Straight from the best Indonesian chicken sate stalls, you are going to love this recipe.
When you hear the words chicken sate, you might be thinking about that famously delicious chicken served at Thai restaurants with Thai peanut sauce. That’s a recipe I simply had to include in my book ‘The Curry Guy Thai’, because it’s so popular.
It’s believed, however that chicken sate originates from Indonesia and this recipe is just like I saw the chicken skewers prepared there. The chicken is cooked on wooden skewers over a hot coconut shell fire, basted heavily with kecap manis which smokes heavily when it drips off and hits the coals giving the chicken an amazing smoky flavour. This chicken sate is delicious served with the peanut sauce, sambal oelek or another red hot sauce and sliced cucumbers. You might also like to try one of my other Indonesian recipes to go with your chicken sate.
About this Indonesian sate recipe
Indonesian chicken sate is sweet and just a bit spicy from the black pepper used in the marinade. It’s all spiced up a bit more with the homemade peanut sauce that goes with these chicken skewers amazingly well.
I bet you can’t eat just one of these skewers! You are going to get a sweet, sour, savoury and spicy sensation in every bite. that together with the smoky flavour from being cooked right over the coals makes Indonesian chicken sate and barbecue recipe that isn’t to be missed!
How is the chicken sate cooked?
I made this Indonesian chicken sate exactly as I saw it done in Indonesia. The marinated chicken is first dipped in a good amount of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis). Then It’s layed right on top of the coals. As the kecap manis drips into the fire, huge clouds of smoke flavour the chicken as it chars.
You could just cook Indonesian chicken sate on your barbecue grate with good results. I just wanted to try cooking these skewers as I saw them prepared and it was a huge success.
Can you work ahead?
Yes. The chicken is best when marinated for at least 24 hours. You could just marinate and cook if time is an issue but the longer you let Indonesian chicken sate marinate, the better.
You can also prepare the peanut sauce up to 3 days before serving. Just place it in the fridge and bring it out to warm to room temperature. Some people like to heat the peanut sauce but I usually just serve it at room temperature with the flaming hot chicken skewers right off the barbecue.
How is the peanut sauce prepared?
The peanut sauce is a must! I prefer mine a bit crunchy so I don’t grind it too much. If you prefer a smoother peanut sauce, just blend it for longer. This isn’t as authentic but if that’s what you prefer, then do it.
You can also simplify the peanut sauce by using smooth or chunky peanut butter.
- Use premium quality charcoal. I use restaurant grade lumpwood charcoal from Big K.
- Allow the chicken to marinate for 24 hours.
- Cook directly over the charcoal if you can.
Step by step photos.
- 1kg (2 lbs) chicken thighs, cut into 2cm (1 3/4in) pieces
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 tbsp kecap manis, plus more as required
- 1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
- 30 (approx.) wooded skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE
- 200g (2 cups) raw peanuts, skin on or off
- 4 small shallots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloved, roughly chopped
- 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger
- 2 red spur chillies
- 2 – 3 red bird’s eye chillies
- 1 tsp palm sugar or light brown sugar
- 70ml (1/4 cup) kecap manis
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- Salt to taste if needed
- Pound the garlic, coriander, cumin and black peppercorns in a pestle and mortar until you have a paste. This can also be done in a spice grinder. Stir in the kecap manis and oil and then pour this marinade all over the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl. Be sure to rub it right into the chicken pieces, cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, prepare the Indonesian style peanut sauce. Pour about 10cm (4 in) rapeseed oil into a sauce pan or wok over a medium high heat. When visibly hot, add the peanuts and fry until they turn a couple shades darker. About 5 minutes should do.
- Transfer the fried peanuts to a bowl to cool. Discard or save all of the oil except for about 2 tbsp. Saute the shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies for about 5 minutes to soften.
- Transfer these cooked ingredients to the bowl with the peanuts to cool some. Using a pestle and mortar or food processor, grind to a course, not smooth sauce. You should still see a few small crunchy peanuts in there. Add the kecap manis and soy sauce and stir to combine. Set aside.
- When ready to cook, prepare your barbecue for direct heat cooking. You want the coals to be white hot! Your coals are ready when it is uncomfortably hot to hold your hand at cooking height for more than two seconds.
Skewer your chicken pieces on the wooden skewers. You only want about 4 to 5 pieces of chicken at the end of each skewer.
- Dip the marinated chicken in some more kecap manis until they are completely coated. I usually just pour about 250ml (1 cup) of kecap manis on a plate and roll the chicken in it. Place the skewers over the fire and cook for about 8 minutes, turning from time to time until the chicken is cooked through and nicely charred.
Serve hot with the peanut sauce.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 922mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 8g