Chicken Satay (Satay Ayam)
These fragrant chicken skewers are infused with traditional Indonesian spices like lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. Get the recipe for Chicken Satay (Satay Ayam) ». Todd Coleman

Infused with traditional Indonesian spices—lemongrass, garlic, ginger—these fragrant chicken skewers are adapted from a recipe that appeared in SAVEUR No. 138 (May 2011). Most recently, this recipe ran in our Jan/Feb 2014 SAVEUR 100 issue with the article 20 Years of SAVEUR: The World of Satay.

Satay Ayam (Chicken Satay) Satay Ayam (Chicken Satay)
These Malaysian chicken kebabs are marinated in a spice market’s worth of seasonings, from ginger to fennel to coriander.
Yield: makes 30 Skewers


  • 13 cup peanut oil
  • 14 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 2 12 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 12 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped, plus 1 stalk, whole
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 (5″) piece ginger, sliced
  • 3 12 lb. skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″-wide, ¼”-thick slices
  • 30 (8″) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes


  1. Purée 2 tbsp. oil, the sugar, coriander, turmeric, fennel, salt, chopped lemongrass, garlic, shallots, and ginger in a food processor until smooth. Transfer paste to a bowl and add chicken; toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours. Trim the root end of the stalk of lemongrass and using a meat mallet, smash until it splits into threads resembling a brush; place “brush” end in a bowl and pour in remaining oil.
  2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.) Thread 2 pieces of chicken onto each skewer; grill, turning once, and brushing often with oil using lemongrass brush, until charred, 5-6 minutes.