Pan-fried Chicken Satay

My parents often catch up with other Indian Singaporean families who have moved to Melbourne. Being so busy with work and uni, I don’t usually get the chance to attend these gatherings. This is a real pity as the food spread is incredible. Every family will seize the opportunity to show off their culinary specialities at these gatherings and it’s impossible to know when to stop pigging out.

About 4 or 5 years ago, I attended one such gathering and came across the most amazing dish at Uncle Ray’s house. It was such a simple and practical way of preparing and serving chicken satay, I couldn’t get over it. I still make this dish at home now, especially when we’ve got guests coming over. It literally takes 20 minutes and is super tasty and quick. Leftovers taste even better and there is no need to slave over a hot BBQ.

(a) You’ll need (for the chicken): 

  • 1 kg of boneless chicken (diced) – I use a mixture of thigh fillets and chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons Ayam Brand Satay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon roasted red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cloves garlic – grated
  • 1 inch piece ginger – grated
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

(b) You’ll need (for the sauce):

  • 1 can Ayam brand Satay Sauce (Hot)
  • 2 tablespoons Ayam brand Satay Seasoning
  • Peanut Oil
  • 1/2 lemon grass stalk (crushed)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 red onion (sliced finely)
  • 3 coriander roots (cleaned and sliced finely)
  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Maggi Hot and Sweet sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Ketchup Manis
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water

(c) You’ll need (for serving):

  • 1 cucumber (remove seeds and cut into chunks)
  • 1 white onion (peel and cut into chunks)
  • 1 green chilli (sliced very finely)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh coriander (chopped finely)

Method:
Marinate chicken in ingredients (a) for at least an hour, if possible marinate overnight.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, add onion, lemongrass, kaffir lime and chopped coriander roots. Add pinch of sugar and salt. Fry until onions are golden. Spread the onions out in the pan, add a little more oil. Spread the chicken out in the pan. Let it fry and brown well. Turn chicken pieces over and cook on the other side. You want it to be dry and for the marinade to start browning and catching in the pan. This will add flavour.

Once the chicken is done, add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Stir well and cook on low heat until the sauce darkens and the oil separates from the sauce. It should also thicken nicely. Garnish with chopped coriander and chilli. Serve with rice or ketupat (rice cakes) and cucumber and onion. Enjoy!

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