I’ve used this chicken satay recipe in my restaurant and market stalls since the early days when I was known as a satay specialist.

If possible cook the chicken satay skewers on a charcoal barbecue, it makes a huge difference to the flavour.

Serves 4-6


Chicken Satay

1 kg chicken thigh fillets
1 1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp ground fennel seed
1 1⁄2 tsp coriander powder
1 medium onion, pureed
2 1⁄2 Tbsp minced lemongrass
1 1⁄2 Tbsp minced garlic
2⁄3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt

Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 1⁄2 Tbsp minced lemongrass
2 1⁄2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp salt
3 cups water
1 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
scant 1⁄2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1⁄2 cup pureed onion, fried in 2 Tbsp oil until brown


To prepare Peanut Sauce, simmer all ingredients except onion over low heat for 20 minutes until just beginning to thicken. Add fried onion, continue to simmer a further 5 minutes and adjust seasoning if necessary. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Cut each chicken thigh fillet into approximately 12 strips. Combine chicken with remaining ingredients and refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour.

Thread 3 or 4 pieces of chicken onto each bamboo skewer, ensuring there are no gaps.

Sear over an open flame, under a griller or on a very hot grill pan until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with peanut sauce.

Notes: Soak a bamboo skewers in cold water for 30 minutes before using.

Prep time: 25min Cook time: 10min