Malaysian Chicken Satay

Up your cooking skill by making this popular starter from scratch for the authentic experience.

Prep Time  35 Minutes

Cook Time  1 Day

Serves  6

Despite the long list of spices, they are easily found in most grocery stores.

The satay sauce will thicken further as it cools down. Alternatively, chicken satay is a fantastic grilled or BBQ briefly for a smokier flavour.


  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 16g palm sugar
  • 8g each (powder form): paprika, chilli, coriander, turmeric, cumin
  • 5ml vegetable oil
  • 4g salt
  • 600g deboned chicken thighs (skin reserved)

Satay Sauce

  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 15g ginger
  • 2g turmeric powder
  • 12g palm/brown sugar
  • 30g crunchy peanut butter
  • 2g salt
  • 60ml coconut milk

For the Grill

  • 20 wooden skewers
  • Vegetable oil
  • 30ml honey
  • 30ml oil
  • 2 cucumbers


24 hours before serving: 

  • For the marinade paste: pulse the onion in a food processor until fine. Transfer to a large bowl. Mix in sugar, paprika, chilli, coriander, turmeric, cumin, vegetable oil and salt to make a paste.
  • Cut chicken thighs and skin into bite-sized chunks and mix evenly with marinade paste. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.

2 hours before serving: 

  • Fill your sous vide water bath with water and preheat to 65°C (149°F) with 1 hour 30 minutes cooking time.
  • Once the target temperature is reached, seal chicken thighs in a bag and submerge them into the water bath.

30 minutes before serving: 

  • Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a saucepan on medium. Pulse shallots (skinned), garlic, chillies, ginger (skinned & chopped), turmeric and coriander powder in a food processor until it forms a paste. Fry  the past for 5 minutes until aromatic.
  • Add in water, sugar, peanut butter, salt and increase heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer gently, while stirring occasionally.
  • Add coconut milk, adjust seasoning to taste and summer for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat, set aside.

15 minutes before serving:

  • Once the chicken is ready, pat dry with kitchen towels. Thread the meat and skin alternately through the skewers.
  • Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large heavy-based pan. Whisk honey and oil in a separate bowl and brush the mixture on the meat on each skewer. Sear the skewers quickly for 10 seconds each side until brown. Do this in batches and replenish oil if needed.

To Serve

  • Place satay skewers on a plate with chunks of cucumber. Serve with satay sauce.