Friday, October 21, 2016

Thai-Style Chicken Satay and Peanut Dipping Sauce

My mom came to visit and I've been wanting to make her Indonesian/Malaysian food since I recently learned a couple recipes.  This one was from a trusted source (J. Kenji Lopez-Alt) and while the chicken was popular the Peanut Tamarind Dipping sauce was the star of the show that day.  It's easy to make and great on everything.

Thanks, Kenji!

Thai-Style Chicken Satay and Peanut Tamarind Dipping Sauce


  • 1 teaspoon (4g) coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) whole white peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) palm sugar, plus more to taste (see note above)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped (about 12g)
  • 1 (1/4-inch) disk of ginger (about 12g), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped (about 1 ounce; 25g), plus more sliced shallot for garnish
  • 1 (1-inch) knob fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon (4g) dried turmeric powder
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, bottom 4 inches only, finely sliced (remove dry outer leaves before slicing)
  • 1 (15-ounce; 425g) can coconut milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Asian fish sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 recipe Peanut-Tamarind Dipping Sauce, for serving
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into bite-size pieces


  1. 1.
    Toast coriander and white pepper in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Alternatively, place on a heatproof plate in the microwave and microwave at 15-second intervals until fragrant. Transfer to mortar and crush to a powder with pestle. Add palm sugar, garlic, ginger, shallot, turmeric, and lemongrass and crush to a paste. Transfer paste to a medium bowl and stir in half of coconut milk, all of fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon (4g) salt. Taste and add more salt or sugar as desired. The mixture should be quite sweet and salty.
  2. 2.
    Add chicken and turn to coat. Transfer to a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag, remove as much air as possible (you can use the water displacement method for this) and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 8 hours.
  3. 3.
    Remove chicken from bag and thread onto bamboo or metal skewers, using an onion or potato to help you do so faster and more safely. Pack chicken in tightly on skewers as you go.
  4. 4.
    Light 2/3 chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the medium-high heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.
  5. 5.
    Place chicken directly over hot side of grill and cook, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining coconut milk every minute, until chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes total.
  6. 6.
    Remove from grill and serve immediately with peanut-tamarind sauce, cucumber, and sliced shallot.

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