1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email

Chicken Satay – Satay Ayam


Satay Ayam

Chicken Satay

© Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Chicken satay is a popular street food of Malaysia and Singapore. Just skewer cubes of marinated chicken and roast them on a barbeque. Satay is usually eaten as a starter and sometimes as a side dish, and always accompanied by the delightful, peanut-laden satay sauce, raw onions and cucumbers.

This is a great summer treat and brings a nice change to the barbeque.

This recipe serves 3.


  • 1½ lb chicken breast, cut into 1-inch thick cubes
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 tsp sliced fresh turmeric, or ¼ tsp dried
  • 1 Tbsp roasted peanuts
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 finely chopped shallots
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30 to 40 bamboo skewers
  • 1 big onion, cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 1 big cucumber, cut into quarters lengthwise and then into medium slices


Bamboo skewers

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 3 hours. This helps to prevent them from burning too easily during the barbecue.

Lemon grass

Use one of the lemon grass stalks as part of the marinade. Use the bottom 3 inches of the lemon grass only and cut the hard bit off at the bottom. Slice thinly.

The other stalk of lemon grass will be used as a tool for grilling or barbecuing the satay. Crush this lemon grass on its thickest part of the body. Put this lemon grass stalk aside.

  1. Blend the lemon grass, turmeric, peanuts, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, salt and sugar into a fine paste.
  2. Mix in the shallots, cinnamon powder and cooking oil.
  3. Marinate the chicken with this paste for at least 3 hours.
  4. Drain the water from the bamboo skewers. Skewer 4 to 5 pieces of the marinated meat on each skewer, just like one might do with kebabs. Scrunch the meat up tightly against each other so that they stay in place. The meat should occupy slightly less than half the stick.

Barbecue Sprinkle and Barbecuing

  1. Mix ¾ cup of water with 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1 Tbsp of oil in a cup or beaker. This is the barbecue sprinkle.
  2. Dip the crushed lemon grass stalk from before into the barbecue sprinkle.
  3. Put the meaty part of the skewer over the barbecue and grill on low heat, turning it over every 2 minutes. Use the lemon grass stalk to sprinkle the barbecue sprinkle over the meat occasionally. The chicken will take 10 to 15 minutes to cook. Make sure that all traces of blood inside the meat are gone before serving.
  4. Serve the satay with satay sauce and the fresh onions and cucumbers.

Want to check out a Malaysian Party Menu?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.