Chicken Satay Recipe

Malaysian Chicken Satay





15 min


20 min


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Malaysian Chicken Satay

Total time is not inclusive of Marination time  (4 hours – overnight) .

Deliciously marinated bbq chicken skewers, these satays are hard to resist!

Check out Peanut Sauce Recipe too.

The Recipe Intro includes step by step pictures and Video FOR Malaysian Chicken Satay . Check it out.

read the recipe introduction 300x81 Malaysian Chicken Satay

chickensatay 300x199 Malaysian Chicken Satay

Malaysian Chicken Satay


  • 600 gms chicken fillet ‏, cut into thin long strips (You can use thigh or breast meat-1½  × 10  × 1 cm)
  • 1 stalk ‏lemon grass - to be used as a basting brush
  • As needed, ‏Oil for basting and grilling (sunflower)

For the Chicken 'Marinade'

  • 8 ‏shallots, peeled
  • 4 large cloves ‏garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ tsp ‏ juicy (young) ginger, peeled
  • 1 ½ tsp ‏galangal , peeled (Also knows as lengkuas, laos or blue ginger. If you can not get galangal, use a little extra ginger as substitute)
  • 1 tsp fresh ‏turmeric (¾ tsp turmeric powder may be used instead)
  • 1 tsp ‏cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp   ‏fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp ‏coriander powder
  • 1 ¼ Tbsp ‏Palm Sugar /Gula Melaka - do not use more as the skewers may become too sweet (May be substituted with brown sugar)
  • ¹⁄8 cup ‏sunflower oil or peanut oil
  • 1 rounded Tbsp ‏tamarind pulp soaked in ¼ cup hot water for 10 minutes
  • To taste - ‏salt

For Serving:

  • As needed, ‏Onions cut into squares
  • As needed, ‏Sliced Cucumber
  • (One Recipe) ‏Satay Peanut Sauce (Sambal Kacang / Bumbu Kacang - pronounced 'Kachaang').Check out my recipe and video.


  • You will need  - ‏small sized bamboo skewers and charcoal for grilling (You can get the smoky aroma at home even without a BBQ - READ ON)


  1. Soak the tamarind in ¼ cup hot water for 10 minutes. Then use a strainer to strain and squeeze out the liquid from the pulp. Use 1  or 1 ½ Tbsp of this strained, thickened liquid tamarind solution for the recipe.
  2. Heat a small pan. ‘Dry roast’ the cumin and fennel seeds, stirring till they emit a nice aroma and start to crackle. Make sure they don’t get burnt.
  3. Wash the strips  of chicken fillet well. Keep drained
  4. Add all the ingredients for the marinade EXCEPT the Tamarind Solution to a small mixer/ blender  or food processor. Don’t forget the oil and salt as well.
  5. Process/ Grind to a smooth paste.
  6. To a large bowl, add the chicken.
  7. Add the tamarind solution to the ground paste and add to the chicken.
  8. Rub well into the chicken to coat completely.
  9. Marinate in a covered container in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible.
  10. Cut off the hard base of the lemon grass stalk and then crush/ bruise the bulb portion using a pestle or back of a knife. This forms the lemon grass stalk into a brush like utensil. We will use this to baste the chicken with oil while grilling. It adds a nice aroma.
  11. Soak the skewers in cool water till time to grill, so that they do not burn or break while grilling.
  12. Prepare the peanut sauce for satay before it’s time to grill.
  13. Thread the chicken strips onto the skewers. Use a twisting and pleating action then scrunch together to secure onto skewer.
  14. Brush with lemongrass dipped in oil and place over hot charcoal. (wait till the coals are white).
  15. Or at home you can get the same charcoal effect  like this: Before threading the marinated chicken, place the chicken in a large bowl with a small steel cup/tumbler placed in the centre of the chicken.
  16. Heat the charco al on a open flame till it’s piping RED Hot.
  17. Immediately place inside the steel tumbler and pour 1 Tbsp of oil over it. As it begins to smoke, quickly cover the bowl and place a weight on top if needed to prevent the smoke from escaping.
  18. Wait for 10 minutes, till the smoke has died down. The chicken is now, nicely smoked. Continue to skewer as above.
  19. In a grill pan, drizzle some oil to coat the pan. Bring to a moderate heat. Grill on 1st side around 1-2 minutes, on a low- medium heat and maintain a sizzle.
  20. Do not disturb , when the bottom is cooked, check to see if it gets released easily with a spatula.
  21. When you have nice grill marks, turn over and repeat on the other side. Baste with the lemongrass brush dipped in oil.
  22. Proceed to grill the remaining two narrow sides as well so that the chicken is cooked through (about a minute per side). Gather the skewers closer together so that they dont fall over. Do not over grill, Just make sure you no longer see ANY white spots on the chicken.
  23. Set aside covered in foil till you are done grilling remaining skewers.
  24. Serve with sliced cucumber, onion and the satay peanut sauce!
  25. Enjoy!

Malaysian Chicken Satay


  • If any of the chicken fillet are too thick, you will want to slice in half , to make them thinner. This helps to cook the skewers more efficiently.
  • Some store bought tamarind pulp has salt added, so add salt accordingly to the marinade
  • If you are using a processor, roughly chop you ingredients to assist the blending process.
  • Fresh turmeric (root), galangal and palm sugar are recommended for this dish, but may be substituted if they are not readily available.
  • Careful not to over grill the chicken skewers, they don’t take too long too cook to the centre, over cooking will cause them to dry out and loose flavor.
  • At home, you can also put the smoked, marinated chicken under a broiler in the oven instead of cooking in a grill pan, make sure to baste and turn the skewers.

Key Ingredients: Chicken, Shallots, Galangal, Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric, Lemongrass, Tamarind, Palm Sugar, Spices, Salt, Oil

read the recipe introduction 300x81 Malaysian Chicken Satay



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