Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 16, 2009 12:24 PM

Easy Chicken Satay Marinade Recipe?

My daughter loves food on a stick and chicken satay is a new favorite. I've tried making this at home but not getting it quite right. I much prefer to use chicken breast, not thighs, so the meat really must stay moist and juicy when grilled.

I've looked at a bunch of recipes and am perplexed - some with lemongrass, some without, with fish sauce and without, coriander or not, etc. Does anyone have a fairly simple, go to delicious chicken satay marinade recipe that doesn't require a ton of work?

Also, advice on a great peanut sauce recipe or a trusted brand to purchase would be fantastic too. Am using Trader Joe's currently but it's not hitting the spot.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You got me thinking. I make chicken on a stick marinade depending on mood. So here is a calculus:

    One to all: Soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, Chinese cooking wine, mirin, drops of toasted sesame oil.

    One or none: peanut butter, tamarind paste, miso.

    As many as you like: chopped garlic, grated ginger, chopped shallots, chopped chiles, chopped cilantro, chopped lemon grass, lime zest,

    One or none: bit of brown sugar or honey

    1. may i suggest a bit of a cheat ? i make my satay from the recipe from taste of thai spices. the red curry paste, coconut milk, garlic, fish sauce and brown sugar. we like the taste.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodwich

        I make this all the time and people go crazy for it. Use breast tenders to avoid any work--Trader Joes sells them cheap. The amount listed is enough for about 1lb of chicken. Since it has lime, don't marinade more than 2-3 hrs. 1-2 is really enough..

        This is the easiest you'll find and one of the best I've encountered (marinade that it) :

        2-3 cloves garlic minced, 1 tbls of minced fresh ginger, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 2-3 tbls fish sauce, 2 tbls lime juice, 2 tsps sugar and 1/2 tsp tumeric powder--you could throw in some cilantro, but it isn't necessary.

        I serve this with a peanut sauce and fresh lettuce leaves. Stick the skewers in the leaf and put out the wood, and serve with sauce...

      2. The first "trick" to juicy skewers is to not overcook them. They are thin pieces of meat that will cook in just a couple minutes - 10 minutes is probably far too long.

        Another "trick" is to brine (not marinate) the meat after you've cut it into skewer sized pieces. Use any standard brine recipe for about an hour. Then dry the meat off and brush on your marinade just before grilling, broiling or frying.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KiltedCook

          No need to brine them if you use the tenders. As Kilted Cook mentioned, just don't overcook them. If you really feel you need to "brine" them, add an extra 1/4 cup of fish sauce to the marinade and make sure they stay in the 2-3 hours...

        2. Go to an asian store and buy a can of any kind of prepared southeast curry paste. Red, Green, Yello, Choo Chee, whatever you like.

          Combine the curry paste with coconut milk or low sodium chicken broth and add in fish sauce, cilantro, scallions, brown sugar, and lime juice in quantities that taste good to you.

          Start with a very small batch and add more ingredient until you have the taste and quantity of marinade you want.

          If it's for a child, you might want to choose the curry paste that has the fewest % of chile listed as an ingredient.