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Apr 10, 2013 08:21 PM

I'm suffering from chicken satay trauma

I've made this recipe before using a marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, veggie oil, ginger, shallot, garlic and dark brown sugar.

This weekend I'm making this dish for a group meal and I don't want to disappoint.

I did a one off test yesterday and I'm concerned it maybe too salty. I'm reluctant to cut back on the soy and fish sauce because they are the predominant flavoring ingredients.

I grilled off some of the chicken after marinating for 2 hours and another batch after 12 hours and there was little difference in taste

Should I dilute the marinade with hot water? Reduce the soy and fish sauce? Add more dark sugar? Other suggestions?

Here's an approximation of the ratios I used: 8 oz, chix breast, 2 tbls soy sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbls veg oil, 1 tsp dark brown sugar, a clove of garlic, 1 shallot, 1/4 tsp black pepper, dash of hot sauce.


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  1. 2 T soy +1 tsp fish sauces doesn't see like a horrible amount of salt for 8 oz meat. Can always use low sodium soy sauce?

    1. Adding a bit more sweet will offset some of the saltiness.
      Personally I would add about 1 tsp honey to the mix if it seems to be too salty.

      1 Reply
      1. Omit the soy sauce. Add coconut milk. The recipes I use inlclude garlic, ginger, fish sauce, sugar, and coconut milk, sometimes lime juice and sometimes turmeric. No soy sauce. The result is not salty.

        3 Replies
          1. re: janniecooks

            Also agree. And how about a few squeezes of lime?

            1. re: janniecooks

              I've never used coconut milk before in satays but I've seen recipes that do use it. I'm just reluctant to get too experimental since I have to make this dish in 2 days.

            2. If you have access to the Cradle of Flavor, the chicken satay recipe in that books is stellar. Sounds quite different than yours in that you make a paste that includes lemongrass. So darn good!

              If you can't find the book, I could post the ingredient list for you.