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Sate Ayam Madura (Chicken Satay from Madura)

Posting Date: 04/08/18

Sate Ayam Madura (Chicken Satay from Madura)

Sate Ayam Madura (Chicken Satay from Madura) is the type of chicken satay normally sold in Jakarta because most of the sellers were from Madura which is an island off the northeastern coast of Java. Ayam means chicken in Indonesian language. There are many variations of satay (sate) in Indonesia. Depending on the region, the spices used to marinate the meat are different and it can also be served with or without peanut sauce. The peanut sauce ingredients can also be different from 1 region to another. Sate Ayam Madura uses peanut sauce as one of the ingredients to marinate the chicken. To serve it, the satay is coated with peanut sauce, drizzled with sweet soy sauce, and topped with fried onions. Pickled cucumber and onion are served on the side with the satay. In addition, the sellers also serve it with lontong (compressed rice cake) making it a full meal. Sometimes chili paste is served on the side, too.

You may have had chicken satay in a Thai restaurant and thought that's where satay originally came from. However, satay originated in Indonesia. From there, it spread to Malaysia, Thai, and other neighboring countries. Even though, it is served as an appetizer in Thai restaurants, it is considered as a full meal in Indonesia. As mentioned above, it is normally served with lontong (compressed rice cake). You can serve it with rice, instead.

You can use either chicken breast or thigh to make Sate Ayam Madura. Chicken thigh makes it more juicy because it has more fat. However, if you have health concerns, you can use chicken breast. Growing up, I ate a lot of chicken satay. This is 1 of my favorite Indonesian food.

I have provided pickled cucumber recipe to go with the chicken satay since it is normally served with it. The pickled cucumber adds freshness and crunchiness and thus, I suggest you to make it. It is actually one of the things I like about chicken satay. After a bite of the meat, a bite of the pickles just gives the freshness and crunchiness. It is better to make the pickles several hours or a day earlier so that the cucumber can absorb the flavor. Even though, the satay is normally served over peanut sauce, I have learned that not every non-Indonesian people like peanut sauce, so I normally serve the peanut sauce on the side after grilling the chicken. That way, people can decide if they want it with or without the peanut sauce. Some people might have peanut allergy. If you have peanut allergy, this is not the dish for you because the chicken is marinated in the peanut sauce. Also if you plan on serving it to others, make sure they don't have any peanut allergy. However, on this website, I have also posted a different version of chicken satay which uses no peanut sauce to marinate the chicken. So, you can use that recipe instead and skip the peanut sauce which is served on the side. For the recipe, click here. To prevent burning the skewers during grilling, soak the skewers in water for at least 3 hours.

The recipe makes between 10-15 skewers of chicken satay depending on the length of the skewers used.


  • bamboo skewers (about 10-15 skewers depending on the length of the skewers)
  • 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 pickled cucumbler: 1/2 small size cucumber, peeled, seed removed, and cut into 1/4" cubes
  • For peanut sauce: 2 candlenuts
  • For peanut sauce: 125 gram or 1 cups peanut2, toasted/roasted. You can also buy peanuts that have already been toasted to save the time.
  • For peanut sauce: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • For peanut sauce: 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • For peanut sauce: 2 small shallots, sliced
  • For peanut sauce: 1/2 tablespoon sambal oelek or to taste
  • For peanut sauce: 300 ml water
  • For peanut sauce: 2 tablespoon palm sugar (about 25 grams). You can substitute palm sugar with brown sugar.
  • For peanut sauce: 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For chicken: 6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs or 2 boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • For chicken: 4 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
  • For chicken: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • For serving: sweet soy sauce
  • For serving: lime wedges
  • For serving: fried onions


  1. Place skewers in a deep baking dish. Fill up the baking dish with water so that the skewers are completely immersed in water. Leave the skewers submerged in water until you are ready to put the chicken on the skewers.
  2. Combine sugar, salt, vinegar, and hot water in a small bowl. Stir it until sugar has been disolved. Add cucumber and stir it. Leave in a fridge for several hours up to a day before serving it so that the cucumber can absorb the flavor.
  3. Place candlenuts in a baking sheet. Turn on the oven to 350 deg F. When it reaches the temperature, place the baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven and toast the candlenuts for about 10 min. Make sure you don't burn them. So, you may want to check it at 7 min.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into a saute pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and shallots. Saute until the shallots become soft. Remove from the heat.
  5. Put toasted candlenuts. toasted peanuts, and sauteed garlic and shallots in a food processor. Pulse until peanuts are completely ground. Add sambal oelek and half of the water (150 ml) in the food processor. The water is added in the food processor so that the peanut sauce can be ground to a smooth paste. Transfer the peanut paste into a small pot. Add the remaining water (150 ml), palm sugar, and salt into the pot. Heat the pot over medium heat. Stir it from time to time to make sure the palm sugar is dissolved. Bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, check to make sure the sugar has completely dissolved. Taste and add more salt if needed. Reduce the heat. Continue cooking until the peanut sauce is slightly thickened (about 1-2 min). Remove from the heat. Transfer it to a small bowl. Let it cool down.
  6. Combine 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and 3 tablespoons of peanut sauce in a ziploc bag. Using a rubber spatula, mix the marinade sauce well. Add the chicken in the bag. Close the bag. Move the chicken around in the bag so that all of them are coated with the marinade. Open the bag again. Press the top of the bag to let air out of the bag as much as possible. Close the bag. Set it aside in the fridge for at least 30 min.
  7. Thread several pieces of the chicken on the skewer. Make sure you leave about 3.5" to 4.5" at the bottom of the skewer open without the chicken threaded so that you can hold the skewer. Repeat this step until all chicken has been threaded. Drizzle half of the lime juice over the chicken. Turn the skewers over to the other side and drizzle the remaining lime juice on the chicken.
  8. Turn on your grill. Cut about 1 feet of Al foil. Fold the foil into 2 lengthwise. Place the foil on top of the grill. The foil is used to protect the bottom part of the skewer that has no chicken threaded so that the skewer will not get blacked and burned during grilling. Grill the chicken on 1 side for couple minutes. Turn it over and grill the other side until the chicken is completely cooked. Remove satay from the grill.
  9. Transfer the satay to a serving plate. Top it with fried onions. Serve it with peanut sauce, pickled cucumber, and lime wedges on the side. You can drizzle a little bit of sweet soy sauce on top of the peanut sauce. If you like the sweetness of sweet soy sauce, you can drizzle it directly on top of the chicken. You can also serve the sweet soy sauce on the side. If you like peanut sauce, instead of serving the peanut sauce on the side, you can serve the chicken over the peanut sauce so that the chicken is coated with it. Drizzle the chicken with sweet soy sauce and top it with fried onions. You can serve it as an appetizer or a meal. If you serve it as a meal, serve it with steamed rice or lontong (compressed rice cake).

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