Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe

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New York City, there are many Muslim street food carts that sell halal cuisine. At the same time, across the globe in Southeast Asia, a variety of Muslim street food carts also cater to the hungry with halal dishes. And one of the most popular of these is satay.

Satay is a skewered and grilled meat dish. It may consist of a variety of meats—sliced chicken, turkey, goat, lamb, mutton, beef, for example. It’s colorful, too. Turmeric is an absolute must in a satay marinade, giving the dish its characteristic yellow hue.

Recently, Kirby Tan, the owner of Malaysia Kitchen USA, invited me to his kitchen and to try his chicken satay. “One must enjoy what one does and I love this,” said Tan when I asked why he opened a Malaysian restaurant in New York City.

Malaysia Kitchen USA is as ideally located as its food is splendid—the restaurant overlooks the Hudson River as the Statue of Liberty gazes on. Look far and wide but you won’t find a more romantic place to dine Malaysian—or any other cuisines for that matter—in New York.

As for the recipe, Tan marinates the chicken for two hours, which makes it very tasty. Just one small bite and you’ll get a party in your mouth—full of flavors from ginger, garlic, and onion. Dip into the peanut sauce for more sweetness.

Tan has got a winner with this recipe. I think it very well may be a new favorite for both the halal and non-halal foodie, It could just be your new favorite dish. Fire up your grill and let me know how it goes for you. Happy cooking and eating!

Kirby Tan’s Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe

Preparation time: 90 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


24 bamboo skewers
2 chicken breasts, about 1 pound, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Peanut Sauce

3 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions for the Chicken Marinade

Whisk together ginger, garlic, onion, curry powder, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, and oil. Marinate the chicken for about 2 hours.

Instructions for the Sauce

Mix peanut butter, coconut milk, fish sauce, chili garlic sauce, and lime juice in a small pan. Whisk until smooth (about 2 minutes) and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, let cool, cover and chill.

Cooking the Chicken 

Soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place 4 pieces of chicken onto each skewer. Lightly oil grill grates. Put the skewers on the grill and cook 3 minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked through and no longer has a pink hue. Serve with sauce.

(Adapted from the original recipe)

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