March 18, 2021

Grilled Chicken Satay Skewers

Recipe: Nuit Regular

Try this Grilled Chicken Satay Skewers recipe from Nuit Regular’s debut cookbook, Kiin

“This famous Thai appetizer is very light and goes perfectly with a peanut sauce dip,” says Toronto chef and cookbook author Nuit Regular. “In Thailand, we also pair this with a pickled relish that cleanses the palate between each bite.”


Red Curry Paste

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1⁄4 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 15 white peppercorns
  • 7 dried red spur chilis, seeded, cut into small pieces, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes until softened, and squeezed dry
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced lemongrass (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced galangal
  • 1 tsp grated magrud lime zest
  • 1⁄4 cup unpeeled Thai garlic cloves, or thinly sliced peeled regular garlic
  • 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tbsp + 1 1⁄2 tsp Thai shrimp paste

Peanut Sauce

  • 1 cup well-shaken coconut milk
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp + 1 1⁄2 tsp Red Curry Paste (see above)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp thin soy sauce
  • 1⁄2 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Fast Pickled Cucumber

  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Thai cane sugar
  • 1⁄8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 mini cucumber, diced
  • 1 fresh red spur chili, coarsely chopped
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped

Chicken Satay Skewers

  • 30 6″ bamboo skewers
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1⁄4 tsp white peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 1 2″-piece fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp + 1 1⁄2 tsp thin soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp + 1 1⁄2 tsp Thai oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. (675 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1⁄2 cup well-shaken coconut milk, for brushing


Yield: Makes 30 skewers

Make Red Curry Paste

  1. Heat small skillet over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add coriander seeds, cumin seeds and white peppercorns, and toast, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool.
  2. Using stone mortar and pestle, grind toasted spices to fine powder. Add chilis, paprika and salt, and grind to paste. One at a time, and pounding to paste after each addition, add lemongrass, galangal, lime zest, garlic, shallots and shrimp paste. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 months.

Make Peanut Sauce

  1. In small food processor, combine coconut milk, peanuts, Red Curry Paste and turmeric, and purée. Transfer to small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. When sauce starts to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and add thin soy sauce, fish sauce and coconut sugar. Stir to mix well and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pot to prevent burning, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until oil rises to surface. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days.

Make Pickled Cucumber

  1. In small saucepan over medium heat, stir together water, white vinegar, cane sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. When mixture is boiling, cook for another minute. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add cucumber, chili and shallot, and stir together. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days.

Season Chicken

  1. Using stone mortar and pestle, grind coriander seeds and white peppercorns to fine powder. Add lemongrass, turmeric and 1 tsp of salt and pound to smooth paste. Transfer to large bowl.
  2. Add water, evaporated milk, thin soy sauce, oyster sauce, condensed milk, vegetable oil, curry powder, tapioca starch and remaining 1⁄2 tsp of salt. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add chicken, and toss to coat well with sauce. Make sure chicken is fully coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 1 hour to marinate.

Grill Chicken Skewers 

  1. Soak 30 (6″) bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Thread chicken onto one half of each skewer.
  2. Prepare grill for direct cooking over high heat. Brush grill with coconut milk and let sit for a couple of minutes. This will prevent chicken from sticking to grill.
  3. Place chicken skewers on grill and cook until they begin to char, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn and brush other side with coconut milk when chicken starts to dry out, cooking for another 6 to 8 minutes, until char appears on meat. Serve with Peanut Sauce and Fast Pickled Cucumber.
Author: Nuit Regular

Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott


Excerpted from Kiin by Nuit Regular. ©2020 by Nuit Regular. Photography ©2020 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.