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Gingery Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

In this ingenious version of an Indonesian classic, the gingery, lemongrass-scented satay paste is the base for the chicken marinade as well as for the luxurious peanut dipping sauce. A few alternatives to the chicken: thinly sliced beef or pork or whole, shelled shrimp.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 4 large shallots
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, bottom 6 inches only, outer leaves peeled, inner stalk cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise 1 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Light a grill. In a mini food processor, combine the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chiles, ginger, soy sauce, coriander and ground pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and process to a fine paste. Transfer half of the seasoning paste to a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
  2. Thread the chicken strips onto skewers. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining seasoning paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, stirring. Whisk in the peanut butter and the remaining 1 tablespoon each of brown sugar and fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Transfer the sauce to a blender, add the lime juice and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Grill the chicken skewers over a hot fire until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter or bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with the peanut sauce.
Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published June 2005

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