The combination of flavors in the marinade here seemed strange to me at first (coconut, turmeric, sugar, and coriander?), but I decided to roll with it because I really trust the recipe source (the great She Simmers which not only has fantastic authentic Thai recipes but also appeals to the linguistics nerd in me with the lovely accompanying information on Thai pronunciation and etymology). I’m glad I did because this chicken satay was very easy to make, and the result was delicious on its own and completely addictive when served with peanut sauce and ajat. This would be great food for a party, especially if you get the grill going to cook the chicken on skewers (the traditional way). But since I couldn’t find skewers and don’t have a grill (and wasn’t feeding a crowd, besides), I pan-fried the chicken and found that worked just fine. Using high heat and cooking in batches was crucial to getting a nice char. I suspect you could also bake these, if you wanted, with a couple minutes of broiling at the end. And for those who don’t like chicken, this marinade can also be used on shrimp (shorten the marinating time to 5 – 10 minutes) or tofu (you might want to extend the marinating time).
Thai Chicken Satay (adapted from She Simmers)
Yield: 6 – 8 servings
- 1/2 cup coconut cream*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp turmeric
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 lbs chicken, cut into thin 1 – 2″ pieces**
- Thai peanut sauce
- ajat (Thai quick pickle)
*This is the solid part that can be scooped from the top of a can of coconut milk. Save the rest for smoothies or curries.
**You can use whatever part of the chicken is your favorite, just make sure the pieces are thin (cut thin or pounded flat).
- In a large bowl or container, combine 1/2 cup coconut cream, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 Tbsp turmeric, 1/2 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground white pepper, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and mix together.
- Add 4 lbs chicken, cut into thin 1 – 2″ pieces, and stir to coat, then let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove from the refrigerator, and cook the chicken until cooked through. There are many ways to cook the chicken – threading on skewers and grilling is traditional, but you can also pan fry it (in a large pan over high heat with a thin layer of vegetable oil, in batches) or bake it.
- Serve hot with warm Thai peanut sauce for dipping and ajat (Thai quick pickle) on the side.