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I'm suffering from chicken satay trauma

Scagnetti Apr 10, 2013 08:21 PM

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.


  1. j
    jaykayen Apr 10, 2013 08:27 PM

    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. hannaone Apr 10, 2013 09:16 PM

      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. re: hannaone
        Scagnetti Apr 11, 2013 08:44 AM

        That's what I was thinking.

      2. j
        janniecooks Apr 11, 2013 12:28 AM

        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
          ARenko Apr 11, 2013 03:17 AM

          Agree with this.

          1. re: janniecooks
            alliegator Apr 11, 2013 08:47 AM

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

            1. re: janniecooks
              Scagnetti Apr 11, 2013 08:49 AM

              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. s
              smtucker Apr 11, 2013 08:46 AM

              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.

              1. C. Hamster Apr 11, 2013 09:03 AM

                I use red curry paste

                1. C. Hamster Apr 11, 2013 09:05 AM

                  This was one of my very favorite Saveur articles. Ive made a couple of them and they were delicious.

                  May give you ideas ...


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: C. Hamster
                    smtucker Apr 11, 2013 09:34 AM

                    This is the one I used!

                    To the chicken http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                    The javanese pickles and his soy dipping sauce are perfect accompaniments. So good.

                  2. scubadoo97 Apr 11, 2013 09:43 AM

                    I thought you skewered your cheek or something ;)

                    You can use a lower sodium soy or fish sauce

                    1. Scagnetti Apr 14, 2013 09:16 AM

                      Here's what I wound up doing. I did cut back some on the soy and fish sauce but I also added extra sugar, cumin, turmeric, coriander and lemongrass and that did the trick.

                      I also liked the golden color the turmeric gave the chicken.

                      Thanks for everyone's input.

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