Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce Recipe

Marinate chicken overnight in warming, savory spices, then grill to charred perfection before dipping in a chunky, sweet and spicy peanut sauce.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin 

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 day


for the peanut sauce:
3 ounces|85 grams tamarind pulp
¼ cup|60 ml Canola oil
4 garlic cloves, blended
1 large red onion, blended
1 stalk lemongrass, bulb only, smashed
1 (2-inch) piece galangal, peeled and smashed
1 cup|225 grams sambal
2 cups|300 grams roughly chopped peanuts 
4 ounces|113 grams Indonesian palm sugar, roughly chopped
granulated sugar, to taste
kosher salt, to taste


for the chicken satay:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon molasses 
2 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
2 ¼ teaspoons turmeric powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon galangal powder
½ teaspoon lemongrass powder
3 pounds|1430 grams boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
kosher salt, to taste
vegetable oil, for grilling



  1. Make the peanut sauce: Bring 1 cup|250 ml water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the tamarind and leave to soak for 20 minutes, then, using your hands, pull it apart and remove the seeds and fibers to extract a smooth, thick paste. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the garlic, onions, lemongrass, and galangal and cook until golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sambal and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil separates, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the peanuts, tamarind, and the palm sugar, plus 2 cups|500 ml water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 45 minutes. Makes 4 cups.
  4. Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, onion powder, molasses, garlic powder, turmeric, galangal powder, ginger, and lemongrass powder with 2 tablespoons water. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. 
  5. Cook the satay: Light a grill. Thread the chicken onto bamboo skewers and brush the chicken with oil. Season all over with salt and cook the satay, flipping once, until charred on each side, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with the satay sauce.

Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here.