How to make the perfect chicken satay and the common mistakes to avoid

Quick, easy and delicious served as leftovers, add satay to your weekly meal rotation 
How to make the perfect chicken satay and the common mistakes to avoid

Easy and delicious, make chicken satay this week.

Balance is key

The perfect satay sauce is a blend of sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Though acid amounts for the smallest amount of volume in a satay sauce, it is probably the most important because it cuts through the richness of the peanut butter.

Don't forget water

This sauce is extremely forgiving. if it is too thick, simply add water, a drizzle at a time, whisking to incorporate. As it heats it will loosen, so bear that in mind. 

Choose your nut butter wisely

Use the best quality nut butter you can find, with as few ingredients as possible. Smooth peanut butter is preferable, but if you prefer flecks of nut in your satay, it's fine to use chunky. 

Don't panic

If the sauce looks like it is separating, emulsify by stirring in a few drops of water at a time. This should bring it back together. 

The spice is right

Some people like a kick to their satay, so don't be afraid to customise your sauce to your taste. A few drops of sriracha will intensify the heat and stay within the flavour profile of a traditional satay. 

Make more than you need

Satay sauce keeps well in the fridge and is an easy route to a speedy midweek meal. Serve with rice, stir-fried veg and a fried egg, or into noodles with sliced cucumber and chilli on the side. 

Lamb, pork or chicken satay

recipe by:Darina Allen

Cubes of tender meat are marinated in spices, then threaded onto bamboo satay sticks and cooked on the barbecue or grilled

Lamb, pork or chicken satay



Preparation Time

1 hours 5 mins

Cooking Time

15 mins

Total Time

1 hours 20 mins






  • 450g lean lamb leg or chicken breast or thigh meat or pork fillet

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 2 shallots, or 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar

  • 24-26 bamboo satay sticks or metal skewers (soak satay sticks in water 30 minutes before)

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • For the satay sauce:

  • 225g peanut butter

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp Tabasco

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp runny honey

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 125ml water or coconut milk

  • To serve: 

  • lettuce leaves and flat breads


  1. First, make the satay sauce. Place the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, turmeric, Tabasco, oil, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and water in a food processor or blender, pulse until smooth.

  2. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow flavours to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Add a little more coconut milk if too thick.

  3. Cut the meat into 5mm thick strips and marinate with all the ingredients for at least 1 hour. Thread onto the soaked bamboo satay sticks so the end is covered. Allow to drain on a wire rack. Heat a barbeque or pan-grill until very hot.

  4. Brush each satay with a little oil and chargrill turning frequently until just cooked. Serve hot with satay sauce, lettuce leaves and flat breads

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