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5 from 9 votes

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

An easy chicken satay recipe marinated in coconut cream, curry powder, and spices and grilled over an open flame and brushed with a light coconut cream glaze.  Served with a simple and easy to make peanut sauce!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 28 skewers
Calories: 111kcal
Author: Joyce Lee


  • 2 lbs chicken (approx. 4 chicken breast, see notes)


  • 6 tablespoons lemongrass (approx. 1½ stalks)
  • 3 cloves garlic (approx. 1 ½ tablespoons)
  • ½ small onion (or 2 shallots, approx. 3-4 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (full fat)
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric (for color)

Coconut Cream Glaze

Quick Peanut Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
  • ¼ cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (the kind where the oil and the peanut butter separate. No preservatives, just peanuts)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream (full fat)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (or fish sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or lime juice)
  • 3 tablespoons water (add as much or as little as you like, until you get the consistency you like)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
  • crushed peanuts (optional, as a garnish, or for a crunchy sauce with texture)


Preparing and Marinating the Chicken

  • Peel away the first layer of the lemongrass and cut off approximately 2 inches of the top dry ends and discard them. Use a rolling pin or the back of your knife and smash the lemongrass to release the oils and finely chop it and place it in a food processor.
  • Roughly chop the garlic and onions and place them in the food processor.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients under 'Marinade' into the food processor and blitz it. Place the marinade in a large bowl.
  • Slice the chicken breast, against the grain into ¼ inch slices. (See blog post for examples of how to do this) Add the chicken slices to the marinade.
  • Mix the marinade and the chicken together so that each piece is well coated. I find it easiest to use hands for this step.
  • If you are using bamboo or wooden skewers, soak the back ends of the stick in a cup of water, so it doesn't burn on the grill. You don't need to worry about soaking the front ends since it will be covered with chicken.
  • Skewer 2 slices of chicken breast per stick. Flatten it out so that it is thin and cooks quickly on the grill. Place the skewered chicken on a plate or bowl and refrigerate it for 4 hours (overnight preferably).

Making the Coconut Glaze

  • In a small bowl, mix together the coconut cream, honey, and soy sauce and place it in the fridge.

Grilling the Chicken Satay

  • Take the chicken and coconut glaze out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before you are ready to grill it.
  • Set the grill to medium-high heat and give the grill a few minutes to heat up.
  • Once the grill is hot, rub or spray some cooking oil on the grill and place the chicken satay skewers on the grill and grill them for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, 6-8 minutes in total.
  • [Dark Meat Instructions] if you are using dark meat instead of chicken breast, cook it for an additional 5-7 minutes since they will be cut into chunks so it will take longer to cook. Glaze the chicken the same way with the instructions below.
  • Brush on the coconut cream glaze and flip them every minute for 5-7 minutes until you get a bit of char. The chicken satay should have cooked for 11-15 minutes in total.
  • [Alternative to Grilling] If you don't have a grill, you can also make this indoor by cooking it on a cast-iron frying pan on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side for a total of 6-8 minutes. Glaze and flip them every minute for an additional 5-7 minutes afterwards.

How to Make the Peanut Sauce

  • In a bowl, mix the peanut butter and red curry paste together until they are smooth and well combined.
  • Add in the coconut cream, honey, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and mix well.
  • Depending on how thick or thin you like your peanut sauce, mix water into it - 1 tablespoon at a time and do a taste test when you are done. Don't add too much water, or else it will water down the flavor too much. My happy medium for the peanut sauce is 3 tablespoons.
  • [Optional] Add chili oil for some extra spice and flavor. My favorite chili oil to use is Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp. Drizzle right before serving.
  • [Optional] Toast some pre-shelled peanuts (without skin) on a frying pan and let it cool before crushing it with the bottom of a pan or roll it with a rolling pin on a cutting board. Sprinkle on top right before serving.


  • For a juicier chicken satay, you can use dark meat such as boneless thigh or drums instead of chicken breast.
  • Try to find coconut cream that has no preservatives. I personally find that coconut cream that contains preservatives has less of a coconut flavor. If you can't find coconut cream, you can use full-fat coconut milk. I like to shake the can to find the thickest ones.
  • For the peanut sauce, use the natural unsweetened peanut butter where the oil and peanut butter separate. It should only contain peanuts (or peanuts and salt), no preservatives.
  • Be careful when working with turmeric, it may stain your hands and clothes.
  • If you have lots of leftover marinade, after cooking the chicken, you can cook it down and make a homemade yellow curry paste by cooking the marinade in a frying pan on medium heat with a bit of oil for 10-15 mins until it is thick. Store for up to 1 week in the fridge. You can add stock to it and make a curry or use it for stir-fries and noodles with a bit of water to thin it out.


Serving: 1Skewer | Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg