Chicken Satay Skewers

24 Jan

Some of my favourite memories from home (Darwin, Australia) are of balmy nights at our local food market, scoffing down steaming chicken skewers, dipped in crunchy peanut sauce. Mmmmmm! Locally, Banana Leaf makes some pretty yummy chicken skewers but I wanted to attempt to make my own to see if I could re-create some of those memories (albeit minus the balmy night). These satay skewers featured as part of my Feast of Asia that I made over the Christmas break.

The lemongrass was a little difficult to work with as I tried to make sure that I didn’t end up with any of the hard husks in the mix but overall this was a fun recipe to make – especially using the mortar and pestle. The next time that I make it I think I will add a bit more spice to the mixture as it could have used a bit more ka-zaam. If you do attempt to make these at home, keep in mind that the longer you marinade the chicken the better flavour you will have. Oh, and I totally forgot to get wooden skewers but it didn’t matter – chicken is chicken.

Chicken Satay Skewers – Serves 6

1 lemongrass stem, trimmed, outer layers removed, chopped
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon finely grated palm sugar
2 tablespoon peanut oil, plus extra for basting
600g chicken breast, cut into 2cm cubes

Pound lemongrass to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Mix well with spices sugar and oil. Place chicken in a glass or ceramic dish, rub with paste, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, soak about 18 wooden skewers in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Thread 5 chicken pieces onto each one. Heat a barbecue or large chargrill on medium-high heat and cook skewers, in batches, turning and constantly basting with extra oil, for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked and slightly charred.

Peanut Sauce

1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch chilli powder (optional)
2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup water

Heat some oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened and light golden. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and chilli (if using) and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the teriyaki sauce, peanut butter and water.

Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes or until well combined and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and serve with chicken satay skewers.

Recipe from


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