Google top 10 things to eat in Singapore and you will find Satay as one of them. I mean who doesn’t like grill meat on a stick? This popular Southeast Asian grilled meat skewer can be found all across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. Each country has their own version and whichever they are, I love them all.
Today’s homemade chicken satay is from a place close to my heart – Singapore. This traditional homemade chicken satay is made using juicy tender chicken thighs threaded on bamboo skewers and grilled to lip-smacking perfection. Serve with a sweet and crunchy peanut dip, I could totally agree it is one of our best national dishes.
Before adding the marinade to the chicken, I would suggest giving it a taste to make sure the seasoning is right. Based on the measurement below, it was perfect for my palate! Instead of chicken, this marinade works well with pork, beef and even mutton.
300 g chicken thigh – cut into small cubes (approx. 2cm)
1 stalk lemongrass – remove first layer, cut into sections
2 small red onions / 8 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 slices galangal (approx. ½ inch thick) – I’m using fresh ginger
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
½ tbsp. sweet dark soy sauce (I’m using kecap manis)
2 – 3 tbsp vegetable oil (I’m using grapeseed)
3 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp sugar (mix well)
Spice blend –
1 medium red onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp chilli paste (adjust more or less based on your preference)
1 stalk lemongrass (white part only)
½ tsp belacan
1 tbsp tamarind paste
3 – 4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup ground roasted peanut
100 ml coconut milk
serves 2 – 3
Recipe adapted from: Singapore Local Favourites (with slight modifications)
Cut the chicken into equal bite size pieces.
Blend all the ingredients for the satay marinade together. I used a food processor.
Alternatively, you could pound them using a mortar and pestle.
Pour marinade onto chicken and mix well.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Prepare the sauce by blending the spices together.
In a medium pot or saucepan, add in 2 tbsp cooking oil and spice blend. Cook under medium low heat for 2 mins until fragrant.
Add in sauce ingredients, except ground peanut and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 mins until thickened slightly.
Add in ground peanut and cook for another 5 – 10 mins until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.
The sauce should be thick yet pour-able. Set aside.
Prepare the skewers by soaking them in water for 1 hour.
Take out the marinated chicken thighs from the fridge.
Thread 3 – 4 pieces of chicken onto each skewer. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are used up.
By now, the meat will be at room temperature which will be perfect for grilling.
Prepare the basting sauce and set it at your cooking station.
Heat up a grill pan on medium heat and lightly coat with some oil.
Place skewers into the pan and cover for 1 min. The steam will cook the meat evenly.
Remove cover and use a brush to baste the sauce onto each skewer.
Flip the skewers and repeat with the other side. The cooking time should take approx. 7 – 10 mins, depending on the thickness of the meat.
Set the satay on a plate and serve it with cut onions, cucumber and satay sauce.