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Awesome Thai Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce Recipe – BBQ & Air Fryer Cooked Thai Street Food

These Thai chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce dip and sweet Thai pickles is in the style of one of the staple Thai Street Food snacks that is just everywhere in Thailand. If you’ve ever visited Thailand you will instantly recall images of smoking BBQ’s covered with chicken skewered bamboo sticks lining the sois.

How to Make Thai Chicken Satay Skewers & Peanut Sauce with Sweet Thai Pickels Video

Thai Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce Recipe - BBQ & Air Fryer Cooked Thai Street Food

Link in case the Making Thai Chicken Satay Skewers Video is not Loading

The problem with chicken satay on roadside BBQ’s is that you cannot pass by without the urge to grab a quick snack.

Walk up, select the nicest looking ones as you take in the aroma to whet your appetite and walk away all the richer for your chicken and peanut sauce, albeit marginally the poorer for the few baht you exchanged.

Some of these Thai chicken satay skewers are truly epic, tasting fantastic, accompanied to a great tasting peanut dipping sauce and made with good quality meat.

The norm is something not quite so epic with too much chicken skin, fat and grizzle included – the cheaper cuts seek out a little extra profit on each stick but ultimately less quantity sold I assume.

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Ingredients for Thai Chicken Satay Skewers, Peanut Dip & Sweet Thai Pickles

Chicken Satay & Marinade

  • Chicken Breast
  • Cumin Seed
  • Coriander Seed
  • Palm Sugar
  • Curry Powder
  • Soy Sauce
  • Coconut Milk

Sweet Thai Pickles

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Mild Chili
  • Cucumber
  • Shallots / Small Red Onions

Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • Peanut Butter
  • Masaman Paste
  • Chili Paste
  • Rice Flour (in a little water)
  • Palm Sugar
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Stock
  • Coconut Milk
  • Salt
  • Tamarind Paste
photo of ingredients for chicken satay, peanut sauce & sweet Thai pickles
1. Chicken Breast or Thigh, 2. Cumin Seeds, 3. Coriander Seeds, 4. Palm Sugar, 5. Curry Powder, 6. Soy Sauce, 7. Coconut Milk, 8. Salt, 9. Chili Paste, 10. Masaman Paste, 11, Rice Flour in Water, 12. Peanut Butter, 13. Evaporated Milk, 14. Stock, 15. Water, 16. White Vinegar, 17. Sugar, 18. Mild Chili, 19, Small Cucumber, 20. Small Shallot or Red Onions, 21. Tamarind Paste (not shown)
Photo of chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce & sweet pickles
Chicken satay & peanut dip go so well together

aking Chicken Satay Step By Step

Step 1 Prepare Chicken & Marinate

If you are using wooden skewers and intend to BBQ then place the skewers in water to soak. This helps to avoid the skewers catching light or burning.

Prepare your chicken by slicing into fairly thin strips about 1/4″ thick. Thinner strips take less time to cook and so are less likley to burn on the outside before they are cooked through.

photo of placing chicken slices on teh wooden skewer
Place Marinated Chicken Slices Evenly on Skewers Ready for Cooking

You can cut the strips into short lengths which are easier to skewer or leave as longer strips as you choose.

Mix the curry powder, soy sauce and the rest of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and then place in a plastic ziplock bag and massage well. Place the ziplock bag in the fridge for at least two hours or better still, overnight.

photo of chicken already marinated and on skewers ready for the BBQ and Air Fryer
After Marinating – Skewer your Chicken Slices on Soaked Wooden Skewers.

Step 2 Prepare Peanut Dipping Sauce

From the peanut sauce ingredients add the water, coconut milk, peanut butter and palm sugar into a saucepan and heat on a medium setting.

Stir ingredients together until they form a smooth sauce. If you use chunky peanut butter there will obviously be pieces of peanut or you can use the smoother peanut butter for a smoother sauce.

When the sauce is consistent, add in the rice flour which you have made into a liquid paste by adding a little cold water. You can also use cornstarch or cornflour instead of rice flour as any of these fine flours will provide the thickening we want.

Allow the sauce to cool before adding in the sugar, evaporated milk, salt, masaman paste, chili paste and chicken stock and then return to the heat.

Stir to incorporate all the ingredients until the sauce is nice and smooth and then turn off the heat. Remember the sauce will thicken more as it cools.

If you like peanuts you might also like to check out our Panang Chicken Curry Recipe.

photo of chicken satay skewers and peanut sauce with sweet Thai pickles
The Peanut Sauce will Thicken as it Cools – Tastes Yummy

Step 3 Prepare the Sweet Thai Pickles

From the sweet Thai pickles ingredients heat together the water, vinegar and sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Slice the cucumber, chili and shallots or red onions into fairly thin slices. It is pretty to use several different chili colors but the chilies should be a mild variety.

Allow the sweet vinegar to cool and add in the sliced cucumber, chili and shallots.

photo of seet Thai Pickles - a palate cleanser
The Sweet Thai Pickles are Eaten & Taste Great as Well as Cleansing Your Palate after the Slightly Sticky Peanut Sauce

Step 4a Cooking the Satay – BBQ Method

Prepare your BBQ at least 20-30 minutes before cooking to allow the charcoal time to settle and produce its characteristic smoldering heat.

Prepare your chicken skewers from the marinaded chicken pieces doing your best to get the skewers as near to the middle as you skewer away. Leave space at the end for handling.

photo of dried coconut and pandanus leaves used to create smoke on the BBQ
Create Smoke Using Dried Coconut Flesh (after making coconut milk for example) & Pandanus Leaves

Just before cooking, lightly brush the BBQ grill surface with light oil to reduce sticking. Throw on some dessicated coconut and pieces of pandanus leaves to create smoke. If not readily available you can use any other method to create smoke such as BBQ smoke wood chips.

Just before cooking, lightly brush the BBQ grill surface with light oil to reduce sticking. Throw on some dessicated coconut and pieces of pandanus leaves to create smoke. If not readily available you can use any other method to create smoke such as BBQ smoke wood chips.

Brush both sides of the chicken skewers with coconut milk – in the video I used a brush made of cut up pandanus leaves. Place the skewers on the BBQ.

Baste frequently, turning the skewers as you go until cooked and then serve.

photo of basting chicken skewers on the BBQ
Baste Your Chicken Skewers Often as you BBQ for Nice Moist Chicken

Step 4b Cooking the Satay – Air Fryer method

Prepare your chicken skewers as step 4a but using shorter skewers or cutting shorter and leaving a shorter handing stem. This will allow you to fit more skewers to cook in one go.

Baste both sides of the chicken skewers with coconut milk and place as many chicken sticks as will fit in a single layer into the air fryer pan.

Set your for 180 degrees centigrade and cook for 5 minutes. Open the fryer and baste the tops of the chicken with coconut milk and then turn over using tongs.

photo of basting air Fryer Chicken
The Key to Moist Chicken Satay from your Air Fryer is to Baste as You Cook – Before you Start and at Least a Couple of Times Whilst Cooking

Place back in the machine and cook for a furtther 3 minutes then repeat the coconut milk basting. You can turn again or not, it doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference.

Cook for a further 2 minutes and then check the chicken is cooked. The cooking time will depend a little on the machien you use and a lot on how thickly you sliced the chicken. Add cooking time at the same temperature if necessary, basting every three minutes until done.

You will find Air Fryer cooked satay just as delicious as the ones you cook on the BBQ and a whole lot less hassle.

photo of hicken satay sticks after cooking in the air fryer
Air Fryer Cooking is a Great Way to Cook Chicken Skewers – Try It Seriously!

But then BBQ’s are meant for parties and can cook a lot more at once.

Serve your BBQ’d or Air Fried Chicken Satay Skewers with the Peanut Dipping Sauce and Sweet Thai Pickles.

The Sweet Thai Pickles are great for a change of taste and help to clean the palate between tastings.

photo of sweet Thai pickes and gold spoon
Sweet Thai Pickles help Cleanse the Palate after Peanut Sauce & Taste Great

Thai Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce & Sweet Thai Pickles Recipe

Thai Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce & Sweet Thai Pickles

Phasinee Doddeo

The Video showing this recipe being cooked is near the top of the page – A convenient Jump Link to the video is below the description under here.

Possibly the most common Thai Street Food, Chicken Satay with peanut sauce and sweet Thai pickles is what you can find all over Thailand. Here is the classic recipe for you to cook at home.
4.58 from 7 votes

NOTE: Any In-recipe images can be toggled on and off with the camera icons next to the Instructions header.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, BBQ & Grill, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people
Calories 579 kcal


  • Air Fryer or BBQ


Marinade Ingredients

Peanut Sauce Ingredients

Sweet Vinegar, Cucumber, Shallot & Chili Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 5 Shallots
  • 2 Chili Spur Green, Red or Orange
  • 2 Cucumber


Instructions For Marinade

  • Mix all the marinade ingredients well in a mixing bowl. Slice chicken thinly and massage for 10 mins until the ingredients absorbed.
  • Cover the bowl or and leave in the fridge at least 2 hrs. or place in a ziplock bag overnight to let the chicken absorb the marinade well. The longer marinading, the better the taste of the chicken.

Instructions For Peanut Sauce

  • Add coconut milk, peanut butter, water, palm sugar in a hot saucepan until sugar dissolved. Then add rice flour mixed with a little water and continue stir to avoid lumps.
  • Add brown sugar, evaporated milk, salt, massaman paste, chili paste and chicken stock. Continue stir until smooth and taste.
  • Set aside to cool – the sauce will thicken a little more as it cools.

Instructions For Sweet Thai Pickles

  • Heat water until hot then add vinegar, salt and sugar. When the sugar has dissolved set aside to let it cool down
  • Slice the cucumber, shallots and chilies into small pieces.
  • Add the cucumber, shallots and chili into the sweet vinegar. Set aside for serving.

BBQ Instructions

  • Set up and light the BBQ at least 20-30 minutes before ready to cook assuming you are using a charcoal BBQ. If using a manufactured BBQ then follow instructions
  • Skewer the chicken with wooden skewers.
  • Create smoke by sprinkling grated coconut and pieces of pandanus leaves on charcoal to add the taste for the chicken. For proprietary BBQ's follow instructions regarding making smoke.
  • Baste your chicken skewers well on both sides before adding to the BBQ.
  • Line up the chicken skewers on BBQ to cook. Baste coconut milk on both side the chicken while barbecuing to keep the chicken moist and tasty.
  • Continue barbecuing until cooked through and then eat them 🙂

Air Fryer Instructions

  • Using an Air Fryer gives really excellent results. It is best to use shorter BBQ skewers leaving just enough to hold on to which allows you to fit more in the fryer.
  • Baste the marinated chicken sticks well on both sides with coconut milk and place in a single layer in the air fryer base. Set the machine at 180 degrees and 10 minutes on the timer.
  • After 5 minutes, open the fryer and baste the tops of the chicken sticks with more coconut milk and then turn over and baste again before returning to the machine for a further 3 minutes.
  • Open the machine again after the 3 minutes is up and baste again with coconut milk. Optionally turn and baste the other side as well though not strictly necessary. Return to the fryer and cook for two more minutes. Check the sticks are cooked through and extend your cooking time as needed which will depend on the thickness of the chicken on the skewers.


Calories: 579kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 38gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1267mgPotassium: 1210mgFiber: 4gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 1026IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 5mg
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Chicken Satay with Peanut Dip & Pickles Sauce

Katie in Action

Katie had a lot of fun eating the chicken sticks – one of her favorite requests when she sees them Thai Street Food style in the market or when we are out walking.

But the ones we cooked this day were even better and we had complete control over the quality of chicken we used. It was a heap of fun.

photo of Katie waiting for her Chicken Satay Skewers
Katie waits patiently for her Chicken Satay Skewers whilst winding up her brothers!

I really hope you enjoy this dish and if you cook it I would love to hear your comments below so please come back and let me know how it turned out for you.