The reason I made this dish tonight was because of the ease of its execution. This Thai chicken sate is a meal that lends time and flavor and allows you to enjoy it with your fingers. The wonderfully tangy flavor of the peanut butter and tones of the lightly caramelized lime juice weave their way around the searing skewers in a thick and creamy sauce. The fresh cilantro and ginger punctuate the sweetness of the dish lending it vigor with a contrast of brightness. All of these flavors meld together in a sea of coconut milk. I couldn’t keep my fingers out of the bowl of this fragrant mixture. It was half gone before I put it on the table.
- 1 lb chicken cut into tender strips
- 15 skewer sticks (can be fashioned from chop sticks or bought from the store)
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Except for the chicken and skewers, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, leaving the cilantro until the moment before serving.
Split the sauce into two bowls, one for dipping the raw chicken and one for serving later (though I could not keep my spoon out of the serving bowl that long). Dip the chicken into the sauce like a marinade until it is covered. For more flavor you can marinate it overnight, but it’s certainly not a necessity. Weave the marinated chicken onto the sticks and place on a hot grill for about 15 minutes on each side, or until the chicken begins to brown. A wall unit Cuisinart/George foreman-type grill is ideal for this dish, unless you have a stovetop griddle/grill.
When the chicken is done, mix the cilantro into the serving bowl, serve on a plate with a side of the dipping sauce. This dish is ideal on its own as an appetizer or with any green vegetable side.