Paleo Chicken satay with cashew sauce is a delicious and easy to make dinner, or appetizer. Skewers of seasoned chicken pair up with a flavorful Asian cashew dipping sauce.
This post was originally published on June 12, 2012. I’ve recently updated it to make the recipe Paleo and Whole30 optional. (This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you)
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is prevalent throughout Southeast Asia. On nearly every street corner from Jakarta to Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur you can find a satay vendor. Crouched low on their heels, over a coal braizer, smiling men and women will cook skewers of marinated meat for just a couple of ringget or baht. Each vendor, of course, has his or her own marinade recipe and peanut sauce. Substituting cashew butter for the peanut butter, makes an equally delicious dipping sauce!
Just like our American recipes for meatloaf, there is no one right way to make Satay or peanut sauce. After we returned from our 100 day honeymoon, I was deep into my Asian cooking period. I wanted to recreate all the foods that we had eaten while traveling. We traveled cheaply, with no set itinerary, no reservations and ONE carry-on each.
In Bangkok, we stayed in the Red-Light District and paid $4 per night for a sort-of room. It was really a Hostel with walls that ended about 18″ from the ceiling and doors that did not lock. We’d begun our malaria meds a few weeks before, but still had to light mosquito coils to keep the pests at bay. I knew when we planned that honeymoon, that we’d never, ever, be as free as were then…to be able to leave our lives behind for 100 days. And now, just a handful of years away from being an Empty–Nester, I know that, adventurous as I am, I will never stay in a $4 per night “hotel”. My dad always told me, you only regret the things you didn’t do. I am glad I listened to him.
I’ve made this Chicken Satay recipe, from Craig Claibourne’s The New York Times Cook Book, so many times that I don’t need to mark the page any more.
The spine is cracked and broken right at that page. You can go ahead and buy jarred Peanut Sauce, but I’ve tried a few, and they really aren’t as good as this one. .
I’ve recently updated the recipe, made several changes with Paleo friendly and Whole30 compliant options. I substituted cashews for the peanuts (a legume, therefore not Paleo), with no discernible difference. I also substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce, and coconut sugar for the table sugar. I’ve also use jarred, pre-roasted red bell peppers, rather than roasting them at home. None of these changes affected the flavor, and after making it again last weekend for a party, it got rave reviews.
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 tsp. lemon or lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos (or gluten free soy sauce or tamari if not Paleo)
- 1 tablespoon curry paste or curry powder
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (Omit for Whole30, or can use regular sugar if not Paleo or Whole30)
- Bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 min to keep them from burning.
- Mix all ingredients together and pour over chicken pieces.
- Marinate chicken for one hour to overnight.
- Cut chicken in thin strips. Thread on bamboo skewers.
Grill skewers for a few minutes on each side. They can cook pretty quickly, depending on how thick the meat is. About 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with Cashew Sauce.
Serve the chicken satay with this Cashew (or Peanut) Sauce…
- 12 oz jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (peanut or vegetable oil if not Paleo or Whole30)
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons curry powder or curry paste
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup cashew butter, or peanut butter if not Paleo
- 1 teaspoon Coconut sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat, add shallots, cook briefly, stirring. Add the curry powder, or paste and cook briefly.
Remove from heat and add peppers, cashew butter, and coconut milk or cream.
- Let simmer about 5 minutes.
- Puree in a food processor or blender.
Thin with water or chicken stock if too thick. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Some of the items used in this post are available here for your convenience:
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