A good satay should taste delicious even without a sauce. Give the chicken a long marinade and season it well, then grill and serve with Poh’s delicious Nyona peanut sauce.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (51 votes)


  • 1 kg chicken thigh fillets
  • 5 red Asian shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves discarded, green tops reserved, pale parts finely sliced
  • 3-cm piece peeled turmeric, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil, plus 60 ml (¼ cup) extra, for basting
  • 50 small bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 100 ml coconut cream
  • cucumber and red onion, to serve

Poh’s Nyonya peanut sauce

  • 5 red Asian shallots or 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2-cm piece galangal, sliced thinly as possible
  • 10-15 dried red chillies, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 200 ml vegetable oil
  • 60 g (⅓ cup) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 250 g salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 limes, juice

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: 3 hours-overnight

  1. Cut the chicken into small rectangular pieces about 3 cm x 2 cm and place in a large bowl.
    Place the shallots, sliced lemongrass, turmeric, garlic, salt, sugar, soy sauce, coriander and oil in a blender and blitz into a paste. You can add a little water if you like to help the blades catch the mixture. Stir the mixture through the chicken, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
  2. For the peanut sauce, make the rempah by combining the shallots, garlic, galangal, red chillies, lemongrass and the chilli soaking water in a blender and blitzing into a smooth paste.
  3. Combine the oil and rempah in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously until fragrant, reduced and darker in colour. Add 500 ml (2 cups) water, the brown sugar, tamarind, peanuts, salt and lime juice. Bring to the boil, then taste and season further with a little more sugar, tamarind and salt if needed. Set aside.
  4. Thread the chicken onto the soaked skewers to cover no more than the top half of the skewers.
  5. Tie the reserved tops of the lemongrass together with a rubber band or string and bash the cut ends to create a brush. Mix together the coconut cream and the oil for basting.
  6. Preheat a charcoal barbecue or a chargrill pan and cook the skewers, basting with the coconut cream and oil mixture using the lemongrass brush until golden and cooked through. Serve with the peanut sauce, cucumber and red onion.


Join Adam & Poh on a Malaysian-Australian eating adventure in Adam & Poh's Malaysia in Australia.