One of our favorite meals at home, growing up, was chicken satay, with steamed vegetables (like potato, bean sprouts, spinach, cabbage, tofu) with peanut sauce. Given my sons peanut allergy, I cannot share this special meal with him— but I can make chicken satay for him. I served the chicken satay with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce, but below you will find recipes for a Faux No-Peanut Peanut Sauce, and then the real Peanut sauce (both of which I have made, and work great).
Don't forget that you can make a large batch of the satays, put them in a zip lock bag, and freeze it for when you want them next. I freeze them in a serving portion for my family, so that gives me 6-8 skewers per bag. Works great for that weeknight meal.
6 servings, about 24 skewers
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, pounced flat and cut into long strips
- Whisk together all the ingredients except for the chicken, in a shallow baking dish.
- Add the chicken to the marinade in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- While the chicken marinates, soak about 24 skewers in water for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto skewers.
- Lightly oil a grill pan to medium-high; sear the chicken in batches until cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
No-Peanut Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used fat-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
3 tablespoons honey or 2 teaspoons palm sugar or 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 cup smooth sunflower butter
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)
Black pepper, to taste
2 pinches of cumin
Chili oil, to taste (optional)
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut milk, salt, lemon or lime juice, and honey.
- Add the balance ingredients and stir until smooth. If it is too thick, add a bit more of the coconut milk.
Real Peanut Sauce
1 kilo / 1/2 pound roasted peanuts (ground)
1 red onion (chopped finely)
4 pods of garlic (crushed)
1 inch ginger (grated)
1 cup tamarind juice
5 tablespoons dark brown sugar or 3 tablespoons honey
Salt and red pepper, to taste
3 cups of water
- Heat oil on a high flame; add onions, ginger and garlic. Sauté until nearly burnt.
- Add ground peanuts and sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Peanuts should have a ‘smoked’ feeling to it.
- Add tamarind juice, brown sugar, salt and red pepper. Mix properly and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add water slowly and keep stirring so that the sauce does not stick to the pan. Let it boil until the oil separates and comes to the top.
- Cover the saucepan and let it simmer for 10–15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep it covered for another half hour or so.
- Serve with boiled vegetables: spinach, cabbage, potatoes, tofu, bean sprouts, cucumber, fried prawn crackers (kheecha) etc.
- To top the sauce, have deep fried and burnt finely chopped onions / red chilli powder.