Malaysian-style chicken satay with peanut sauce

Updated: Apr 26

Most Asian countries have a version of satay, the best usually available on street corners or open air markets in small stalls. Each recipe in its own turn speaks of secret spice mixes and is absolutely delicious.

This recipe is no exception, lightly flavored, juicy and paired with an amazing peanut satay sauce. I have learned that homemade satay sauces, with or without peanuts are so much better than the commercially bottled versions available in supermarkets. I have started making my own a few years ago and have never looked back.

This recipe can be made vegetarian by substituting tofu for chicken. The flavors are still wonderful.

This is wonderful cookbook filled with very approachable recipes that highlights flavors, techniques and dishes from the region. I definitely need to cook from it a lot more!

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.



Ingredients:

For the satay:

1-1 1/2 tablespoons lemongrass paste, available at any grocery store in the herb section, or 1 stem tender lemongrass

3 tablespoons coconut milk

1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon oil

Salt to taste


3 chicken breasts, thigh fillets or chicken tenders, cut into long strips


For the peanut sauce:

1 cup chunky peanut butter

10 dried red chiles, or to taste, I substitute red chile powder, about 1 tablespoon, or to taste

1/2 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger paste

1 tablespoon lemongrass paste

6 tablespoons oil

5 tablespoons tamarind paste

3 tablespoons sugar, I prefer palm sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons kecap manis, sweet soy sauce

1/2 cup coconut milk


To make the peanut sauce:

Add the onions, garlic, ginger and lemongrass to a small blender and puree till smooth. Remove to a small pot and add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cook on medium heat stirring continuously till a thick paste forms and the sauce has lightly fried and has begun to release its oils, about 15 minutes. Be patient, the individual components need to fry and caramelize slowly and the oils need to be released. Cool completely and set aside.


To make the satay:

Add all the ingredients to a small blender and pulse till pureed to a smooth paste. Apply liberally to meat and marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature or longer in the fridge.

Grill the meat on a grill till charred in spots, about 3 minutes a side. Do not overcook the meat or it will dry it out please.

Serve immediately with the peanut sauce.

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