Chicken Satay – A Thai Classic

A platter of grilled Thai Chicken Satay beside a bowl of rice and satay dipping sauce.

Get out your grilling sticks because you’re going to want to try this great recipe for a Classic Thai street food…Thai Chicken Satay.

Give that Chicken Satay a Good Marinade

A platter of grilled Thai Chicken Satay beside a bowl of rice and satay dipping sauce.

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Chicken Satay is one of the easiest dinners to make on a hot summer’s night. With a little forethought and planning, you can have the chicken marinating all night long (Lionel Ritchie style) or even just for a few hours in the afternoon. If you’re like me you’ll probably forget to start the recipe the night before anyway. As long as you give them a few hours to soak up all those awesome Thai flavours of lemongrass, chilies, fish sauce, and turmeric they’ll taste mighty fine.

Complicated Simplicity

The great thing about this recipe is, though it looks complicated you just need to throw all the marinade ingredients in a blender and press start. Depending on your local grocery scene, the ingredients shouldn’t be too difficult to find.  Galangal and fresh turmeric may be a bit difficult to find though they are worth seeking out for a bit of freshness. Luckily they have  acceptable substitutes that don’t really change the flavour of the finished dish.

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can do it any time of year. While you would achieve the most intense flavour by grilling the skewers, you can also broil them in the oven. Place your oven rack at the highest setting and crank up that broiler. Don’t forget to turn them over halfway through or you’ll be stuck ordering Thai takeout.

Make a Meal Out of It

Before you run out and start your grills…get a start on the rest of the dinner. I’ve included the recipe for a great Peanut Satay sauce as well because you just can’t have Chicken Satay skewers without Peanut Sauce. Start some rice in the rice cooker, toss up a green salad, and dinner is DONE! Who can resist meat on sticks? I sure can’t!

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Pinterest image of a platter of grilled Thai Chicken Satay beside a bowl of rice and satay dipping sauce.

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If you make this Chicken Satay recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 4 Servings

Classic Thai Chicken Satay

A platter of grilled Thai Chicken Satay beside a bowl of rice and satay dipping sauce.

Get out your grilling sticks because you're going to want to try this great recipe for a Classic Thai street food...Thai Chicken Satay.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 8-12 skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
  • 1 package wooden skewers


  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass , fresh or frozen
  • 2 shallots OR 1 small onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh turmeric OR 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 5-6 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil


  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoon fish sauce, depending on desired saltiness/flavor
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lime juice (I like to add more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, OR 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk



  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the meat (to prevent burning). I put mine in the kitchen sink.
  2. Cut chicken into thin strips and place in a bowl.
  3. Place marinade ingredients in a food processor and process well.
  4. Taste the marinade – you will taste sweet, spicy, and salty. The strongest tastes should be SWEET and SALTY. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You can also add more chili if you want it spicier.
  5. Pour the marinade over the meat and stir well to combine. Allow at least 1 hour for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours).
  6. When ready to cook: Thread meat onto the skewers, leaving the lower half empty so that the person grilling has a “handle” to easily turn the satay during cooking.
  7. Grill the satay on your BBQ, OR on an indoor grill, basting the first time you time it with a little of the leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl (remember there was raw chicken in the marinade so you don't want to baste all the way through the cooking process)
  8. OR you can broil in the oven on a broiling pan or baking sheet with the oven set to “broil” Place satay close beneath the heating element and turn the meat every 5 minutes until cooked (be sure to soak your wooden satay sticks in water before skewering). Depending on how thin your meat is, the satay should cook in 10 to 20 minutes.
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.
  2. Do a taste test, adding more fish sauce (or soy sauce) if not salty enough, or more cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you’d prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1118Total Fat: 64gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 42gCholesterol: 410mgSodium: 3676mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 6gSugar: 30gProtein: 97g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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  2. Bernice Hill

    It is a wonderful combination…enjoy!


  3. Lizzy

    Yum!! I love all of the spices in the marinade and fresh lemongrass is one of my favourites to use!! Sounds like a must try recipe to me!


  4. Lily {Gastro Senses}

    How beautifully colorful does that look!
    Juicy chicken, with lemongrass and that peanut sauce is making me drool! This post is simply fabulous Bernice!


  5. Denise from Urb’n’Spice

    Everyone I know loves chicken satays – it is a universal opinion, it seems. Thank you for sharing your delightful version – the tips are great! And I love how you shared the entire meal plan with tips for timing, Bernice. Excellent! I am looking forward to trying this meal!


    1. Bernice Hill

      thanks so much for stopping by’s one of our favourite dinners for sure. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

  6. Bernice Hill

    wonderful! I hope you enjoy it.


  7. Liliana

    Sounds delicious and easy to make. I would also forget to marinade the chicken the night before. It’s a recipe my family would like so I will add it to my weekend menu.


    1. Bernice Hill

      Sounds like we’re the same! I hope you and your family enjoy these satays.

  8. Jessica

    One word – YUM!! Seriously this looks so delicious Bernice! I absolutely love chicken satay’s and can’t wait to try out this recipe!


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