There are many versions of Chicken Satay (sate ayam), but this super easy and quick Indonesian version of chicken satay is the original version of chicken skewers you can find. The smokiness and juicy chicken bites perfectly blend with the sweetness and buttery taste of its peanut sauce.

chicken satay sate ayam

There are many versions of Chicken Satay in Indonesia – Balinese has more spices to put into the marinade, Sumatran has more spiciness and savory flavor is more dominant, and the last is Javanese version which is what we are making with this recipe here.

The original chicken satay sellers on the street are using real peanuts, crush and blend them to make a peanut paste. However, to make it short for your family dinner, let me make it more accessible and quicker for you by using peanut butter. Worry not, I am keeping my Indonesian heritage secret on our peanut sauce.

The main ingredient and the secret key to Authentic Indonesian Chicken Satay is KECAP MANIS (thick sweet soy sauce). If you asked me whether you can substitute it with Japanese version, I wouldn’t dare to do so. Indonesian kecap manis has the same consistency YET a very different level of sweetness. So if you wanna make it authentic, we have to go all out for the ultimate secret : kecap manis.

chicken satay sate ayam

Easy Indonesian Chicken Satay

Quick, fail-proof and authentic Indonesian Chicken Satay for your family dinner
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 4


Marinated Chicken Satay

  • 500 grams chicken thigh fillets boneless
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp thick sweet soy sauce kecap manis
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp chicken powder
  • 15 bamboo skewers

Peanut Sauce

  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp thick sweet soy sauce kecap manis
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp chicken powder
  • 1 tsp lime juice


Chicken Skewers

  • Cut the chicken into bite size (appr. 1.5 cm)
  • Combine the rest of ingredients in Marinated Chicken group (peanut butter, kecap manis, coconut milk, chicken powder)
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour
    chicken satay sate ayam
  • Thread the marinated cubed chicken onto skewers – 4 to 5 pieces per skewer
    chicken satay
  • Grill the chicken skewers on the stove in a large non stick fry pan. Medium heat.
    chicken satay sate ayam
  • Let all the cooked chicken skewers rest on a plate, then torch them with a blow torch.
    chicken satay sate ayam

Peanut Sauce

  • On the same pan from grilling the chicken skewers, add the peanut butter, coconut milk, kecap manis, chicken powder and sugar – give a nice stir under low to medium heat.
  • Add on the water and lime juice, give another good stir, and cook until sauce is thicken.
  • Serve the chicken skewers with the peanut sauce. Garnish with chopped chili paids, fried shallots and lime wedges.
    chicken satay sate ayam


Kecap manis is a traditional Indonesian cooking ingredients, made from fermented soy, it has a much more elaborate taste from the common soy sauce, even Japanese sweet soy sauce. It has thick consistency with caramel sweet taste. As Indonesian, I use kecap manis to marinade, grill, dip and even just drizzle it onto my sunny side egg. Every Indonesian household usually has this in their kitchen. You can buy kecap manis in any Asian store, personally I am using this brand, if you are in Indonesia, you MUST try this brand, BEST. but the most common brands are ABC and Bango.
Keyword Ayam, Chicken, Indonesian Food, Kids Food, Main Course

If you make this recipe, tag @vness.gracia on Instagram so I can see your creations!


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