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Delicious Marinated Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

One of my favorite dishes to order is a marinated chicken satay with peanut sauce. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Dipping chicken satay

This recipe was originally posted on September 14, 2009.

It’s so satisfying to have that flavorful juicy chicken and dredge it through a creamy peanut sauce. I know I’m not alone in this.

This recipe uses half the sauce as a marinade, which means you do half the work and get an additional benefit. 

Chicken satay platter

Do I have to marinate my chicken?

You don’t have to marinate your chicken if you don’t have time or the inclination. When I’m in a hurry, I just skewer my chicken and grill it.

The marinade definitely adds additional flavor that makes this even better, but don’t not make it because you don’t have time to marinate your chicken.

I do lightly salt and pepper my chicken if I don’t marinate it, so make sure you add a little sprinkle if you go this route.

Skewer chicken

What chicken should I use?

In the end, you want strips of chicken about an inch wide, but you don’t have to be exact. Yo can purchase chicken tenderloin, but this often costs far more than other cuts of chicken.

I generally purchase chicken breasts and then cut them “lengthwise” into the appropriate width strips. The importance here is to have an even thickness and width of your strips so they grill evenly.

Check your local store, however, as sometimes they surprise you. Tenderloins were over a dollar cheaper at my store this week – who knew!

I don’t generally use chicken thighs, but you can if you prefer them. Make sure you grill them just a little longer as they don’t cook as quickly.

How do I use skewers?

The key to skewers is to ensure you skewer the chicken straight through the middle of it. You don’t want it at the top of one end and the bottom of another because the chicken won’t cook evenly.

You can use your favorite skewers, whether they’re metal or wooden. I prefer wooden skewers because I find the meat slides off more easily, and I can cut them to be the “right” size, which makes them easier to manage.

If you use wooden skewers, make sure you soak them for at least an hour so they don’t start on fire while you grill. The good news is that the small pieces of chicken means you grill quickly, so wood skewers are a non issue.

If you use wood skewers and want to trim them, I skewer them first on the long skewer. After I skewer everything, I use jewelry cutters or a sharp pair of scissors to trim them.

Do I need to use skewers?

That said, you can absolutely make this marinated chicken satay with peanut sauce without skewers if you don’t have any.

It doesn’t have the traditional look, but that is ok.

The big change is that the chicken satay becomes a fork and knife food instead of a finger food. I like the texture of this better when I don’t use a knife to cut the chicken, but it does work without skewers.

What coconut milk do I use?

When you cook, you generally want to use the coconut milk that comes in cans. This coconut milk often has solids in it unless your house is unusually warm.

You do not want to use coconut milk that you drink in place of cow’s milk. It doesn’t have the same consistency and flavor that you want in your sauce and marinade.

Why do I need to use grated ginger root?

Ginger root is far more flavorful than ginger powder, and it’s really easy to use. Ginger powder loses its potency after six or so months, too.

You can store ginger root in the freezer inside the produce bag you brought it home in. This will last for a year or longer in your freezer.

When you want to use it, use a spoon to scrape off the outside “skin” of the root. Then use your microplane zester to grate it easily.

Trust me, this makes a big difference in pretty much any recipe you make. Bonus? Ginger root is far less expensive than ginger powder, too.

How to make homemade marinated chicken satay with peanut sauce

Use the flat edge of your knife to smash the garlic cloves – being careful to keep the sharp end pointed down and away from your palm. Discard the peel.

Combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan.

Turn the heat to medium, and cook while stirring, just until smooth. You do not want this to boil.

Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

While the sauce cools, slice your chicken into one inch strips. Place them into a zip top bag or container that seals well.

Cut chicken breasts into tenderloins

Pour half the sauce over the chicken, making sure to get the garlic cloves in with the chicken. Seal your container and shake to coat.

Reserve the remaining sauce for dipping.

Marinate the chicken for two to three hours. While the chicken marinates, soak wooden skewers in water for at least an hour.

Thread the chicken onto skewers, and preheat your grill to medium.

Oil the grill, then grill the chicken over medium heat for five minutes per side, turning once. Verify with your meat thermometer that you have fully cooked your chicken.

Serve immediately with the reserved sauce. Enjoy!

Perfect chicken satay with peanut sauce dip

Have you ever made marinated chicken satay with peanut sauce?

Looking for more great Asian inspired recipes?

Dipping chicken satay

Marinated Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

Yield: 18 skewers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinade Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

This simple recipe makes a delicious and juicy chicken with a perfect sauce for a delicious dinner or appetizer.


  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c coconut milk
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 3/4 t fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 lb chicken breasts


  1. Smash garlic cloves with the flat blade of your knife and remove peel.
  2. Soak skewers in water.
  3. Combine peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes in small saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
  5. While sauce cools, cut chicken into 1 inch strips. Place in a container, then cover with half the cooled sauce. Be sure the garlic cloves are with chicken.
  6. Reserve remaining sauce for dipping.
  7. Marinate two to three hours.
  8. Preheat grill to medium heat, then thread onto skewers.
  9. Oil grill, then cook chicken over medium or so for 5 minutes per side, turning once.
  10. Serve immediately with reserved sauce.


  • To make this gluten free, substitute tamari for soy sauce.
  • If you are low on time, skip marinating the chicken and grill it without. Just add a sprinkle of salt and pepper before you grill.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 skewers
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 601mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 40g

This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.

Did you make this recipe?

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Homemade marinated chicken satay

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  1. Michelle says:

    Angela – I don't bother to peel it. When you grate it (I use the microplane zester), the side of peel just kind of stays on the ginger because of the woodiness of it and the ginger part grates. Bummer on the rain… we've had it here now lately, which means probably more headed your way!

  2. Angela says:

    We usually get a nice “Indian summer” here in Sept/Oct. I'm still hoping for October, because I think we've had rain here Every.Single.Day in Sept. Ugh!!!

    The recipe sounds awesome! I do the same freezer trick with ginger but peel it first. Do you bother peeling it? I've never tried not peeling it but it's a pain, so if it works for you without peeling I'll trust ya!!

  3. Michelle says:

    Lisa – It's a great way to ummm celebrate summer. Enjoy!

    Debbie – I shouldn't have said anything about summer. Today, the high was 69 degrees. Bye-bye summer!

    Brenda – It is, and right up your alley, too, I think!

    Kelly – Absolutely. In fact, my husband is currently washing the dishes from dinner as I type. Few things work out perfectly, but this is definitely one of them!

    Unknown Mami – Hey, so glad I can oblige. Any other requests? 🙂

    Adventures in Mother Venture – Hmm, good to know I'm not the only one who relies on string cheese as the emergency backup ration!

    Jerri – Interesting, good and easy — you forgot the easy part!

  4. Jerri says:

    Very interesting. Sounds good!

  5. Adventures in Mother Venture says:

    You should not read this before going to bed (and also when you only have a string cheese stick as an option in your fridge). 🙂

  6. Unknown Mami says:

    Thank you! I've been wanting a recipe for a peanut sauce.

  7. septembermom says:

    That is a win, win arrangement that you have going on in your house! Good for you 🙂 This one looks yummy. Thanks, Michelle!

  8. Brenda says:

    Looks really yummy!

  9. darnold23 says:

    Grilling is good. Summer is good. I love both. Fall is starting to show its head here in the south, but I'm still hanging on by the tips of my fingers to Summer. Thanks for sharing the satay recipe. I would like to invite you to participate in Crock Pot Wednesday at Any kind of slow cooker recipe will work. Come check it out.

  10. Lisa@BlessedwithGrace says:

    Sounds tasty! Happy TMTT.

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