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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Chicken Satay

Make sure and use fish sauce and coconut milk when making the peanut sauce. No substitutes.


Skewer Soak

1 cup water

1 Tbl soy sauce

1 /4 cup coconut milk

24 6-inch wooden skewers

Chicken Marinade

1 /4 cup pineapple juice

2 Tbl soy sauce

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbl sesame oil
1 /4 cup Thai chili sauce1 1/4 pound  boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 24 strips

2-3 Tbl peanut oil

Dipping Sauce

2 Tbl peanut oil, divided

1 cup unsalted peanuts

1 Tbl shallot, minced
1 Tbl ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh jalapenos, minced

1 /2 c coconut milk
1 /4 cup rice vinegar

1 /4 cup cottonseed oil

1 /4 cup warm water2 tablespoons soy
1 lime, juiced

1 /2 tsp lime zest

2 Tbl cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 /2 tsp salt

1 /4 tsp cayenne pepper


Skewer Soak

Combine water, soy sauce and coconut milk together and soak the skewers in the mixture for 2-4 hours. Use a plastic-wrapped weight to keep the skewers submerged in the mixture.

Chicken Marinade

Thread chicken on to the soaked skewers, leaving a small portion of the skewer empty so it can be picked up after cooking.

Combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and chili sauce.

Pour marinade over the chicken skewers and allow to soak for 3-4 hours. The chicken should be refrigerated while marinating.

Drain the marinated skewers and pat dry with a paper towel. Take small squares of aluminum foil and wrap the exposed wooden skewer. Using a pastry brush, coat chicken skewers with the peanut oil.

Prepare the grill. Cook the skewers over direct high heat for 5-7 minutes, turning once while cooking. Remove the foil from the ends of the skewers and arrange on a serving dish. Drizzle with dipping sauce, or serve it on the side.


6-8 servings

Dipping Sauce

In addition to the chicken skewers, this can be used in a cold pasta salad with fresh Asian vegetables or a sautéed shrimp pasta with garlic and snow peas.

In a skillet heat 1 Tbl of the peanut oil and sauté the peanuts to golden brown (approximately 4 to 6 minutes). Drain peanuts on paper towels.

Heat the remaining peanut oil and cook shallots, ginger, garlic, and jalapeños over low heat 4-5 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and vinegar and simmer slowly 5 minutes.

Place peanuts into the simmering liquid and continue to cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Continue to blend, adding in remaining ingredients (If the sauce is too thick, add bit more warm water).

The sauce may be made several days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best when served at room temperature.

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