Chicken Satay Skewers with Pickled Cucumber Salad

From Ainsley’s Fantastic Flavours, ITV

Chicken satay is a popular Southeast Asian dish originating from Indonesia. Although there’s quite a few ingredients it’s an easy dish to make and one the whole family can enjoy. I’m using a crunchy peanut butter for a thick and creamy spiced sauce and the sweet-pickled cucumber is the perfect accompaniment to the spiced chicken and punchy nutty sauce. Make sure you give the tin of coconut a good shake so you get a nice creamy milk. The spices can be swapped for 2 tsp of curry powder if you prefer and if you like things spicy feel free to add more chillies to the sauce.


Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

First make the marinade: in a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the chicken skewers and mix well. Add the chicken pieces, cover, and leave to marinate while you make the sauce or chill to marinate for longer if you have the time (overnight if possible).

Preheat the grill to high (if using).

To make the satay sauce: heat the oil in a pan over a low heat and gently cook the garlic and chillies for a minute. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved and slightly caramelised. Add the peanut butter, soy sauces and lime juice and stir well over the heat. Gradually stir through the coconut milk until you reach a consistency you like, gently heating through until everything is well combined. Check for seasoning and add a touch more soy or lime juice if needed. Cover and keep warm.

Thread the chicken pieces on to skewers and then cook under a hot grill for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through or heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the chicken skewers for 10-14 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent burning, until the chicken is cooked through and well browned.

Meanwhile make the cucumber salad. Put all of the ingredients other than the cucumber into a bowl and whisk to combine, ensuring that the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumber just before serving and toss to combine.

Serve the skewers on a bed of steamed rice with the cucumber salad on the side. Garnish with chopped peanuts and coriander and lime wedges, for squeezing.



  • For the Chicken Skewers
  • 2 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 2 tsp groundnut or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 3 cm fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, bashed and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 3 tbsp full fat coconut milk
  • 6 large chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into 1inch chunks
  • For the Satay Sauce
  • 2 tsp groundnut or vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2 birds eye chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 250ml full fat coconut milk
  • For the Cucumber Salad
  • 1 cucumber, ribboned
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander, plus extra to serve
  • To Serve
  • steamed basmati rice, 1 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts & lime wedges