This Thai Chicken Satay with Fluffy Coconut Rice has a tangy peanut sauce that is packed full of flavour yet so easy to make. What makes a good Chicken Satay dish is juicy, tender chicken that has been well marinated (it should be tasty enough to eat without the peanut sauce) and a soft, nutty Satay peanut sauce.
Serve with fresh cucumber and fluffy coconut rice, garnish with coriander, roasted peanuts and add a dash of lime juice. *Chefs kiss*
SOME TIPS & FAQS:
NOT ALL CHICKEN SATAYS ARE MADE THE SAME…
Satay meat dishes exist in many Asian cuisines including Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian and so on. The tanginess in this Thai inspired version comes from Thai Red Curry paste. You can use homemade or store-bought Thai Red Curry paste. For the store-bought version, the taste will vary slightly depending on what brand of curry paste you use.
FOR MAXIMUM FLAVOUR, CHARCOAL GRILL YOUR CHICKEN
For maximum flavour and extra-smokiness, place your chicken onto skewers and charcoal grill your chicken. If you don’t have a grill, pan-cooking them does the trick. I usually just pan-cook the chicken for a standard weekday dinner. On special occasions, we lug out the BBQ from the garage and go the whole way.
Also, if you love spicier dishes, try drizzling a bit of homemade chilli oil on at the end. I put it on everything…
WHERE CAN I FIND PALM SUGAR? CAN I USE A SUBSTITUTE?
Use Palm Sugar or Coconut Sugar to achieve more authentic South East Asian flavours. If you can’t find it or prefer to use a sugar substitute, that’s fine too (white sugar, maple syrup, honey). If you use maple syrup or honey, be conscious of the consistency. Adjust water ratios accordingly.
WHY DID MY COCONUT RICE TURN OUT GLUEY?
Ah, don’t worry, this was a problem I had when I first tried making coconut rice too. It wasn’t until I came across Nagi’s blog post that I understood why and found a mistake-proof technique. Make sure you follow the recipe steps below word for word. Here’s why…
- Wash your rice: it is crucial to wash your rice at least 4 times (or until the water is quite clear). This will make your rice less starchy and therefore less gluey at the end.
- Let your rice soak for 15 minutes: don’t skip this step! this is what makes the rice fluffy at the end, the rice will cook through better after soaking for 15 minutes.
- Diluted coconut milk i.e. half coconut milk, half water: instead of adding pure coconut milk, ensure your cup is half water, half coconut milk. This will prevent it from becoming a gluey, desert-like texture from pure coconut milk.
- Add pandan leaves and/or kaffir lime leaf. This will give your rice a restaurant-like finish with a subtle fragrance from the pandan leaves/kaffir lime leaf. You can buy either fresh or frozen. Fresh is always preferred but not always available. We have a kaffir lime leaf tree at home so I grab that fresh, but I buy pandan leaves frozen (they aren’t sold fresh at my nearest Asian supermarket).
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover to cook for 15-20 minutes. I tested this WITHOUT bringing it to a boil first and the quality wasn’t the same. Don’t take shortcuts.
Thai Chicken Satay with Fluffy Coconut Rice
- 500 g Chicken thigh (boneless, skinless) cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 tablespoon Curry or satay Powder
- 1 tablespoon Natural unsalted peanut butter made with 100% peanuts
- 1 tablespoon Red Curry Paste store bought or home made
- ¾ tablespoon Coconut Milk full fat
- 1 teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sugar preferably palm or coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon Vinegar preferably apple cider vinegar
Satay Peanut Sauce (same ingredients as Chicken Marinade minus curry powder)
- 2 tablespoon Natural unsalted peanut butter made with 100% peanuts
- ½ tablespoon Red Curry Paste store bought or home made
- 1 teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
- ½ teaspoon Sugar preferably palm or coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon Coconut Milk full fat
- ½ tablespoon Vinegar preferably apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon Water to thin sauce out to desired consistency
Fluffy Coconut Rice
- 2 cans Coconut Milk
- Kaffir lime leaf or Pandan leaf preferably fresh but frozen is ok
- 2 Limes
- Roasted Peanuts
- Chilli flakes
- Add all marinade ingredients to a bowl with chicken (diced 2cm pieces) and mix together.
- Leave in fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes for overnight. The longer the better.
- Cook your chicken. In a pan on medium heat add oil and your chicken. Don't overcrowd the pan so the pieces cook evenly and brown nicely on each side. To avoid overcrowding, cook your chicken in batches. Pan fry for 7-12 minutes or until cooked through.
- To test if your chicken is fully cooked, grab a thick piece and cut it open. Leave aside and move onto your peanut sauce or coconut rice.
- Note: don't take shortcuts with this process! This may result in your rice being gluey instead of fluffy. Also, you'll be cooking your rice on the stove (not in a rice cooker). So grab a pot or pan.
- In a bowl using your hands, wash your rice and drain the water. This will wash off the excess starch (you'll notice the water go from cloudy to clearer). Repeat 3-4 times/until the rice becomes clearer. Don't stress, it will never be 100% crystal clear!
- Leave your rice to soak in cold water for 15 minutes. Then drain.
- Make your "half coconut milk + half water" mix, this is the liquid you will cook the rice in. The liquid to rice ratio is 1:1. So if you're making 1 cup of rice, then add 1 cup of liquid. If 2 cups of rice, add 2 cups of liquid. 3 cups of rice, then 3 cups of liquid etc. The liquid is not pure coconut milk. It is half coconut milk, half water. The water dilutes the coconut milk which prevents the rice being soggy and gluey at the end.
- Add rice, liquid, a dash of sugar & salt, pandan and/or kaffir leaf into your pot/saucepan over medium high heat.
- Bring it to a simmer so the liquid starts to bubble (don't let it get too hot and aggressively boil). Stir once, place lid on the pan/pot and turn the heat to LOW.
- Leave for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
- Remove from heat, leave to cool for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a wooden spatula. You might find the rice at the bottom of the pan has browned. This is the best bit. Adds crunch. Yum!
- Add all ingredients into a small pot on low heat and stir until mixed through. Gradually add a dash (like a teaspoon) of water, adding more if you need to thin out the sauce.
- Adjust to taste e.g. if you like your sauce nuttier, add more peanut butter. The final consistency should be thin enough to 'drizzle' onto your chicken.
Plate and Serve
- Add chicken, sliced cucumber and coconut rice on your plate. Serve with peanut sauce on the side or drizzled onto your chicken.
- Garnish with roasted peanuts, coriander, chilli flakes.
- Squeeze a little bit of lime juice on the dish.