This easy authentic Thai chicken satay recipe is a great summer appetizer to whip up together for a quick and delicious meal. Using fragrant spices and coconut milk to marinate the meat helps bring all the exotic flavors together, making this Thai chicken satay recipe extra delicious!
What Is Thai Chicken Satay?
Thai chicken satay is a popular Thai street food using thinly sliced meat like chicken, pork, or beef grilled on hot charcoal and served with peanut dipping sauce. The meat is marinated in coconut milk, turmeric, and spices and is then threaded through bamboo skewers before grilling. It's a delicious way to cook and eat meat!
Why This Recipe Works
- Grilled chicken satay is a perfect summer food used as a delectable appetizer.
- Satay can be prepared ahead of time for your large gatherings or BBQs.
- It doesn’t take very long to cook! Since the chicken breast is sliced long and thin, it requires very little time to cook.
- This authentic chicken satay recipe is quick and easy to put together; the marinating sauce can be put together in less than 10 minutes.
What Goes Into Making Authentic Thai Chicken Satay
Below are the ingredients you’ll need to make an authentic Thai chicken satay recipe. Not all the ingredients are listed, only a few essential ones that may need a little explanation and find possible substitutes.
- Turmeric. Turmeric is a key ingredient for a satay recipe. It gives the meat the signature yellow/orange color you see in Satay recipes. Use fresh herbs if you can find them, but the turmeric powder is perfectly fine!
- White peppercorn. I used whole white peppercorns and ground them to powder in a spice grinder. But you can use store-bought white pepper powder too. Use ground black pepper as a substitute if you can't find white pepper.
- Coriander powder. Coriander seeds are easily found in the spice section of most Asian markets or your favorite spice shops. The coriander powder is more common and can be found in your local grocers.
- Cumin powder. Cumin powder adds a nice citrusy with an earthy and warm flavor to your recipes. Cumin seeds are fresher and more fragrant; use seeds if possible, but the cumin powder works perfectly well.
- Salt. I recommend using kosher or Himalayan fine grain salt. Using the salt is essential if you make the curry paste in a mortar and pestle. It helps break down the oil of the peppers and makes it easier to crush them into a fine paste.
*Since I cook and test many recipes, I always have my spices in seeds in addition to the smaller container of the powder forms. Find what works best for you.
How To Make Authentic Thai Chicken Satay Recipe
- Cut the chicken into small cubes, around ½ inches thick and 3-4 inches long. Mix all the ingredients, add the chicken and let it sit and marinate for 1-12 hours.
- Soak the bamboo sticks in water for at least 30 minutes before using them to help prevent burning on the grill.
- Thread the meat on the skewers, and save the marinating sauce from brushing on when flipping the meat on the grill.
- Have a grilling set ready on the side. These are must-haves to help with the ease of grilling; tong, grilling brush, a small bowl of oil, paper towels, and a plate for the finished skewers.
- Lightly brush some cooking oil on the meat before placing it on the grill to help prevent the meat from burning and sticking to the grates.
- Cook the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is done. Brush on the marinating sauce before flipping over for extra seasoning. Be careful not to cook too long, or the meat will burn and dry. Serve warm with Thai cucumber salad for satay and the 5-minute authentic Thai satay sauce. Enjoy!
A Few Helpful Kitchen Notes
- Use spraying oil to spray the grates of the grill before turning it on to help the meat not stick to the grates.
- The longer you marinate your chicken in the creamy coconut sauce, the better your satay will taste.
- You can marinate it for up to 12 hours overnight in the refrigerator.
- For an even quicker version, use curry powder instead of all the different spices listed here, and you’ll also have a delicious satay recipe!
- If you don’t have time, here’s my kitchen trick you’ll love. Marinate the meat at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. With kitchen gloves on, massage the meat a couple of times in the sauce to help tenderize and allows the sauce to seep into the meat fiber quicker. Try it!
What does satay mean in Thai?
Satay in Thai refers to how the thinly sliced pieces of meat are cooked on skewers and served with some kind of spicy peanut dipping sauce. The meat is typically pork, chicken, or beef and marinated with coconut milk, turmeric, and spices.
What is chicken satay made of?
There are many ways to make chicken satay. It’s different from chef to chef and culture to culture.
Thai chicken satay uses fragrant spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and white pepper, combined with creamy coconut milk, oil sugar, and fish sauce. My recipes call for something a little extra- sweetened condensed milk. I mean, need I say more? (;
What is peanut sauce called in Thai?
The spicy peanut dipping sauce typically served with chicken satay is called “Nam Jim Satae.” Nam Jim means dipping sauce.
What's the Origin of Chicken Satay?
Satay originated from Indonesia, and it has been modified and adjusted to fit many cultures around Southeast Asia. Satay has been translated from the Malay word, Satai, Sate, and in Thailand and the US now, it’s called “Satay.” Source
More Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Thai cucumber salad for satay
- 5-minute authentic Thai satay sauce.
- Nam Tok beef waterfall salad
- The best crying tiger recipe
- Nam Jim Jaew without sugar
- Easy Thai beef salad recipe
- Thai glass noodles salad with shrimp
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