Sate Ayam

Satay is one of the most ubiquitous street food you will find in Southeast Asia. You can hawkers from Indonesia to Singapore to Vietnam selling these tasty nibbles. While there are slight variations from country to country, city to city, and even vendor to vendor, the flavor profile is always the same; a good mix of sweet and savory with a splash of lime for freshness and peppers for that beautiful heat. This recipe calls for chicken, but feel free to substitute with beef or pork.


½ lb chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce, or 2 tbsp shoyu with 1 tsp brown sugar dissolved
1 lime
1 chili, deseeded and sliced
Salt and pepper
8 (6 inch) wooden skewers, or as needed, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Peanut Sauce

½ cup roasted peanuts
½ cup water
1 small tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp palm or brown sugar
1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 lime
Salt and pepper


1. Cut chicken into 1×2 inch pieces and make sure they’re at least half an inch thick.
2. Combine all marinade ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
3. In a food processor, add the roasted peanuts, tomato, garlic, palm sugar, and ¼ cup of water. Pulse until the consistency is that of a rough and chunky paste.
4. Heat a pan and add the remaining ¼ cup of water. Add peanut paste and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking.
5. Add sweet soy sauce and lime, and simmer for another 2 minutes. Keep stirring.
6. Preheat a grill for medium-high heat.
7. Thread marinated chicken onto skewers, then grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with warm peanut sauce and white rice.


How the chicken should be cut/sliced
Making sure the chicken is well coated with the yummy marinade
At the cooking school in Bali, we grilled the satay over charcoal.. at home, you can use a gas grill or even a griddle..
If you have a mortar & pestle, use it, it’s better; otherwise a food processor works as well..
Don’t add the limes until right before you take the peanut sauce off the heat

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