Thai Satay Kebabs are a street food staple in Thailand, but they’ve become popular buffet fare in Britain and are not always as good as they should be. Prepared properly, satay are a thing of joy juicy, spicy and tasty and you can leave out the bird’s-eye chilli if you don’t like too much heat. You’ll need a dozen 20 cm wooden skewers.
- 2 x 225g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 limes, cut into wedges, for serving
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 6 Thai shallots (or 2 banana shallots), roughly chopped
- 2 lemon grass stalks, trimmed and white part finely sliced
- 1 large red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped (optional)
- 20 g galangal (or fresh root ginger), grated
- 1 ½ tsp crushed palm sugar
- 5 cm piece of fresh turmeric root, finely grated or 1 ½ tsp powdered turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- 125 g crunchy peanut butter
- 1 x 165 ml can of coconut cream
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated or crushed
- ½ tsp tamarind paste
- 1 large dried red chilli, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then finely shredded
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- juice of 1/2 lime
- flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Pickled cucumber salad (optional)
- 1 tsp crushed palm sugar
- 50 ml rice vinegar
- 1/2 cucumber, cut into small dice
- 4 Thai shallots (or 1 banana shallot), sliced
- 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
How to Make Thai Satay Kebabs
- First make the marinade. Put the garlic, shallots, lemon grass, chillies, galangal, palm sugar and turmeric in a mini blender or pestle and mortar.
- Blend or grind to a rough paste. Add the cumin, coriander, groundnut oil, dark soy sauce, fish sauce and a good grinding of black pepper, and blend or grind again to make a smooth paste. If using a food processor, you may need to push the paste down a couple of times with a rubber spatula. Tip into a large, non-metallic bowl.
- Now cut the chicken into long, thin strips.
- Add chicken to the marinade and mix well, then cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4–6 hours or preferably overnight.
- Soak the wooden kebab sticks in water for at least half an hour so they don’t burn when you cook the satay.
- When you’re ready to cook, thread the pieces of chicken on to the skewers. Heat a griddle pan on a medium to high heat and cook the satay in batches.
- There will be a bit of smoke from your griddle but don’t worry – it’s just getting up to temperature. Chicken, need 3–4 minutes on each side – check that the meat is cooked through, with no pinkness remaining.
- Serve these with satay sauce and lime wedges. The pickled cucumber salad goes well too. I hope you enjoy this Thai Satay Kebabs recipe.
- Put the peanut butter, coconut cream, garlic, tamarind paste, chilli and soy sauce in a small pan.
- Place over a medium heat and stir slowly and continuously as it heats, then simmer for 30 seconds.
- Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and taste for seasoning.
- Pour into a heatproof serving bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
Pickled cucumber salad
- Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar, then add the cucumber, shallots and chilli and mix well.
- Set aside for about 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to infuse.