This is a popular satay that is often sold at night markets around Bali. The distinct flavour and subtle aroma of the marinade is particularly delicious, especially if you let the chicken marinate overnight. Children tend to find anything cooked on a stick appealing and they love the flavour of these. Serve with peanut sauce if you wish, although I prefer without.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (58 votes)


  • 3 long red chillies, seeded 
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 3 cm piece ginger, skin on 
  • 3 candlenuts 
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds 
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, rolled into a bundle, finely shredded 
  • 2 tsp sesame oil 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 tbsp grated palm sugar 
  • sea salt 
  • 750 g chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1 tsp kecap manis 
  • fried shallots, to garnish 
  • lime wedges, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: overnight

Soaking time: 1 hour

Dry roast the chilli, garlic cloves, ginger, candlenuts and coriander seeds in a wok until fragrant and a little charred. Transfer to a large mortar with the lime leaves, oils, palm sugar and some salt and pound to a smooth paste, or blitz in a blender.

Place the chicken, kecap manis and spice paste in a bowl and mix well. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Soak 15-20 bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour.

Thread 3 or 4 chunks of chicken onto each skewer. Grill the skewers over a medium heat for 7 minutes, turning and basting them with any excess marinade as they cook. Served scattered with fried shallots and lime wedges on the side.

Recipe from
Bali: The Food of My Island Home by Janet de Neefe. Published by Plum/Pan Macmillan Australia.