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Indonesian Chicken Saté

This delicious saté is great for a summertime grill party. Make it as spicy as you wish by adjusting the amount of chilies and type of curry powder in the sauce. You can also make this recipe with duck, pork, lamb, or beef. Makes 12 skewers

SKU 856-Recipe


  • for the marinade
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened shaved or shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons natural chunky roasted peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 large, whole chicken breast, skinned, boned, split, and cut crosswise into 1-inch strips (about 1 1/4 pounds of meat)
  • for the peanut sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 to 4 fresh or dried hot chilies, seeds discarded and the chilies finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot or mild curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup natural chunky roasted peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh lemongrass (very tender parts only), if desired


  1. Make the marinade: Toast the coconut in a small dry skillet over moderate heat, shaking the pan often, until just golden, about 4 minutes (watch it carefully, because once it begins to turn golden it can burn quickly). Transfer to a plate and reserve.
  2. Heat the oil in the same skillet over moderately low heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the peanut butter, coriander, and chili powder, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and add the reserved coconut and salt to taste. Place the marinade in a deep dish just large enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade. Let stand at room temperature, turning occasionally, for 2 hours.
  3. Soak twelve 12-inch bamboo skewers in water to cover for at least 1 hour.
  4. Prepare a hot charcoal fire.
  5. Make the peanut sauce: Heat the oil in a small saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shallot, chilies, curry powder, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the shallot is just lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the water, peanut butter, brown sugar, lemongrass, and salt, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat, and cook, stirring, just until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. If the sauce thickens on standing, thin it with a bit of water.
  6. Thread the chicken on bamboo skewers, evenly dividing it among the 12 skewers. Grill the satés over glowing charcoal, turning frequently, until nicely browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. (Alternatively, you can cook the satés under a preheated broiler. Lightly oil a foil covered tray, place the satés on it, and broil, turning once, for 5 minutes.) Serve hot with the peanut sauce for dipping.