Jun 21, 2010

Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay

Now that I’ve slapped up my Ketjap Manis, I simply have to share my chicken satay recipe, since ketjap makes a big part of the flavor. I know in America you guys are big on grilling steaks and burgers, in the Netherlands we’re gun-ho on anything you can get to stay on a skewer.

Shish kabob, satay and shashlick—along with burgers, of course—are what you’ll find sizzling on our grills. Throw in some vegetables, potato salads and a myriad of dipping sauces with crusty bread and we’re happy campers. I gotta say I love those threaded suckers, the sky is the limit because you can easily make the craziest combinations between meat, fish, poultry, fruit, vegetables and wicked marinades.

Here’s my family’s favorite version: a basic chicken satay marinated in an incredibly flavorful, mildly sweet yet surprisingly light marinade.


1 pound chicken fillet
2 tbsp oil (high heat oil)
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp Ketjap Manis
1 tsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove
1/2 red chili pepper
1 tbsp HP sauce (or ketchup + worcestershiresauce)
few drops sesame oil
thumb-size piece of ginger
2/3 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder
lemon juice

Optional: ginger syrup
Optional: brown sugar


I’m starting out with 1 large grated garlic clove, a grated thumb-size piece of ginger and a finely minced 1/2 red chili pepper.
Chicken Satay

Add two tbsp Ketjap Manis.
Chicken Satay

I’m adding 2 tbsp high-heat cooking oil for this, peanut oil, it’s my favorite for dishes like these.
Chicken Satay

Probably my all-time favorite sauce. It’s so versatile. Add 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce. I’m eyeballing things today.
Chicken Satay

The HP sauce really adds depth, if that makes sense. Add about a tbsp. Don’t worry if you don’t have HP sauce at home, you can simply combine a tbsp ketchup with a few drops of worcestershiresauce to get a similar effect.
Chicken Satay

Season with a generous amount of black pepper, a good pinch of salt, 2/3 tsp curry powder and 1/2 a tsp sweet paprika powder.
Chicken Satay

If you’re anything like me and your spice cabinet is filled to the brim with exotic spices, don’t be afraid to add some laos, djinten, ketoembar, sereh or whatever you have left to it.

I have a deep-seated love for anything onion, that includes onion powder. Add 1/2 a tsp.
Chicken Satay

Add 1 tsp soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil. Keep in mind that sesame oil can easily become overpowering, so go easy.
Chicken Satay

This is optional since I also added fresh ginger, but I like it gingery so I’ve added a small splash of ginger syrup.
Chicken Satay

And for a bit of zing and freshness I squeeze in some fresh lemon juice, about a tbsp or so.
Chicken Satay

Stir well and taste the seasoning. I’ve added the ginger syrup, so mine was sweet enough, but chances are your marinade could benefit from 1 or 2 tsp brown sugar. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Chicken Satay

Cube the chicken—this was a little over one pound—and add it to the marinade. Cover the bowl, put it in the fridge and let the chicken marinade for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. The longer the better.
Chicken Satay

Fast forward. I gave my chicken 6 hours.
Chicken Satay

I just don’t like messing around with wooden skewers. They make for great toothpicks but I think they’re clumsy to work with. These cost roughly 1 euro per 10 skewers and they last forever.
Chicken Satay

Thread the chicken onto the skewers. You can also add some pieces of fresh pineapple, it’s a really wicked combo.
Chicken Satay

It was rainy when I made these, so I’ve lightly oiled the grill.
Chicken Satay

Grill the satays until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes total, but this will depend on the size of your chicken.
Chicken Satay

I’m always concerned about salmonella, so I also grill the sides for a few moments. Just to make sure.
Chicken Satay

Slice some cucumber and tomato, arrange it on a platter and place the skewers right on top of it. It looks better if you dress up the plate a little.

These are so good, they’re slightly sweet and savory at the same time. Now and then I’ll throw in a few pieces of fresh pineapple for the heck of it. Especially kids like this one! So be sure to make plenty of them because these delicious satays will disappear in a hurry!
Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay
    1 pound chicken fillet
    2 tbsp oil (high heat oil)
    2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
    2 tbsp ketjap
    1 tsp soy sauce
    1 garlic clove
    1/2 red chili pepper
    1 tbsp HP sauce (or ketchup + worcestershiresauce)
    few drops sesame oil
    thumb-size piece of ginger
    2/3 tsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder
    lemon juice

    Optional: ginger syrup
    Optional: brown sugar
    Grate the garlic, ginger and mince the chili pepper. Add it to a bowl and combine with the oil, sweet chili sauce, ketjap manis, soy sauce, HP sauce, sesame oil, curry, paprika and onion powder and a splash of fresh lemon juice.

    Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper, taste to check the seasoning and (optionally) add 1 or 2 tsp brown sugar or ginger syrup.

    Cube the chicken, mix it with the marinade, cover the bowl and let it marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Preferably longer. Thread the chicken onto the skewers and lightly oil the grill (when cooking indoors).

    Grill the satays until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes total, but this will depend on the size of your chicken.
Meal type: main coarse / chicken
Variations The HP sauce can be replaced by a tbsp ketchup combined with a few drops worcestershiresauce. The Ketjap Manis recipe is on the blog.
Servings: 6 large skewers
copyright © kayotickitchen.com

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    1. 1

      The Dutch loves sate just like Indonesian :)
      Have you ever made sate maringgi?

      Pepy @Indonesia Eats on Jun 21, 2010 @ 6:17 pm Reply
    2. 2

      I love the action shot of the lemon. Just perfect! What a yummy-looking dish. Your photos are always fantastic.

      Memoria on Jun 21, 2010 @ 7:14 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Hey Kay. (Always) lovin your site! Sometimes in Indonesia we eat satay (indonesian called it Sate – similiar pronounciation with Cafe) with peanut sauce. It’s very yummy as well. Please give it a try!
      Some recipe use peanut butter, but it’s not as good when you blend your own sauce with fresh peanuts, kecap manis, some oil, hint of garlic and chilli!

      Nathania on Jun 21, 2010 @ 7:19 pm Reply
    4. 4


      We call it sate, too, in the Netherlands… and as for the penaut sauce, keep an eye on the blog later this week *winks*

      Kay on Jun 21, 2010 @ 7:21 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Wow, this looks fantastic.  First time I’ve heard of HP sauce.

      Kalynskitchen on Jun 22, 2010 @ 2:55 am Reply
    6. 6

      Do try the satay with freshly cut cucumber and onions. Oh plus the must have peanut sauce. Yum!

      Che-Cheh on Jun 22, 2010 @ 2:58 am Reply
    7. 7

      sounds delish!

      MariaT on Jun 22, 2010 @ 4:49 am Reply
    8. 8

      @ Pepy:

      No, I’ve never made sate maringgi. Do you happen to have a recipe?:)

      Kay on Jun 22, 2010 @ 7:54 am Reply
    9. 9

      This looks and sounds fantastic, Kay! Your recipes have such an international flair. They’re fabulous.

      Maria on Jun 22, 2010 @ 9:39 am Reply
    10. 10

      Super super recipe – i love all the ingredients that go into it !! I always thought satay had to have the peanut sauce in it, but i love this..and with pineapple, that is a killer combo !!

      Arch on Jun 22, 2010 @ 3:59 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Yes the Dutch love their ‘meat on sticks’ it’s so much better (not to mention cheaper!) to make them yourself. This time of year (BBQ) the supermarkets are full and oh boy are they overpriced!

      Vanessa on Jun 23, 2010 @ 9:28 am Reply
    12. 12

      @ Vanessa:

      Aside from the premade kabobs being overpriced, I always get the feeling what they’re selling is really bad quality meat and poultry they revved up with spices and marinades. I don’t trust that kind of meat at all. Especially not at the AH!

      Kay on Jun 23, 2010 @ 10:00 am Reply
    13. 13

      This chicken looks delish… satay is one of my favorites especially with your peanut sauce….. Mmmmmm :-)

      ThatsSoYummy on Jun 23, 2010 @ 2:24 pm Reply
    14. 14

      That looks and sounds great! Kind of wondered what you do for BBQ.
      Thanks for another great recipe!

      Teri on Jun 24, 2010 @ 3:02 pm Reply
      1. @ Teri:

        We’re bad. Really bad. We even fold (spicy) ground beef around a skewer and grill it like that :)

        Kay on Jun 28, 2010 @ 8:19 am Reply
    15. 15

      Ah this looks so super delicious, I think I really have to try it out, even though I am not much of BBQ person :)
      Can I ask you where you bought those bowls in the last picture? I really love the design of them :)

      Carina on Jul 1, 2010 @ 4:45 pm Reply
    16. 16


      Bought those in a special cookware store. They’re handmade African dishes and bowl.

      Kay on Jul 1, 2010 @ 4:48 pm Reply
    17. 17

      This marinade is the just most delicious thing ever! I made it for some grilled tofu and it was amazing!

      Lizzy on Jul 14, 2010 @ 6:43 pm Reply
    18. 18

      @ Lizzy:

      Never thought of using this marinade for tofu! Great idea.

      Kay on Jul 14, 2010 @ 6:46 pm Reply
    19. 19

      OMG! Is this plate part of the black bowl set? I am so sorry. Like I commented on your mashed potato post a little while back, I have been looking for this plate set for the longest time. Can you please tell me what set is this, or where you got it from?? I will be so thankful!

      Arunima Singh on Oct 27, 2010 @ 6:27 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Dear Kay,
      I recently found your site and it is very intertaining, mainly because of the many photos and little stories.  But now and again my heart skips a beat (in a wrong way) when I see an simple Indonesian recepe f**ked-up, especially from someone with her roots in Indonesia. Conimex, HP-sauce, sesame oil, it’s blasphemous. :) Anyway I can set you on the right track. I have a sweet little recepe for the best chicken satay on this part of the globe.

      Satay Wangi (aromatic sate)
      Take 600 gram of chicken fillet and cut it into 3x3x3 cm cubes.  Grind the the marinade made from 1 stem of lemon grass, 5 kaffir lime leaves, 2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp brown sugar/palm sugar, salt and peper into a paste and add 50 ml sunflower oil. Marinade the meat  for 3 hours.
      In the meantime make the sauce from 2 cloves of garlic, 2 cm of fresh ginger, 1 tsp sambal ulek, 100 ml good thick kecap manis (like the ABC brand)  and some lime juice.
      Thread the meat on the skewers and grill it slowly for 6 minutes until brown and done. Serve it with the sauce and garnish with red peper and cut up shallots. Serve it with rice or lontong (sticky rice)

      Erwin on May 23, 2012 @ 9:12 am Reply
      1. Hmmm I don’t have roots in Indonesia, and this wasn’t meant to be an Indonesian recipe, so your heart can start beating again now :)

        Must admit that this is by far my favorite recipe: http://www.kayotic.nl/blog/asian-chicken-strips

        I love a hint of sesame oil in a marinade, it livens it up. Have you ever tried it? Also if you want your marinade to be truly authentic Indonesian, you shouldn’t forget to add nutmeg!

        Kay on May 23, 2012 @ 9:24 am Reply
    21. 21

      Well, I read that your mother  had lived in Indonesia for a long time so I assumed that your roots were in Indonesia as well. My bad.

      Your asian chicken recipe is truly a mix of asian ingredienst. Mirin and sake = Japanese,  five-spice and sesam oil= Chinese and fish sauce = Thai. 
      If you talk about satay, you talk about the Malesian/Indonesian chicken skewers. If you talk about asian chicken skewers, than everything goes. In this respect, sesame oil doesn’t fit in the sateh for it’s Chinese. So for the authentic Chinese flavour I use sesame oil at the near end of a dish.

      Maybe I sound like a nitpicker but I mean well. :D 

      Nutmeg in sateh…. in my humble opinion you’re  beter off with candle nuts (kemiri), toasted in a dry frying pan and than crushed. Sometimes I put some dried shrimp paste (trassi) in my sateh sauce. But only when the windows are fully open!

      Erwin on May 23, 2012 @ 11:35 pm Reply
      1. It’s not Indonesian satay unless it has nutmeg in it, sorry :)

        My mom only lived there for 5 years, but wasn’t born there!


        Kay on May 24, 2012 @ 7:15 am Reply
    22. 22

      I have gotten many recipes from this website but I must say this one was AMAZING!!  It turned out so good.  I didnt have the HP sauce and I hate Ketchup so I used Hoisin Sauce instead.  Seriously, I will make this over and over again.

      Angela on Nov 12, 2012 @ 9:55 pm Reply
    23. 23

      I’ve been making these, every now and then, since i saw them here… Souvlaki (which is what we call preactically anything on a skewer here in Greece) is the quintessentila greek fast food. So it is considered the easiest and maybe most boring thing you can make… I recently made them for my local biker club, who have a souvlaki/BBQ night every week. I was told that I have “redefined” the souvlaki!! So there! thanks Kay!!!

      Peter Papageorgiou on Dec 22, 2014 @ 1:36 pm Reply

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