Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce

In Indonesia, where satay was first invented on the island of Java, satay grilled to crispy golden brown is the most iconic dish to be found on the street corners of this heavily populated Asian island. The same is true for many other regions in Asia where satay is as beloved as the spices it’s flavored with to coax out the protein’s virtues. The aroma of satay grilling at a vendor’s stall on any given street corner is as enticing as the snap and crackle of the meat as it cooks.

Satay, which is a dish denoting meat that is skewered, seasoned, grilled, and served with a dipping sauce, transforms everything from goat, mutton, pigeon, pork, fish, firm tofu, squab, duck, or chicken into a skewer of divine flavor that is both fun to eat and perfect for a crowd.

The traditional way to skewer meat for satay is to use a bamboo, palm frond, or sugar cane stick, but it’s just as tantalizing with a simple wood or metal skewer. The best way to prepare satay is over natural charcoal derived from wood, but charcoal briquettes will work in a pinch. Dipping sauces that work well with satay are only limited by the imagination: peanut sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, tahini, raita, aioli, or chutney are all satisfying dancing partners.

Chicken is the ideal neutral protein to use for satay. It provides a blank palette for creative spice blends to rub over your chicken after it’s been skewered and is ready for grilling. For even more of a satay punch, rub the chicken in its spices and refrigerate it for up to 12 hours before grilling to intensify the flavor.

Chile and Garlic Chicken Satay

The combination in this spice blend is easy to pull together with ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry. Garlic and onion are always a satay win and the addition of honey adds a sweetness that compliments the brightness of the citrus juice. Get the recipe.

Thai Chicken Satay

Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce

Rasa Malaysia

Bring the flavors of Thailand to your grill with this satay blend that combines the very best flavors from a nation as adored for its satay as it is for its refreshing dipping sauces. Turmeric adds a golden color and sugar provides a hint of sweetness. Get the recipe.

Authentic Chicken Satay

authentic chicken satay with peanut sauce

The Cooking Jar

There’s so much to love about this satay recipe it’s difficult to know where to begin. Let’s start with the lemongrass. It adds a fresh note of Asia that pairs so well with the shrimp paste, fennel, and cumin. Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you. Everything is easy to source and the flavor bomb that results is well worth the effort. Get the recipe.

Grilled Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

grilled chicken satay with peanut sauce

Skinny Taste

Red curry paste is the first ingredient in this recipe that tells the person devouring their satay that they’re in for something extraordinary. Fish sauce adds addictive brininess and coconut milk mellows everything out, including the cilantro which hints at citrus and concludes on a note as bright as this dish is memorable. Get the recipe.

African Chicken Satay

African chicken satay

Immaculate Bites

Satay doesn’t have to be all about Asia. The dish is also adored throughout many African nations where the heat is ratcheted up a few notches. This recipe incorporates easy-to-source ingredients including cayenne, smoked paprika, and peanut sauce that are blended before being slathered over chicken for satay perfection. Get the recipe.

Chicken and Pineapple Satay

pineapple chicken satay with peanut sauce

The Lemon Apron

This satay recipe is exotic through and through with a tropical pineapple flourish that enhances the other ingredients such as honey, curry powder, and Thai red chile. It’s the ideal way to invite a summer’s day into a chilly winter afternoon. Get the recipe.

Jody Eddy is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. She has cooked at Jean Georges, The Fat Duck, and Tabla and is the former editor of Art Culinaire Magazine. Her most recent cookbook was "Cuba! Recipes and Stories From a Cuban Kitchen", published by Ten Speed Press. Her cookbook "North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland" was published by Ten Speed Press in 2014 and won the 2015 IACP Judge's Choice Award. She is the author of the James Beard nominated cookbook "Come In, We're Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World's Best Restaurants" and her upcoming book for Ten Speed, "The Hygge Life", will be published in November, 2017. She is writing a cookbook for W.W. Norton profiling the cuisine and food traditions of monasteries, temples, mosques and synagogues around the world which will be published in 2019 and a cookbook with the Food Network chef Maneet Chauhan profiling the cuisine of India via an epic train journey throughout the country. She writes for Travel+Leisure, Saveur, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Plate, and VICE, among others. She is the author of, leads culinary trend tours for food and beverage corporations in Iceland, Peru, Mexico, Ireland and Cuba and is the Vice President of Marketing, Partnerships and Events at Hop Springs, an 85 acre agritourism destination opening in Nashville in May, 2018.
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