noodles
Life of Dozer
He thought I said PELICAN satay……