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Authentic Thai Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

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Authentic Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce recipe! Juicy, marinated chicken skewers, soaked in a blend of creamy coconut milk and the right kick of spicy goodness. It’s easy, it’s weeknight-friendly, and so delicious. Serve with rice and a refreshing Thai cucumber salad for satay. So simple, so good!

Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce accompanied by a fresh cucumber salad.

Don’t miss out on my moo ping recipe (grilled pork satay) – it’s just as easy and delish! For more authentic grilled chicken, try these deliciously marinated Thai chicken wings.

What is Thai chicken satay

Thai chicken satay, a Thai street food staple, features tender chicken skewered and grilled to perfection. The meat is marinated in a blend of yellow curry powder or paste, coconut milk, and turmeric, turning it into a juicy, flavor-packed snack.

Authentic Thai chicken satay recipe

These skewers are the epitome of authentic Thai food. The smell? Heavenly. The taste? Even better. Just throw them on the smoking hot grill and watch the kids appear faster than you can call them.

Juicy grilled Thai chicken satay skewers stacked on a stone plate, served with a creamy satay sauce, ready to be enjoyed as a meaty appetizer.

Prepping these treats is a breeze. The boneless chicken breasts are marinated in a fragrant mix of herbs and spices, and you can totally make these in advance! Just do the marinating the night before, and you’re set for a treat of easy Thai chicken satay the next day.

They’re totally customizable, too. Want it spicier? Just add some extra yellow curry paste. Milder? Use less! This recipe is all about making authentic Thai food your way.

Grilled Thai chicken satay on skewers, ready to dip in a creamy peanut sauce, served with a side of Thai cucumber salad.

And let’s not forget the best part – the dreamy peanut sauce. It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s so good, you’ll want to pair it with everything. Drizzle it over the hot, grilled skewers or serve it on the side for dipping; either way, it’s a match made in heaven.

If you’re looking for more appetizers, make sure to try tod mun pla (Thai fish cakes) and this Thai shrimp lettuce wraps recipe next!

Satay in Thailand

Originally from Indonesia, satay entered Thailand as beef satay. But as pork is more popular in Thai cuisine, moo ping or grilled pork skewers became our local preference.

While moo ping and chicken butt satay (juicy and rich in flavor) are the street food preference in Thailand, in the West, chicken breast satay is often found in Thai restaurants as a takeout favorite.

Marinated Thai chicken satay skewers with homemade peanut sauce, alongside a fresh cucumber salad.

When you think of Thai satay, chicken breast usually comes to mind. That’s because it’s an adaptation in Thai restaurants in the West, even though it’s a rarity back in Thailand itself!

This Thai cucumber salad for satay is always a popular side.

Thai satay sauce vs peanut sauce

Let’s talk about the real deal: genuine Thai satay sauce versus that oh-so creamy peanut sauce.

Thai satay sauce is a spicy blend of curry paste and coconut milk. It’s a sauce specifically made for chicken skewers.

That creamy peanut sauce we all know? Made with peanut butter and often found in jars, it’s a Western twist on traditional satay sauce.

We don’t use peanut butter in authentic Thai recipes.

So today, we’re keeping it authentic, using only the real Thai ingredients that make satay sauce truly shine.

Make sure to stop by my authentic Thai peanut sauce recipe. For a spicy version, try this Thai spicy peanut sauce recipe.

Why try this recipe

  • Chicken satay are versatile: You can serve these as an appetizer or as a snack, with rice, salads, or other sides.
  • Perfect for meal prep: Marinate in advance and enjoy a delicious meal during busy weekdays. You can even freeze the marinated chicken for later.
  • It’s surprisingly easy: Thai chicken satay skewers are surprisingly easy to make! This recipe is all about keeping things simple and genuine, with easy steps and fantastic results.
  • Fun family activity: Get the little ones involved, skewering and grilling can be a fun activity for everyone!

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Thai chicken satay marinade

Ingredients for Thai chicken satay marinade arrayed on a banana leaf, including coconut milk, water, sugar, turmeric, chicken breast, and aromatic spices.
  • Chicken breast – The tender and lean chicken breast perfectly absorbs the marinade and is then grilled until juicy.
  • Yellow curry paste or powder – Yellow curry paste or powder adds a depth of spiciness to the marinade. It adds an authentic Thai taste to the satay and helps achieve color. Up the amount of curry paste for spicy Thai chicken satay.
  • Flavor seasoning (Rosdee) – Rosdee is a Thai flavor enhancer, often used in Thai cuisine to enhance the overall flavors. It’s available at any Asian grocery store or market.
  • Coconut milk – Adds the creamy, rich texture to the marinade, adding a subtle sweetness and keeping the chicken tender.
  • White sugar – Adds a hint of sweetness to the chicken, one of the key flavors in Thai food.
  • Turmeric powder – Turmeric adds a golden hue to the chicken satay and imparts a subtle earthy note to the delicious marinade. It’s a key ingredient for this Thai chicken satay recipe, don’t skimp on it!
  • Water – A bit of water ensures all the flavors meld together.
  • Salt – A bit of salt for seasoning the chicken just right, and enhancing the flavors.

Peanut sauce

Ingredients for Thai peanut sauce displayed on a banana leaf, showcasing coconut milk, palm sugar, garlic, shallots, roasted peanuts, tamarind sauce, and massaman curry paste.
  • Flavor seasoning (Rosdee) – Rosdee also shines in the peanut sauce, bringing out the best of the flavors.
  • Massaman curry paste – Massaman curry paste is a blend of spices. It adds a complex aromatic flavor and a nuttiness to the peanut sauce.
  • Tamarind sauce – For a tangy and subtle sour element. The sour taste should not be predominant. The exact amount you have to use depends on the brand you will be using. Add slowly and taste-test if you’re not sure.
  • Coconut milk – Coconut milk creates a rich sauce with a velvety texture.
  • Palm sugar – Adds a natural, caramel-like sweetness to the peanut sauce that balances the tang of the tamarind and spice of the curry paste.
  • Roasted peanuts – Crushed roasted peanuts are the heart of the sauce, providing a nutty crunch and flavor.
  • Shallots – Shallots add a mild, sweet flavor. Not substitutable for onions.
  • Garlic – Adds a pungent aroma and depth, enhancing the sauce.
  • Salt – Just a bit of salt for seasoning.
  • Oil – Oil helps to blend all the ingredients smoothly.

How to make Thai chicken satay skewers

Step-by-step preparation of Thai chicken satay: marinated chicken (1), skewered (2), ready to grill (3), and perfectly grilled satay (4).

1. Prepare the marinade: In a large mixing bowl, thoroughy combine yellow curry paste, turmeric, sugar, flavor seasoning, coconut milk, water, and salt. Submerge the chicken fillets, ensuring each piece is coated. Let the chicken marinate for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to deeply infuse the meat.

2. Prep the skewers: 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, immerse your bamboo skewers in water. This is crucial to stop them from burning on the grill.

3. Skewer the chicken: Once the chicken has marinated and the skewers are soaked, thread the chicken onto skewers.

4. Grill the chicken: Fire up the grill or stove top to medium-high heat. You want it hot enough to sear the chicken, but not to burn. Lay the skewers on the grill and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping regularly. The chicken is done when it’s firm to the touch, has an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), and the juices run clear.

Thai peanut sauce instructions

Instructional steps for cooking Thai peanut sauce in a pot.

1. Roast the peanuts and gently crush them with a mortar and pestle.

2. Blend together the garlic and shallots.

3. Place a saucepan over medium heat and add oil. Add the mixed garlic and shallots and cook until fragrant.

4. Add massaman curry paste and cook for approx 2 minutes.

5. Stir in the coconut milk, flavor seasoning, tamarind sauce, palm sugar, and salt. Cook until palm sugar is dissolved, and the mixture comes back to a boil.

6. Add crushed peanuts and continue to cook for a minute or two before removing from heat.

Kitchen tools

  • Small saucepan for cooking the peanut sauce
  • Tongs for flipping the skewers on the grill
  • Brush for applying oil to the grill pan
  • Bamboo skewers or metal skewers
  • Cutting board and chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Grill pan or a grill
  • Whisk or spoon
  • Mixing bowl

Tips and tricks for making Thai satay

  • Keep an eye on the heat: Prevent burning and grill over low-medium heat. A consistent, gentle heat means perfectly cooked satay. Turn them regularly for even cooking.
  • Soak bamboo skewers: Remember to soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before using them to prevent burning.
  • Marinating overnight: The longer your chicken bathes in that coconut marinade, the better the flavor. It’s worth the wait!
  • Make in advance: The peanut sauce or satay sauce can be made in advance to save time on the big day. Just store it in the fridge and reheat when you’re ready.
  • Oil spray grill: Give the grates of your grill a spray with cooking oil to keep your chicken from sticking and tearing apart.

How to serve

Authentic Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce can be served on its own as a snack, as a summer appetizer, or as a main dish with rice. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro or crushed roasted peanuts over the skewers for better presentation.

Optional side dishes

Serve your skewers with one of these popular sides.

How to store and reheat

Transfer any leftover satay skewers to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to three days. You can freeze the marinated chicken for later use.

Store the peanut sauce in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, gently warm it in a small saucepan over low heat, adding a bit of water or coconut milk if the sauce has thickened.n

Reheating instructions:

  • Reheat in your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the satay on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil to prevent drying out. Heat until thoroughly warmed.
  • Reheat in a grilling pan or a grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until warmed through.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use a different type of meat for satay?

Of course! Chicken is popular, but you can also use beef or pork.

How spicy is Thai chicken satay?

This chicken satay has a low amount of spice level. The spice level of Thai chicken satay can vary based on the recipe. Adjust the amount of curry paste to tailor the heat.

What is Thai satay sauce?

Thai satay sauce is a condiment made specifically for satay. Typically made with coconut milk, curry paste, and various spices, this sauce is crafted to complement the flavors of satay skewers.

How is satay pronounced in Thai?

In Thai, ‘satay’ is pronounced more like ‘sah-tay’ with a soft ‘a’ sound. Kind of like ‘SAH-tay’.

What is peanut sauce in Thai?

In Thai, the term for peanut sauce is “น้ำจิ้มถั่ว” (nam jim satay). Nam jim means dipping sauce.

More Thai appetizer recipes you’ll love

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Authentic Thai Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce accompanied by a fresh cucumber salad.
This authentic Thai chicken satay recipe with homemade peanut sauce is great for dinner with rice or on its own as a delicious snack. Authentic Thai cuisine does not use peanut butter in recipes.
Praew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Appetizer, Snack
Serving Size 15 satay

Ingredients

THAI CHICKEN SATAY MARINADE

  • 14 ounces chicken breast sliced into thin chicken fillets
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry paste or yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon flavor seasoning see notes
  • 3.4 fluid ounces coconut milk full fat
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

PEANUT SAUCE

  • 1.75 ounce roasted peanuts
  • 1.75 ounce shallots
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 2.5 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 ounce massaman curry paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon flavor seasoning see notes
  • 5 fluid ounces coconut milk
  • 0.4 fluid ounces tamarind sauce
  • 1.25 ounce palm sugar
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt

Instructions

THAI CHICKEN SATAY SKEWERS

  • In a large mixing bowl, thoroughy combine yellow curry paste, turmeric, sugar, flavor seasoning, coconut milk, water, and salt. Submerge the chicken fillets, ensuring each piece is coated. Let the chicken marinate for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to deeply infuse the meat.
  • 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, immerse your bamboo skewers in water. This is crucial to stop them from burning on the grill.
  • Once the chicken has marinated and the skewers are soaked, thread the chicken onto skewers.
  • Fire up the grill or stove top to medium-high heat. You want it hot enough to sear the chicken, but not to burn. Lay the skewers on the grill and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping regularly. The chicken is done when it’s firm to the touch, has an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), and the juices run clear.

THAI PEANUT SAUCE

  • Roast the peanuts and gently crush them with a mortar and pestle.
  • Blend together the garlic and shallots.
  • Place a saucepan over medium heat and add oil. Add the mixed garlic and shallots and cook until fragrant.
  • Add massaman curry paste and cook for approx 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, flavor seasoning, tamarind sauce, palm sugar, and salt. Cook until palm sugar is dissolved, and the mixture comes back to a boil.
  • Add crushed peanuts and continue to cook for a minute or two before removing from heat.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • This recipe yields about 15 delicious chicken satay with enough peanut sauce for everyone.
  • Flavor seasoning - Rosdee is a Thai flavor enhancer, often used in Thai cuisine to enhance the overall flavors. It's available at any Asian grocery store or market.

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