Get a handle on chicken satay with a peanut dipping sauce

  • This undated photo provided by America's Test Kitchen in July 2018 shows chicken satay with spicy peanut dipping sauce in Brookline, Mass. This recipe appears in the cookbook “All Time Best Appetizers.” (Joe Keller/America's Test Kitchen via AP)

Any dish that comes with its own handle is bound to be an appetizer favorite, and this Southeast Asian dish of marinated, grilled meat has deep flavor to match its convenient format.

We set out to bring this dish indoors for a simple but satisfying appetizer. A marinade of brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, and hot sauce guaranteed moist, full-flavored meat. The intense, direct heat of the broiler approximated a grill.


Our peanut dipping sauce has sweet, tart, and spicy elements that echo the marinade for a fresh, bright finish. Covering the exposed ends of the skewers with aluminum foil protects them from burning.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Servings: 10-15

Start to finish: 1 hour


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch thick strips

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon hot sauce

4 scallions, sliced thin

30 (6-inch) wooden skewers

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky

1/4 cup hot water

3 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

2 scallions, sliced thin

1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

For the skewers: Place chicken in bowl. Combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, brown sugar, cilantro, ketchup, garlic, hot sauce, and scallions and pour over chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

For the spicy peanut dipping sauce: Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter and hot water together in medium bowl. Stir in lime juice, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, cilantro, scallions, hot sauce, and garlic. Transfer to serving bowl.

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Line broiler-pan bottom with foil and cover with slotted broiler-pan top. Weave chicken onto skewers, lay skewers on broiler-pan top, and cover skewer ends with foil. Broil until fully cooked, about 8 minutes, flipping skewers halfway through broiling. Serve, passing peanut sauce separately.


To make ahead:

Marinade and meat can be prepared (but not combined) and refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours. Sauce can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature, season with additional lime juice to taste, and adjust consistency with water before serving.

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