Chicken Satay and Coconut Peanut Sauce

by Alice Currah on May 1, 2009. Updated August 22, 2010


I love days like today in Seattle.  Blue skies, not to cold, but not to hot.  You can get away with wearing flip flops and ordering an iced latte all within the rules of acceptability for a living here.  Because the weather around here has been so unpredictable I appreciate a nice day like today even more because I know it will not last.  I’m not sure what it is about a beautiful sunny day, but they always command a need in me to grill.  One of my favorite dishes to bbq is chicken satay.  I love the flavors of cardamon, lemongrass, and ginger (to name a few) infusing the meat and transforming the tender grilled chicken into something spectacular.  And if that weren’t enough, the coconut peanut sauce is to die for.  I really do love this recipe because it is as good, if not better than what you would eat at a Thai restaurant.  It can be served as an appetizer or main dish and is a great meal for entertaining.  Serve it with a side of cucumber salad and you’ll be thanking me later.  Yes, it is that good.

Chicken Satay and Coconut Peanut Sauce Recipe

serves 4-6 people

Ingredients for the marinade:

2 lbs of boneless chicken breasts cubed in 1″ pieces

4 tbs. soy sauce ( use Tamari San-J Brand Soy Sauce for Gluten Free)

2 tbs. oil

3 tbs. brown sugar packed

1 tbs. of finely chopped lemongrass (You can purchase this in a tube in the produce section of your grocery store)

1 slice (coin) of peeled ginger – approx. 1 tsp. finely minced

1/2 tsp cardamon powder

1 tbs. of curry powder

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbs. of fresh lime juice (approx. half a lime)

Wood skewers

Ingredients for the coconut peanut sauce:

1 can (13.5 oz) of coconut milk

3 tbs. of peanut butter

4 tbs. of brown sugar, packed,

2 tsp. of massamam curry paste

2 tbs. of fresh lime juice (approx. half a lime)


Directions for the marinade:

Place cubed chicken in a medium bowl.  Combine all the ingredients except for the chicken in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.  Pour the marinade over the cubed chicken and massage the meat with your hands for 1 minute.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinade for at least 3 hours.  After the meat has had time to marinade, thread 6-8  cubes of chicken on a wooden skewer until all the chicken is gone.  Pre-grease (with non stick spray) and pre-heat grill on high heat.


While grill is preheating, heat a medium sauce pan on medium-low heat.  Add coconut milk, brown sugar, massamam curry, lime juice, and peanut butter to the sauce pan and continuously stir until all of the ingredients have completely come together.  Turn off heat and pour sauce into a serving bowl.


The grill should be nice and hot by now.  Grill chicken skewers for 4-5 minutes on front and back side or until fully cooked.  Total cooking time will vary but mine were finished in 9-10 minutes.  Chicken should be tender and not overcooked.  Plate the skewers with the peanut sauce and serve with a side of cucumber salad. Enjoy!


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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Natasha - 5 Star Foodie May 1, 2009 at 7:03 am

A coconut peanut sauce sounds fabulous! I can’t wait to try it! THanks!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction May 1, 2009 at 10:53 am

I love chicken satay with peanut sauce. I need to try to find the tube of lemongrass that you have pictured… I have seen ginger and cilantro at my store – I hope they have lemongrass, too!


jamieofalltrades May 1, 2009 at 11:37 am

Chicken Satay might be one of my favorite foods!


Carrie May 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

This looks really great! I always want to have grilled food whenever it’s nice out, too!


Kelly May 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Those look amazing! I love peanut sauce, and your sauce seems to have all the right flavors. Your picture is just lovely. I wish I could have some right now!


oneshotbeyond May 1, 2009 at 12:41 pm

the sauce looks so creamy and delicious. I love these flavors.


jenn May 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm

This is always the first thing I order when I go out with friends. Yummy chicken satay!!!


Danica May 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm

You always have such amazing pictures and fabulous sounding recipes. Yum to coconut+peanut sauce+chicken!


Lori @ RecipeGirl May 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm

I love this sort of meal… perfect. Coconut Peanut Sauce… I’m afraid I could probably end up drinking the stuff :)

Glad you guys are having some nice weather (finally!)


alice May 2, 2009 at 1:26 am

Thanks everyone. This recipe has been a work in progress for some time and I finally got it down to fabulous. The marinade is killer as well as the sauce.

And Lori, when we eat this at our house its more like.. would you like some chicken with that sauce?


Juliana May 2, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Wow, I just love it…we had Thai food last night for dinner and I loved the peanut sauce…and here you are. Great timing! The pictures look very yummie!


Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. May 3, 2009 at 12:07 am

After so much rain we really learn to appreciate those blue sunny, clear sky, days.
The recipe sound delicious.


sig May 3, 2009 at 1:00 am

I love chicken satays! We haven’t started grilling yet this season, hopefully soon!


Sharon May 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I made this tonight. I used fresh lemongrass (minced) and otherwise followed the recipe pretty closely. I started the marinade mid morning and grilled for an early dinner. This came out great. The marinade had a nice balance of garlic/ginger/lemongrass that none over-powered the other. The peanut sauce I thought would be too sweet, and not enough peanut flavor, and I was happily mistaken. Again, nicely balanced. I have a lot of extra peanut sauce, I’m hoping that freezes well, I’d hate to toss it. My 3 year old was pretty happy with it as well(and he didn’t bother with the peanut sauce at all).


alice May 3, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Hi Sharon,
Thank you for taking the time to follow up on the site and post your review of the recipe. I agree whole heartily with everything you said. It is an interesting recipe because the marinade has many strong ingredients. I’ve been working on this recipe for 6 months tweaking it until I felt I nailed it. And the amounts for each ingredient does not over power each other.. they all just compliment each other in a way that makes it a fabulous marinade. And although I don’t use much peanut butter in the peanut sauce, I found it was perfect. Thanks again for the follow up. Let me know what happens when you freeze the sauce and use it again. We typically just store the peanut sauce in the fridge and use it up within the week. I could drink the stuff straight.


myasiankitchen May 4, 2009 at 2:14 am

wow!! this satay look delicious!!


Marc @ NoRecipes May 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm

That’s a great tip about the lemongrass in a tube. I always end up having to throw out the extra stalks I don’t use. I’ll have to look for that.

Your satay looks wonderful!


Kevin May 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

That chicken satay looks perfectly grilled! What a tasty sounding dipping sauce!


Sharon June 21, 2009 at 11:44 am

Just a follow up, I defrosted the sauce a little more than a month later and poured over some soba noodles and stir fried veggies & shrimp. Very tasty. Kids loved it. I’m back at your blog today as it’s father’s day and my husband wants me to make this again for him :-)


Jan July 18, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe with me. I really appreciate it. I can’t wait to try! Thanks.


Divina September 23, 2009 at 10:00 am

Looks great and yummy.


Yolanda December 30, 2009 at 2:04 am

Hi, Alice! I’ve just met your blog, recommended by the Pioneer Woman and I must say I am amazed. What wonderful and delicious food you cook! Gorgeous, gorgeous!

I’m becoming one of your followers right now!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2010 from Spain!


Yukiko January 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I just finished making/ eating this and it was the best meal I have ever made! I started eating the leftover peanut sauce with a spoon it was so good, but made myself stop so I could have enough to make this meal again in a few days! Thank you so much for this recipe–I’ll be using it over and over!


Sook January 13, 2010 at 2:54 am

Yum! I love anything with coconut milk. This looks scrumptious! Bookmarking the recipe. Thank you!

Reply March 18, 2010 at 3:41 am

Yummy snack for a bbq!
Could you imagine an alternative ingredient for the peanut butter?
Of course the peanut is traditional for satay but …
Thank you for the tasty pictures and the recipe.
Greetings from Germany..


alice March 18, 2010 at 4:06 am

Hi Bobbins Kitchen,
I haven’t tried any different type of sauce. Perhaps ground cashew or macadamia nut would make a nice substitute.


Mike March 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm

This recipe was the bomb, the best food we have had in a long time and we didn’t even have to go out. Thanks so much from the entire Brown clan.


Heather April 8, 2010 at 12:22 am

This recipe was delicious! We didn’t heat up the grill so I used whole boneless/skinless chicken breasts and marinated them and baked them instead – 40 minutes at 350 degrees. The peanut sauce was absolutely perfect. Kudos to Alice!


Jason April 30, 2010 at 8:14 pm

This is my favorite chicken satay recipe. I was in a frenzy a few moments ago trying to rack my brains on where I found it originally. Normally I keep recipes links in my bookmarks, but this one I had stashed in Evernote for some reason, and it’s down right now! Luckily, I was able to read some of the ingredients from the cached thumbnail and throw them into google, and found this page again easily. I just wanted to say thanks, this recipe is definitely worth it!


a-man May 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

Thank you that you helped to search for an alternative for peanuts….
to use ground cashew or macadamia is a briliant idea!

So long!


Richard June 6, 2010 at 9:23 am

I have been looking for a good satay recipe so will give this a try!
For a donation to made to animal rescue in the gulf become a friend @!/pages/Cuisine-Manager/345956646090?ref=ts


Melissa August 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I have to tell you that I think this is the best thing I’ve ever made! I don’t usually follow recipes very carefully but you convinced me to and the flavour of the marinade and sauce is amazing! And I’m not even a fan of Thai food. I also tried it with tofu, which was nice, but the chicken was divine. I’m a convert – I’ve now shared your site with a bunch of friends. Thanks!


Vicky January 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Oh be still my heart!

This recipe looks easy enough to make every week -and I just may do that!! :) Let me explain: I am 6 months pregnant and craving Thai nearly by the hour, but we have moved to Kentucky where they do not seem to have any Thai restaurants at ALL, so I am left wanting. My husband and I had a favorite restaurant we used to frequent before the move, and Chicken Satay with the cucumber salad was our very fave!! Thank you, I will be making this! :)


Sue January 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Love this, and so did everyone else. Thanks!


Phil E. Drifter February 8, 2011 at 7:39 am

Blue skies, not to cold, but not to hot.



Momto4inOR May 1, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe. I have made it at least 5 or 6 times and it is ALWAYS a hit! It is one of those rare dinners where every single member of our family just LOVES it and devours it. It is our go-to asian chicken recipe now. MUCH better than my previous soy/brown sugar based teriyaki recipe. WONDERFUL!


Blessed Mom of 4 March 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Hi Alice,

Came across your blog via Pinterest and I am SO glad I did. I’m been looking for great recipes for Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese & Korean and I must say this will be my GO TO blog for sure! Love your presentation and the simplicity of it all!

I have to ask where can you purchase massamam curry paste? Can you get it a any store or do you have to go to a particular oriental store.

Looking forward to trying your recipes!


andrea March 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

wow! our dinner club theme was asian this month. i made this along with the cucumber salad b/c we love that at pur local thai restuarant. this was soo good! the peanut sauce was amazing! it made a lot. so i’m reheating it tonight with new satay and veggie fried rice! yummy!


Malia August 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm

tried these and OH SWEET JEBUS! these are out of this world. Definitely making this part of my repertoire. Theres delectable and then there is a symphony of balanced flavors that is on an entirely different level. Wish i would’ve used a better coconut milk, tho , i used a cheap-o hispanic save-a-lot version and it was too watery.


Debra Ward June 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm

I made this for my son’s 10th birthday party! It was a hit! (He is developmentally delayed and a resistant eater but he ate this delicious chicken! I was thrilled!) I also made the Asian Cucumber salad. It was also awesome! I used fresh lemon grass from Duvall. It was such a sunny day here in Seattle! Thanks for the recipe and great photographs and directions.


Alicia July 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I was wondering, as I was shopping for the ingredients for this and had a hard time finding massamam curry paste, if you could replace it with another curry paste, such as thai red curry? Or if you know where one could usually find the massamam. Looking forward to trying this out tonight :)


Alicia August 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

This recipe is wonderful! Have now used it half a dozen times and have shared it with many family and friends, who all loved it too. Making some again today! If you have bamboo skewers, I didn’t know this, but just found out that soaking them in water first will keep them from burning once on the grill. Thanks Alice!


Alicia August 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Sorry for the multiple posts, but forgot to add that I have been putting some lime zest in the marinade too, and it’s really nice way to up the lime flavour ;)


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