International Recipes

Satay Kai (Chicken Satay - Thai)

Satay, of course, is originally an Indonesian/Malay dish, but it has been in Southern Thailand for a very long time. This is a Thai version.

Chicken Satay



  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • About 1 pound chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (Thais use a mix called 'phom kari," but an Indian style Madras curry powder is fine)
  • Pinch turmeric powder (it's only a colorant, so very little)
  • 8 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons palm sugar

Nam Jim Satay (Peanut Sauce)

  • 4 ounces freshly roasted (unsalted) peanuts
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ounce chopped onion
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red or massaman curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 8 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 4 to 6 teaspoons lime juice (to taste)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar

A Jad (Cucumber Pickle)

  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cucumber, very coarsely chopped or sliced
  • 2 shallots (purple onions) chopped
  • 3 or 4 red and green prik ki nu (birdseye chiles), thinly sliced


  1. The chicken is beaten flat, using the flat of the blade of a heavy cleaver (or using a meat-tenderizing mallet, or the 'sahk' of the mortar and pestle (i.e. the grinding piece, not the bowl - in Thailand these are usually granite. You could also use a rolling pin).
  2. The coriander and cumin are toasted and then crushed in a mortar and pestle or food processor (coffee grinder...) The ingredients are then combined to form a marinade, and the chicken is marinated overnight.
  3. The pieces of chicken are then threaded on the 8 inch satay sticks, loosely folding them in half and piercing through the folded meat to form a loose gather.
  4. The completed sticks are then grilled, broiled or barbecued on fairly high heat (they taste best done over charcoal, as they absorb the smoke). Turn them regularly and brush them liberally with the remaining marinade. Cooking should take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the heat of your cooker.
  5. Peanut Sauce: First grind or crush the peanuts to a fairly fine powder. Then combine them with the remaining ingredients (except the lime juice), to form a smooth sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little chicken stock. Now add the lime juice, tasting as you progress to check the balance of flavors is correct.
  6. Use Red curry paste with beef or pork satay, massaman with chicken. If you are doing shrimp satay then use half the quantity of massaman paste.
  7. Cucumber Pickled: Combine the ingredients, and leave to stand overnight.


You can also make the same recipe with chunks of beef or pork, or large prawns (if you can get the very large ones (3 to 4 per pound) then they are usually deheaded and the skewer threaded lengthwise down the body.

A peanut dressing accompanies these snacks. This is my favorite variation. If you have red or massaman curry paste that is preferred, but you can use curry powder to taste if you prefer. Also you can, if you wish, use peanut butter rather than fresh peanuts.

Each diner should have a small bowl of nam jim and a small bowl of a jad. However, the satay themselves are normally served communally.


Posted by WingsFan91 at Recipe Goldmine 11/15/2001 3:18 pm.
Special thanks to Muoi Khuntilanont.

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