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Malaysian Style Chicken Satay

Malaysian Style Chicken Satay - Satay is one of the most common street foods throughout Southeast Asia. Malaysian style is unique in that it does not include coconut milk and is chunkier than the more common Thai version!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Malaysian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 418kcal


Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon galangal powder
  • ¾ teaspoon lemongrass powder
  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Satay Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 " galangal
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 red bird’s eye chillies
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Cut the chicken into large pieces.
  • Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken pieces.
  • Toss chicken with the turmeric, galangal powder, lemongrass powder, chillies, sugar and salt.
  • Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the oil and sauce.
  • Place the tamarind paste in a bowl and add 4 tablespoons boiling water. Set aside.
  • Now let’s prepare the lemongrass oil.
  • Remove the root end and use the top 1/3 of the lemongrass stalks, about 5”.
  • Cut into slices and set aside. This will later be used to make the satay sauce.
  • With the bottom 2/3 of the lemongrass, first pound it with a mallet to release the flavor.
  • Cut into 3” strips.
  • Place the bottom strips in a cup of oil in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Once this has cooled, store in a glass jar with the lemongrass included. The lemongrass will continue to infuse the oil.
  • For the satay sauce, combine coriander seed and cumin seed in a food processor and grind the seeds.
  • Add sliced lemongrass from reserved from above, galangal, shallot, garlic, and chillies.
  • Process until well chopped to a paste.
  • Remove spice paste to a bowl.
  • In the food processor, pulse the peanuts until they are well chopped, but before the oils have released to start making peanut butter.
  • Strain the tamarind paste, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Discard the paste and save the tamarind extract.
  • In a pot, heat the peanut oil.
  • Add spice paste and stir fry for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables have cooked.
  • Add peanuts, tamarind extract and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil.
  • Add palm sugar and salt.
  • Reduce heat and simmer on low for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar has melted.
  • Skewer the meat onto wooden/bamboo sticks.
  • Grill chicken on a grill pan or charcoal grill outside, until the chicken is cooked through.
  • While the chicken is cooking, brush with the lemongrass oil.
  • Coat the skewers with the satay sauce and serve some more of the sauce on the side.


If using French shallots, use 1. If using Asian shallots, use 2.
Galangal can be substituted with ginger.


Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 825mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 88IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
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