Satay is made all across Asia. It probably originated in Indonesia or Java but can be found in being cooked by street vendors and upscale restaurants in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and even China, Japan, and most Thai restaurants in the US. Usually it is small wooden skewers of chicken, pork, goat, or beef strips, even tofu, coated with a spice blend or marinated, grilled hot and fast til it is slightly charred, and served with a dipping sauce, often peanut based.
Many satays are made by pounding the chicken flat and thin but they overcook and are dry. I leave mine thick and watch them with a thermometer.
Since there is no salt in this spice rub recipe, (click here to read why our rub recipes do not have salt), salting the meat first is a must. This process is called dry brining. Salt will penetrate deep into meat so you should get it on in advance, perhaps overnight. The rest of the spices and herbs cannot penetrate very deep, so the rub can go on anytime, even just before you start cooking. The general rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon Morton coarse kosher salt per pound/450 grams of meat (don’t include bone, and ribs are about half bone).
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Pound the chicken. Pound the boneless meat and cut into strips about 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches long. This is thicker than most other recipes but insures tender and juicy meat. Try to pound them flat so they cook evenly. Sprinkle the chicken skewers all over with salt. If you have time, let them sit for an hour or two in the fridge. Overnight is even better.
- Skewer. Thread the chicken strips on wooden skewers. There is no need to soak the skewers first. Sprinkle them all over with the spice rub.
- Fire up. Heat a grill for direct high heat, Warp 10.
- Make the sauce. Mix everything together in a small bowl. A fork does the job just fine.
- Grill the skewers over high heat, lid open, turning often so they don't burn, until they are 160°F inside.
- Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.