• Satay chicken skewers (Smith Street Books)Source: Smith Street Books

Give your chicken skewers a kick with this rich, spicy peanut sauce.






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (53 votes)


  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) chicken thigh fillets, cut evenly into 3 cm (1¼ in) strips
  • bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water
  • iceberg lettuce leaves, to serve
  • cucumber slices, to serve
  • ½ fresh pineapple, cut into chunks


  • lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp finely grated palm sugar
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp peanut oil

Peanut sauce

  • 200 g (7 oz) raw unsalted peanuts
  • 12 dried red chillies, deseeded
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
  • French shallots, finely chopped
  • garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp finely grated palm sugar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) coconut milk 

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

To make the marinade, pound the lemongrass and garlic into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the palm sugar, coriander, cumin, turmeric and oil, and mix well.

Transfer the marinade to a bowl, add the chicken and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To make the sauce, first preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Spread the peanuts on a baking tray and roast for about 5 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden. Set aside to cool, then finely chop. Meanwhile, soak the chillies in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and roughly chop. Place the chilli into a food processor along with the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, coriander, sugar and peanut oil and process until a paste forms. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and add the chilli paste. Cook, stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Add 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of water and bring to the boil, then add the tamarind, kecap manis, peanuts and coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat or until thickened.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium-high and lightly grease with oil.

Thread 3–4 chicken pieces onto each skewer so that the chicken lies fairly flat. Cook on the grill, turning regularly, for 3–4 minutes until slightly charred and cooked through. (Cooking time will be determined by the thickness of the chicken.)

Arrange the lettuce, cucumber, pineapple and skewers onto plates. Serve with a small bowl of sauce for each person.


Recipe from Feed The Man Meat (Smith Street Books).