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Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay)

Posting Date: 10/03/15

Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay)

Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay) is very famous in Indonesia. Satay is not just limited to chicken. Different types of meat can be used in satay. It originated in Java island in Indonesia and can now be found anywhere in Indonesia but each region in Indonesia added their own twist to the recipe. From Java, it spread to other Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. It is made by marinating the meat for several hours to a day. The meat is then put on the skewers and grilled on a charcoal BBQ. It is served over peanut sauce and drizzled with sweet soy sauce on the top. Pickled cucumber is also served on the side. It is also normally served with lontong (compressed rice), making it a full meal rather than an appetizer. Compressed rice is rice wrapped and cooked in banana leaf which is shaped like a roll.

For this recipe, I intentionally serve the peanut sauce on the side rather than mixing it with the satay before serving because some people have peanut allergy. If you or your family have peanut allergy, go ahead and skip the peanut sauce. I suggest you to serve it with the pickled cucumber on the side since the crunchiness and freshness of the cucumber add freshness.

To grill the satay, you can either use gas or charcoal grill. If you don't have BBQ, you can grill it on the grilling pan on your stove.

I use peanut butter for the peanut sauce since I like the consistency of peanut butter and can save my time from grinding the peanuts. You can use roasted peanuts from Planters brand and grind them yourself. Just make sure the peanuts are ground finely.


  • For marinade: 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes. Add more if you like it hot and spicy.
  • For marinade: 1 tsp ground cumin
  • For marinade: 2 tsp ground coriander
  • For marinade: 1" fresh ginger, roughly chopped after peeling off the skin
  • For marinade: 3 shallots, roughly chopped
  • For marinade: 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • For marinade: 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • For marinade: 1 teaspoon salt
  • For marinade: 3 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce
  • For marinade: 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • For marinade: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 lbs skinless and boneless chicken thigh, cut into 1" cubes. You can also use chicken breast although chicken thigh is better because it will not dry up after grilling.
  • bamboo skewers, soaked in water for a day to make sure it will not burned when grilled
  • For pickled cucumbler: 1/2 small size cucumber, seed removed and cut into 1/4" cubes
  • For pickled cucumber: 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • For pickled cucumber: 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For pickled cucumber: 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • For pickled cucumber: 3 tablespoons hot water
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): 1 candlenuts, roughly chopped
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): 1 teaspoon sugar
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): 1 teaspoon salt
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): 3 shallots, roughly chopped
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): vegetable oil
  • For peanut sauce (skip if you are allergic): hot water


  1. To make pickled cucumber: Pickled cucumber should be made a day ahead so that the cucumber gets a chance to marinade. Add sugar, salt, vinegar, and hot water into a small bowl. Mix it well so that sugar can dilute. Add cucumber and mix it well. Keep it in the fridge.
  2. To make marinade: grind garlic, shallots, ginger, coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in the food processor until it becomes paste. Add vegetable oil, soy sauce, and sweet sauce and blend it well. Pour the marinade into a ziploc bag.
  3. Put chicken into the marinade and mix it well in the bag so that all pieces are covered by the marinade. Leave chicken to marinade for at least 8 hours up to 24 hours.
  4. Thread chicken cubes on the skewer. It may take about 3-5 cubes for each skewer depending on the length of the skewers you bought.
  5. Drizzle lime juice on the chicken and grill each skewer on the colder side of the BBQ so that it will not burned. Turn them from time to time to prevent them from burning. Cook until done and put them on the plate.
  6. To make peanut sauce: grind garlic, shallots, and candlenuts in food processor. Heat vegetable oil and saute the spices until aromatic. Put the spices in a bowl. Add peanut butter, salt, sugar, and hot water. The amount of hot water is dependent on the consistency you want, so start with 2 tablespoons first. Some people like it thick and thus, put less water. If you like it thin and runny, add more hot water. Mix it well and taste it. Add more salt and sugar if needed.
  7. Serve the chicken satay with peanut sauce (if used) and pickled cucumber on the side. Drizzle a little bit of sweet sauce on top of chicken satay if you prefer.

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