Chicken Satay – Spring Roll Bowls
Let’s learn how to make Chicken Satay – a very popular Southeast Asian skewered and BBQed meat usually served with a sweet and tangy peanut dipping sauce! Its bright yellow color comes from the beautiful flavor of curry powder and turmeric to complement the sweet and savory marinade. Although chicken satay is typically enjoyed as a snack or appetizer, it’s absolutely delicious with rice as a spring roll bowl.
What is Chicken Satay?
Chicken Satay is thought to have originated in Indonesia but has become a part of the cuisine in other countries like Malaysia and Thailand. The first time I had it was at a Thai restaurant and I immediately fell in love. It’s slightly sweet, a bit smokey from the BBQ, and that creamy peanut dipping sauce is everything! Today we make it at home.
The secret is all in the marinade for chicken satay! The spices give it that signature vibrant yellow color, the coconut milk lightens it all up and adds a nutty flavor, and garlic and ginger bring all the flavors out.
Here are all the ingredients you will need:
- boneless & skinless chicken thighs
- olive oil
- low sodium soy sauce
- coconut milk
- brown sugar
- spices: coriander, chili powder, turmeric, curry powder, salt, black pepper
Cut the chicken thighs into individual pieces and marinate in all the above ingredients. The longer you let it marinate, the better but 30 minutes at least.
If you don’t want to use chicken thighs, use chicken tenders. Traditionally, the whole thin tender is skewered on as one piece and not cubed.
Now if you prefer a bit of a spicy taste, add some red pepper flakes to the marinade too. You can also add fish sauce if you’d like as it’s a common ingredient used in a lot of Southeast Asian cooking.
Cooking the Chicken Satay
Once the chicken is marinated, it’s time to get cooking!
Since I don’t have a BBQ, I like to cook the chicken in a cast iron grill skillet. Feel free to cook it on a regular pan, regular skillet, on the BBQ or even in the oven.
Make sure to grease the grill or pan with a little oil so it doesn’t stick and add the chicken. Sear on one side over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes until golden and then flip over. Cook on the other side 5 to 6 minutes. Lower the heat and cook for an additional minute or two until the chicken is cooked through.
Once the chicken is done, take off the heat and top it off with some chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and peanuts to finish it off!
What to Enjoy it With
My favorite way to enjoy chicken satay is as an appetizer with peanut sauce. It’s a great way to get some protein in as well.
However, if you want something a bit more feeling, turn it into a spring roll bowl with rice, purple cabbage, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and green onion. You can even add avocado and lime if you’d like!
If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it.
Chicken Satay - Spring Roll Bowls
- 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless & skinless, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh garlic finely minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar sugar or honey
- red pepper flakes to taste, to make it spicy
- chopped cilantro, lime juice, chopped peanuts (finishing touches)
- To a large bowl, add the chicken thighs, olive oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, coriander, chili powder, coconut milk, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar. Mix all together to coat the chicken evenly in the marinade.
- After marinating, thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. If using wooden skewers, make sure they have soaked in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning. I like to add about 5 to 6 pieces onto each skewer.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add a drizzle of oil to the pan. Add the chicken in, making sure not to crowd them. Cook in two batches if needed. Once golden brown on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes, flip over. Allow the other side to get golden brown, about 6 minutes. Then drop the heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to the center.
- Take the chicken off the heat and finish with cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and peanuts.
- Enjoy as an appetizer with peanut sauce or in a rice bowl with tons of veggies!