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Chicken Satay Recipe

Chicken satay - the most amazing Chicken satay recipe with skewered marinated chicken and grilled to perfection and serve with peanut sauce |

Chicken Satay Recipe

Chicken satay – the most amazing Chicken satay recipe with skewered marinated chicken and grilled to perfection and serve with peanut sauce |
Prep Time: | Cook Time: | Total Time:


4 chicken legs and thighs (preferred) or 4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)

Spice Paste:

1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
6 shallots, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled)
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
4 teaspoons kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 2 hours to avoid burning)
1 cucumber, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, quartered

Cut the chicken meat into small cubes. Grind the Spice Paste in a food processor. Add in a little water if needed. Marinate the chicken pieces with the spice paste for 10-12 hours. Thread the meat onto the bamboo skewers and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve hot with the fresh cucumber pieces and onions.

For the dipping sauce, please follow my satay peanut sauce recipe.

Chicken satay is a popular Malaysia dish of skewered chicken served with peanut sauce and rice cake. Easy and the most delicious chicken satay recipe.

Chicken Satay

Chicken satay – a popular Malaysia dish of skewered chicken served with peanut sauce and rice cake. Easy and the most delicious chicken satay recipe!

Chicken satay is a popular Malaysia dish of skewered chicken served with peanut sauce and rice cake. Easy and the most delicious chicken satay recipe.

This post was originally published in September 4, 2006. Updated with new photos.

Malaysian Satay—those little skewers of meat with satay peanut sauce and ketupat (Malay rice cake) is a very popular dish in Malaysia. Walk down any street in the country and the mouthwatering aroma of satay exudes from practically every corner you pass: roadside satay stalls, hawker centers, pasar malam (night markets), kopitiam (Chinese coffee shops), and even high-end restaurants.

Chicken satay - the most amazing Chicken satay recipe with skewered marinated chicken and grilled to perfection and serve with peanut sauce |

Of course satay is universally loved across Southeast Asia. (It’s commonly believed that satay is the region’s distant cousin to the Middle-Eastern kebabs, thanks to the spice route and the culinary influence of the early Arab traders.) However each country has their own interpretation for satay, influenced by their own unique food culture and distinct palate. For instance, Indonesian satay tend to be sweeter because of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) while the Thai satay is slightly less sweet since coconut milk is used instead.

Chicken satay - the most amazing Chicken satay recipe with skewered marinated chicken and grilled to perfection and serve with peanut sauce |

No surprise then that Malaysian Satay is made with ingredients and spices commonly found in Malaysian cooking; shallots, lemongrass, turmeric powder (kunyit), and coriander powder. The basic recipe calls for the cook’s meat of choice—be it chicken, beef, lamb, or pork—to marinate for many hours or even overnight so as to lock in the flavor. In addition to the peanut dipping sauce, Malaysian satay is served with ketupat, onions, and cucumber. Trust me, the taste of these side dishes complement each other exquisitely.

When I make chicken satay at home I often save time by using off-the-shelf satay marinate powder such as Ayam brand satay seasoning (aka “cheated“), but the existence of Rasa Malaysia has motivated me to try making everything from scratch, if possible. So I will admit to modifying the traditional and authentic Malaysian chicken satay recipe with a tint of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and Chinese oyster sauce substituting for salt and sugar. But as you can infer from these pictures, the end result was delicious. You can almost smell the enticing aroma of the chicken satay from your computer screen, can’t you?

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129 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. amanda

    wow! your food (and photo’s) look amazing… and enticing. you are definately a great new addition to the food blog world. we are definatelly adding you to the foodblogblog. thanks for letting us know about your site :-)

  2. Anonymous

    Bee Yinn,

    The satay looks yummy.

    Where’s the pics of the peanut sauce, ketupat, cucumber & onion? Heh, heh…too much huh. Post recipe and pics oridi. Still want some more : )

    KL Changs

  3. Rasa Malaysia

    kl changs,

    Ketupat I don’t know how to make yet, also, I don’t even know where can I find the leaves. I am not a big fan of peanut sauce…it’s too sweet and gooey for my taste, I like my Satays plain. Yes, I did capture some pictures with Timun, but Onions are kelefe, not the centerpiece I reckon! ;)

  4. Rasa Malaysia

    Hey Teckiee,

    Thanks for your kind comment. Malaysian satays usually come with dark meat, and also a little bit of chicken fat / skin threaded in between the meat pieces…very juicy and “succelent.” Mine was a little dry because I used white meat (chicken breasts), but they turned out good.


  5. rasa malaysia


    Thanks! Well, you don’t have to, I am sure Kajang satays or those found in KL are way more delicious than mine!!

  6. lyn

    would you happen to have tried making healthier but tasty satay sauce?
    i prefer eating satay without the fat i always spit it out when i eat it for some reason

  7. simcooks

    Do you know how to prepare the meat for beef satay? I used beef strips but it was tough, unlike what I eat in Malay Satay stalls.

  8. Marie-Hélène

    Wow, also coming from Claude-Olivier’s blog and I must admit I am trying very much to keep from licking my screen! Good thing I ate a lot tonight :-) I will most definitely try your recipe very soon. Do you think I can grind the spices by hand or must they be pulverized? Do you think replacing the kejap manis with sweet condensed milk would be tasty? I’ll keep you posted with the results…

  9. Rasa Malaysia

    Vkeong – go have your fix now. :)

    Tiga – yes, they are delicious.

    Param – no ice kacang yet, will have to try making them soon.

    Lyn – I like my satay without the peanut sauce because it tends to cover the flavor. I do not really have a healthy and less fatty version of satay sauce, but I will try to make one with the satay sauce the next time. ;)

    Simcooks – I don’t really eat beef so sorry. :(

    Gracianne – welcome and thanks for your comment. Hello from USA. :)

    Marie-Helene – Thanks and welcome.
    You can pound the spice paste using a mortar and pestle but it’s very hard to grind by hand. Do not replace the kejap manis with sweet condensed milk because it taste totally different. If you do not have kejap manis, you can always use soy sauce, but add sugar to it. Do let me know the results. ;)

  10. malcolm

    Simcooks:I Used to live in Indonesia where much of the meat was water buffalo and intrinsically tough. The locals recommended wrapping it overnight in papaya leaves (they have some enzyme in them)…although I don’t know how easy they are to get your hands on! Another tip is to give it a good bashing with a hammer.
    Rasa: recipe looks great…will try it out tomorrow!

  11. Anonymous

    OMG! everyone has to try making this , i was able to make it at school and it turned out to be delicious, i strongly strongly recomend it !


  12. firdaus family

    There is no relation between Kebab and satay. The origin of Satay is from Indonesia, Java Island. I am a Malay and I know which food originated from Malay and which one is not.

  13. Ai Mei Ling

    Your pictures look gastronomically Yummy! Inspire me in some ways to cook again. Thank you.
    However, my recipe for satay is slightly different from yours, which is the Singaporean version. It includes galangal (lengkuas), brown sugar (gula merah), fennel seeds, ginger & tamarind paste.

  14. .:: psychochique ::.

    RasaMalaysia, I just want to let you know that I tried your satay recipe over the weekend and BOY IT WAS MO TAK TENG!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe. This recipe tastes so much better than those instant powder that you get from the Asian Grocery store. You made me a better Malaysian cook! ;)

  15. Andaliman

    I myself recommend Bango brand for kecap manis. Most Indonesias like Bango brand better than ABC, but since Bango is not as popular as ABC in abroad, sometimes we just pick whatever we have in the market :)

  16. Anonymous

    i am a chef for over 30 years i cook alot of food and created my own menu i born in malaysia i work in holland and germany now live in uk 18 year now the food change anot in cantonese food i cook as well and english i like malaysia food like nesi lemak malaysia is the best i try to build of of my new business on my own do do home delivery in uk i wil start up bussiness in jan 2008 all my menu is malaysia food only at the moment in uk cannot buy baba curry powder over here the curry powder there sell here is useless is not that kind of curry powder cann cook good curry everytime i go back to malaysia i always go to bangkok bank to eat nesi lemak and pudu is a malay people sell is the best nesi lemak i eat i like the samba and i will go to kejag is the best to eat satay in uk alot of people use malaysia name do run take aways food there are not that kind of food there cook like in malaysia in china town here have a shop call malaysia delight i try the food is not good enough is rubbis i try to show to the people my food i can cook better that the china town one you can go to my website to see my carving or all my carving i lean by myself and some of the food menu is my own food

  17. Anonymous

    No joke, Satay is the signature dish of Malaysia Airlines’ Business Class (Golden Club Class) and has been awarded SkyTrax signature dish award before.

    So get in on the act and do yourself a good satay.

    If you want to go an extra step, grill the sticks over charcoal – try bringing back a satay brazier from Malaysia. The aluminium satay burner is a good souvenier – a bit bulky but light, you can pack things inside it so it doesn’t waste space in your suitcase.

  18. Anonymous

    my mother-in-law taught me to use honey to sweeten the satay…it’s aroma is fantastic…I will definitely try kecap manis sometime

  19. Suzanne Wolf

    Finally a chicken satay recipe without weird ingredients! your chicken satay looks exactly like those i got when i was holidaying in Malaysia.

  20. Sophie

    I am so glad I found your recipes, I am always on the look out for authentic malaysian and indian foods so I will be looking at your recipes often.

  21. shinhui

    hey, i love ur site so much! i just try the satay recipe and got to wait for 12 hours to grill it… i feel so warm when i see ur site full of malaysia food recipes for me who are staying alone at oversea.

  22. Ms. Yuss

    Hey You!! Thanks for this site, M glad i found it, simple recipe for satay. Really wanna try it coz my daughter love it. Living abroad in the US, i crave Malaysian food more than ever. Thank you again. Keep coming with new recipe and simple to follow. Appreciate it highly.

    Will post you a comments again. Keep up the good work. You ROCK!!

  23. Anonymous

    i did a search for recipes and thought this was awesome. I’m Malaysian and have lived abroad for the last 26 years. I still miss the satay man with the grill on the back of his modified vespa!! Growing up in the ‘burbs of KL, you watch TV with the grills locked and the doors and windows open and wait and wait for the satay man … Things were good back then, even if we had 3 English movies and TV3 recycled them over and over. I’m definitely going to make this satay this weekend as I often cook OUR food still despite the Mat Salleh husband..LOL. I especially love the fact you don’t have “weird” things in it and I can get all the stuff from the local grocery store. thanks for the lifeline…Missing M’sia.

  24. Anonymous

    Had a satay party using your recipe and everybody loved it. Have to cook over coal though. Tried both coal and fry pan. I found that the flavour comes out from the smoke from the coal. it lost alot of its flavour when I tried frying it on the frypan.

  25. Melissa Flack

    I want to know how to make a tasty peanut sauce for teh satay as its key! I was sad to see it not posted with this reciepe.

  26. missus

    Made this for ‘malay get together’ at my place… it was super tasty!! everyone loved it! will definitely made some more. i made them again the other day and freeze them. so i can have satay whenever i want ahahhaaa… what a dream!! thanks again!

  27. Suriana

    Came across your satay recipe while looking for something special to make for my daughter’s 1st birthday – needless to say, I kept my sanity, the guests were happy and I thank you so much for sharing this with everyone! The satay looked great, people were raving about it and best of all, the ingredients were readily available in California where we live. You are a lifesaver, terima kasih!

  28. Catherine Y.

    Hello, I am a fellow Malaysian living oversea and was asked to make the satay to entertain our friends. I followed main part of the recipes using what you have listed here plus a hint of cumin and curry powder. It was a big hit. Thanks. :)

  29. matt

    Bee here are some pics of your awesome satay..THANK YOU!..[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]

  30. HV

    I made this along with the peanut sauce the other night when I had company over. Simply divine. My guests and husband enjoyed the meal thoroughly. I also made some beef satay with the same marinade ingredients. I used beef tenderloin. The texture was different from what I am used to in Asia….. a little too tender. What part of the beef would you recommend?

  31. Hey Bee! I’ve been always wanting to make this and now I am. Will this scale proportionally? I plan to make this for my sis-in-laws gathering this coming Sunday. There will probably be 10-12 people.

  32. grazingrace

    Hi Rasa Malaysia! Your Satay recipe is fantastic! Thank you! I did it a few months ago and it turned out really well like this:
    I also made it for a party with my colleagues from UK and they loved it too.

    Just two questions please, how long do you grill it for in total? I use an oven and at 180degree celsius, I leave the satay in for about 13mins, flipping it once at the 7th minute… It turns out tender which is the way I like it.

    • I don’t remember how long, but I grilled them until they are cooked and slightly charred. If you use oven, I strongly recommend you to grill them over fire (even using a stove top) quickly for some char, it’s awesome. :)

  33. Jason

    Will try your recipe soon. Was looking for the satay recipe and will try yours first. I am going to cook the Malaysian style or way.

  34. Alex

    “Satay may have originated in Java, Indonesia. It is popular in many other Southeast Asian countries, such as: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the southern Philippines and Vietnam and in the Netherlands, as Indonesia is a former Dutch colony.”

    It is not Malaysian. it’s just popular in many countries, including Malaysia. so please don’t say that it’s Malaysians k.

    • I do not disagree with you and understand where satay is popular at, this is a Malaysian satay recipe because the taste is distinctlively different from the other type of satay in the region, and the recipe is different, hence it’s truly Malaysian taste regardless of the origin. There are sayings that satay originated from the Middle-east, too.

      • Angel

        I just have to say, “I love you’re writing skills” and photography (food+tography) where did you go to school? I am from California Bay Area USA) keep up the great work! Angel from the Bay

    • Selina

      @Alex, Rasamalaysia made no reference specifying that these Satay’s were exclusively Malaysia. In fact, she even acknowledged how satay recipes varies in taste in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. She merely pointed out this specific recipe she has posted is as close and authentically matched to Malaysian Satay. And unlike what you have done, quote a paragraph and not give credit, I’m going to put the link that you plagiarized from
      You have also failed to mentioned that the word Satay in Indonesian and Malaysian is of Tamil origin, suggesting that it’s an adaptation [stolen is too crude of a word to use here] of an Indian kebab; which Rasamalaysia also mentioned.
      Read, comprehend RasaMalaysia’s paragraph first and cite your sources accurately without any bias before you make a fool of yourself. Everyone is entitled to a bit of patriotism, but nobody likes a patriotic wanker.

  35. Wei Ling

    Your recipe is fantastic my chicken satay turn out really nice even though just use fan oven. Thank you very much.

    • zaroo

      Hey…these satays just turned out delicious…instead of putting them in the oven i made them on the barbi….it surely brang a smile to everyones face :) thanks for this recipe….never knew that satays are so easy to make!!!!

  36. sensation

    Hi..staying in Damascus,Syria.A friend recommended your website.I LUV.. browsing through the recipes.Came across this satay chicken recipe and it said 1 ‘spoon’ of oyster sauce.
    Is it 1 TEAspoon/TABLEspoon.
    I wuld love to tryout this recipe:)

  37. lisa

    Hi I forgot to ask one more question – any idea roughly how many kg 4 chicken legs and thighs weigh? The butcher at my local area sell chicken thigh fillet and chicken leg fillet separately. thanks again. Oh and almost forgot – Happy Chinese New Year :)

  38. CL

    I made this using your recipe for my birthday and everyone loved it. it smell so nice and taste so good.
    a great dish for party, a must have dish.

    Thank you for the great recipe.

  39. Shirl

    Tried your recipe…MUAAHH! Living abroad and eating satay from ‘chinese/malaysian’restaurant is never the same, perhaps maybe they do not grill them. However, your home cook satay are bril’, and my friends were impressed and started eating them even before I had the chance to serve them out! They can taste the ‘burnt-charcoal’ on the meat…and yes, it wasn’t easy to controll the flame but I got the hang of it in the end. Many thanks again.

  40. Eliza Q

    I made this for my housewarming party. It was a HUGE hit! Everyone was so impressed.

    Instead of grilling, I broiled the chicken and then put it onto bamboo skewers when it came out of the oven.

    This recipe inspired me to finally buy a grill – I know these satay will be even more delicious (if that’s possible) cooked over an open flame.

    Om nom nom nom

  41. hire a virtual assistants

    wow, this blog is very interesting and elegant, I love to read this everyday, thanks for sharing this to us, I definitely shared this to my friends.

  42. Sheila

    I am 19 weeks pregnant and reside in London but craving Malaysian street food especially since it’s Ramadan month and I know how during this time hawker stalls fill the country. I am so grateful for this recipe as I was able to devour on some really good satay and peanut sauce recipe!!!

  43. wedding cake maker insurance

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He
    was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent
    for this information! Thanks!

  44. frasuy

    The recipe calls for 6 shallots (peeled). The ones at my local grocery store are golf ball size. I can’t image putting in 6 for the recipe. How big should each shallot be?

  45. Jenny

    I loved them and so did my son but I seem to have made a ton of satay sauce, how long does it keep?

  46. AC

    Hi Bee, I want to try this recipe but I’m not a huge fan of “spicy hot” things. I prefer things to be mild to low (or none at all). How “hot” is this recipe?

    Thank you!

  47. Philip

    Hi Bee, Thanks for sharing your easy-to-follow and authentic Malaysian recipes. Your satay chicken and peanut sauce recipes really hit the spot! I grilled them on a charcoal barbecue and the entire experience brought back wonderful memories of my youth in Malaysia.

  48. Elaine

    Can I substitute kecap manis with something else like dark daramel sauce with added sugar? Or I can just opt it out? Same for the peanut sauce too, can I choose not to put kecap manis?

  49. Rebecca

    Hi Bee, The tradination satay has spices but the Chinese satay has non. I still prefer the old fashion satay sold by Malay. From far you can smell the aroma of Jintan manis & Jintan puteh = Fennel & Cumin. Must add in a bit more sugar, ( Must important is to add in some water, starch powder/ tapioca flour to make them more tender and juice as I combine Chinese method in it, add in the water, stir with hand until all water adsorbed and add in some more as depends what type of chicken and parts of chicken. while we chill for 10-12 hrs all the water will be gone ) Satay sticks must be soaked for hrs too. During grilling, brush them with santan and some oil added in it please.
    Try it may be you will like it and keep our Malaysia traditional Satay. Say to say nowadays hardly can find this aroma satay, some don’t service with satay sauce any more, when asked, they said the sauce has added to the satay. Lazy to cook it.

    • Hi Rebecca, thanks for your comment. Oh yes, I looooooooove Malay satays, they are the best. In fact, whenever I go back to Malaysia, I would only order Malay satay. I know what you mean by the jintan putih and jintah manis, they are absolutely aromatic and delicious, my favorite kinds but hard to come by these days even with Malay vendors. My satay is the Chinese version and this recipe was created in 2006, a long time ago. If I were to redo satay again today, the recipe would be very different. Seems like I need a new and proper satay recipe published here soon! :)

  50. Pickyfoodie

    I live in So Cal but was not able to find kecap manis at 99 Ranch Market. Could you please tell me if I can substitute Chinese dark soy with some sugar for it?

  51. Lilei

    Hi Bee Yinn,

    Have you tried cooking these in the oven on grill/broil/bake setting? I don’t own a grill pan at home.

    Thank you!

  52. Lana

    Hi. I just ran into your site while googling “thai satay recipe”. I ended up following your recipe because of all the reviews, and that I had the ingredients on hand. I did not have a food processor, so I used a garlic press to mince all the shallots. Whew! Let’s say I only managed to pressed through 4 shallots. After all, I only had 4 hours left to marinade it til dinner time. And I had to sub curry powder instead of straight turmeric. I didn’t skewer, but just pan fried 2 min on high heat, then flipped the chicken pieces for another 2 min on the other side. They caramelized and charred nicely. Chicken was super tender, event the smaller burnt pieces. And everyone loved it!

    I’ve always tried to make chicken satay just from my own caprice, and it’s always came out terribly. Dry, tough, flavorless, even chicken thigh meat. I followed your recipe with the chicken breasts and it came out perfect for the first time, ever. Thank you so much and I look forward to trying other recipes in your array.

  53. Craig Lockley

    I have also made a batch of my own Kicap Manis, slowly boiling equal parts brown sugar and soy sauce until it’s nice and gloopy.

  54. I would say these would be killer with your Asian noodles. I love Asian influence food. I would make a fool over myself with little guys—-well unless it was a first date. Then I might be more modest. Second date, however, back off and me at them. Ha!

  55. wow very tasty chicken satay recipe you share with us i will try it coming sunday for my family and i hope this recipe will cook really tasty by me i think so

  56. Bobby

    I tried making the satay using this recipe and I have to say it tastes so authentic. Thanks for sharing this winning recipe.

  57. Just wanted to note that shallots in my area are extremely variable in size, from the size of a garlic clove up to plum sized, depending on the season. You might want to include a weight or approximate size when including shallots in recipes in the future.

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