Satay lovers rejoice! This is the stuff food dreams are made of – chicken marinated in an authentic homemade Satay Seasoning, then simmered in an incredible Satay Peanut Sauce (restaurant recipe!). No hard to find ingredients, no grinding peanuts, this is easy to make and is honestly restaurant quality. I swear!
Here by popular demand!! One of the recipes readers have really loved in recent times is my Chicken Noodle Salad with Satay Sauce. I’ve actually lost count of the number of messages I’ve received asking if the sauce could be used to make a curry-like satay chicken!!
So this recipe is for all those who asked – and for all Satay Lovers in this world.
As far as I know, Chicken Satay in this curry-like form is not authentic Asian. Real Satay Chicken is skewered chicken marinated with satay seasonings, seared over charcoal and served with a peanut sauce. There are various types throughout Asian, the most well known being Malaysian, Thai and Indonesian. All are slightly different, but have similar undertones.
I’ve never seen Satay Chicken served like this in Asia. But I have seen it in a few Asian restaurants here in Sydney. But while this Satay Chicken Curry might not be an authentic Asian recipe, I can promise you this: it tastes 100% authentic. Because I’ve used a Chef recipe for the homemade satay seasoning and a Restaurant recipe (Chinta Ria in Sydney) for the Peanut Sauce.
I think you will be surprised when you see the ingredients for the Satay Seasoning. All spices that you might already have in your pantry!
With the Satay Seasoning, the chicken is absolutely divine by itself. I could honestly eat it straight out of the pan, without the peanut sauce.
But with the peanut curry sauce….it just takes it to a whole new level.
Food euphoria. Food so good it makes you want to cry. And to think this is made from scratch, no jar pastes…just incredible.
Traditionally Satay peanut sauce is made by grinding peanuts using a mortar and pestle along with spices. Doing that is a pain. And it can sometimes end up a bit gritty, almost like desiccated coconut, if you don’t use fresh peanuts.
It’s even more of a pain when you are making loads of peanut sauce for a curry.
So for this sauce, I’ve simplified the peanut sauce steps somewhat using a blender – but kept all the flavours. My recipe is based on this recipe by Simon Goh of Chinta Ria, a very popular Asian restaurant in Sydney. I’ve made the original recipe exactly how it is written, and the flavour of this adapted version is on par – just that there’s a whole lot more of it.
This peanut curry sauce is so good it’s nuts. Go on – groan at the terrible pun!!! That might distract you for a mere moment of lusting after this sauce!!! 😉
My taste testers get to try a LOT of food. And I swear to you, this is the most talked about dish in recent times. Their response was incredible, they LOVED it, I kept hearing about it over and over again!
I’ve love to hear what you think if you try it! – Nagi x
- 1¼ tsp coriander powder
- 1¼ tsp cumin powder
- 1¼ tsp tumeric powder
- 1¼ tsp paprika powder (any type, even smoked)
- 1¼ tsp chilli powder (Note 1)
- 3 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp salt (or 1½ tsp kosher salt / sea salt flakes)
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 1.2lb / 600g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces (or chicken breast)
- ½ onion (brown, white or yellow), grated
- 2 tbsp oil, separated
- 3 - 6 birds eye chillies or other small hot red chillies, chopped (Note 2)
- ½ onion (brown, white or yellow), finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth / stock
- ¾ cup roasted peanuts, chopped, separated
- 2 tsp kecap manis (Note 3)
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce (Note 4)
- 14oz/400g (1 can) coconut milk (preferably full fat but light will be ok)
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- ½ cup water
- 3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 lemongrass, white part only, smashed to burst open (Note 5)
- 2 tbsp lime juice, to taste
- Peanuts, chopped
- Cilantro / coriander leaves
- Combine Satay Seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.
- Combine chicken with 3 TBSP SATAY SEASONING and onion in a bowl and marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. (Note 6)
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick skillet over high heat (Note 7). Add chicken and cook until browned all over - don’t worry if it’s still raw inside. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
- Turn heat down to medium high and heat 1 tbsp oil. Add chill, onion and garlic cloves. Saute until onion is translucent - around 2 minutes. Add remaining Satay Seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth and ½ cup peanuts, then transfer all the mixture into a food processor or blender. Puree until pretty smooth - some peanut chunks can remain. Pour mixture back into the skillet.
- Add remaining ¼ cup peanuts, kecap manis, dark soy sauce, coconut milk, peanut butter and water. Stir to combine.
- Crush kaffir lime leaf in hand a bit (to break leaf to release the flavour). Add kaffir lime leaf OR lemongrass and chicken to sauce. Bring to simmer, turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened.
- Add lime juice to taste. Serve with rice, garnished with peanuts and cilantro/coriander leaves.
2. Use as much chilli as you think you can handle! I use 6 birds eye chillis (small red chillis, about the same heat as Thai red chillis) and it's a bit spicy, but not "blow your head off" spicy. Use 3 for mild heat. Remember there is quite a lot of sauce!
3. Kecap Manis (Ketjap Manis) is a dark sweet soy sauce with the consistency of syrup. It can be purchased in the soy sauce section of most supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths in Australia). Or you can make your own - it's so simple!
4. Dark soy sauce has a more intense day colour than all purpose soy sauce or light soy sauce. I use dark to deepen the colour of the satay sauce. You can substitute with all purpose or light soy sauce.
5. Kaffir lime leaves and/or lemongrass are the secret to peanut sauces that taste truly like what you get at (good) restaurants. When making a dipping sauce, it is usually sauted with the spices. To make a curry sauce, it works great to simmer it with the sauce to infuse the flavour into it. Most recipes use lemongrass, some use kaffir lime leaves. I like using kaffir lime leaves because I always have them in the freezer - fresh leaves freeze brilliantly. I stand firmly in my position that using either is great!
HOW TO PREPARE/USE:
- Kaffir Lime Leaves: Crush them gently in your hand to crack the leaf surfaces to release flavour, plonk them in the sauce to simmer, pull them out before serving (I usually don't bother, I just warn those I'm serving that if they get it, it's not edible)
- Lemongrass: Cut the top ¾ reedy green part off and keep the white part at the bottom. Use the side of your knife or anything heavy to smash it to split it open to release flavours. Plonk it in to simmer, then take it out prior to serving.
6. Marinating: 3 hrs - overnight ideal, but even 20 minutes is enough because there is so much flavour packed into the seasoning!
7. Strongly recommend using non stick because of the chunky paste on the chicken.
8. The satay seasoning is adapted from this recipe from Christine's Chinese Recipes which is from a Malaysian chef (!!!) and the Satay Sauce is adapted from this Food Safari recipe by the very popular Chinta Ria restaurant in Sydney.
The key changes I made were:
i). Make one common seasoning (because the ingredients are very similar); and
ii) Converted the sauce into a curry sauce rather than dipping sauce, but keeping the flavour; and
iii) Change the Satay Sauce steps to avoid grinding the peanuts with a mortar and pestle a) for convenience; b) because the sauce for this recipe should be silkier than chunky satay peanut dipping sauces for satay on sticks; and c) because depending on the quality of the peanuts, sometimes it can make the sauce a bit gritty. Also because of the vast volume of the sauce compared to making a dipping sauce, I added a small amount of peanut butter to help create a thick smooth curry sauce as well as adding a touch of sweet rather than using sugar.
Nutrition per serving assuming 5 servings, excluding rice. Assumes every drop of sauce is consumed – this recipe makes plenty because it’s so nice to eat the sauce with rice! If you use chicken breast and light coconut milk, this reduces to 494 calories.
PS This recipe is sensational to use to make traditional Chicken Satay Skewers too. Here – I threaded some chicken onto a skewer so you can see! You won’t need the full quantity of sauce though – around half is enough.
PPS The only reason there’s no photo of Dozer drooling over Satay along with you (and me) is because he’s outside gnawing on a bone. He always splays his front legs out like this when he’s munching on a bone – is this normal?? Looks awkward!