mains/meat/recipes/sauce

Authentic Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe and a No Peanut Peanut Sauce

Posted June 24, 2019 by Stephanie

All summer long, when I was a kid, I simultaneously looked forward to and dreaded my mom’s barbecues. They were epic: loads of people, and all the food you could ever possibly want to eat. My favorite thing, and everyone else’s too, it seemed, was the chicken satay. Bright yellow, glistening, charred juicy skewers of chicken, just begging to be dipped into creamy, nutty sauce.

The reason I both loved and feared the barbecues was because I would be the one, in the days before the party, skewering hundreds, no, thousands of skewers of chicken. Okay, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. But, seriously, it was in the hundreds for sure. My hands would get stained yellow and I would have this uncontrollable urge to constantly smelling my fingers because they smelled cumin – i hated it! It was sad but it was also worth it because food?

An authentic malaysian chicken satay recipe: gorgeously grilled chicken satay skewers are perfect with a sweet-and-tangy no peanut peanut sauce. #chicken #chickenrecipes #recipes #satay #kebabs #thaifood #malaysianfood

An authentic malaysian chicken satay recipe: gorgeously grilled chicken satay skewers are perfect with a sweet-and-tangy no peanut peanut sauce. #chicken #chickenrecipes #recipes #satay #kebabs #thaifood #malaysianfood

An authentic malaysian chicken satay recipe: gorgeously grilled chicken satay skewers are perfect with a sweet-and-tangy no peanut peanut sauce. #chicken #chickenrecipes #recipes #satay #kebabs #thaifood #malaysianfood

Anyway, thankfully I don’t live at home anymore so I’m not tasked with skewering all of the chicken. I still skewer satay, but on a much more smaller scale, just for me and Mike. I always use gloves too – my hands stay un-yellow and I don’t have to smell like cumin for the rest of the day. Win-win. Also win is eating these gorgeously charred, juicy sticks of chicken. I feel like I could eat 20 sticks, just by myself. Just give me a vat of no-peanut peanut sauce, ALL the satay, and maybe a roti or two and I’m the happiest you’ve ever seen.

Speaking of the no-peanut peanut sauce, it’s just a little variation I came up with because Mike is allergic to peanuts. I love it so much that between the two, I wouldn’t go for peanut sauce even if it was there. The roasted cashews add a deep creamy nuttiness, the Thai red curry paste adds just the right amount of kick, and the coconut milk brings everything together. I feel like I could just use a spoon and eat it, it’s that good.

Anyway, hope you’re barbecuing out there. And hope chicken satay is on the menu!

chicken satays and roti,
xoxo steph

An authentic malaysian chicken satay recipe: gorgeously grilled chicken satay skewers are perfect with a sweet-and-tangy no peanut peanut sauce. #chicken #chickenrecipes #recipes #satay #kebabs #thaifood #malaysianfood

An authentic malaysian chicken satay recipe: gorgeously grilled chicken satay skewers are perfect with a sweet-and-tangy no peanut peanut sauce. #chicken #chickenrecipes #recipes #satay #kebabs #thaifood #malaysianfood

Authentic Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe
serves 2-4


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white parts only, finely minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

To serve:

  • no peanut peanut sauce
  • red onions
  • cucumbers

Soak a bunch of wooden skewers in water so they don’t burn when you’re grilling.

Mix together the cut up chicken with all of the others ingredients and marinate for minimum 1 hour. If you can, marinate overnight. After the chicken has finished marinating, skewer on to wooden skewers.

Cook on the grill over medium heat, turning as needed, until the chicken is cooked through and slightly charred.

Enjoy immediately with the no-peanut peanut sauce, red onions, and cucumbers.

No Peanut Peanut Sauce
makes about 1 cup sauce


  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • lime juice, to taste

Combine the coconut milk, cashews, brown sugar, and Thai red curry paste in a food processor and pulse until the cashews are chopped and everything comes together in a chunky sauce. Taste and season with lime juice.

5 Comments

  1. Kristi says:

    Thank you for this! I’m always looking for a no peanut peanut sauce because I am unfortunately allergic…

  2. Rachel says:

    Thank you! I hate peanuts but always feel like I’m missing out with satay – can’t wait to try this!

  3. Anna says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Especially the no peanut peanut sauce! I’m allergic to peanuts too so I’m super stoked for this yummy sounding alternative. Side question: is that a mini grill you can use inside your house? I don’t have a yard or patio so no BBQ equipment and would love to get a mini grill of sorts if that’s what’s in the photos!

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi anna,
      yes it’s a mini grill! we plug it in and use it outdoors. i’m not sure if you can use it indoors, but here’s a link to a similar one. we love it so much :)

  4. William says:

    I made this last Sunday for my guests and it turned out perfect! My family and friends were impressed and started eating them even before I had the chance to serve them out! This was BOMB and I had so many requests for the recipe. Thank you, Stephanie, for posting this wonderful recipe!

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