Authentic Chicken Satay
- 8 boneless chicken thighs or 3 chicken breasts, cut into small, thin pieces
- 1 package wooden skewers
- For the Marinade:
- ¼ cup minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen or ⅛ cup lemongrass paste (the paste does contain dairy)
- 2 shallots or ¼ onion, sliced
- 1½ tsp jarred minced garlic, or 4 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp Chili paste, or 1 to 2 fresh red chiles, sliced,
- 1 tsp jarred minced ginger, or 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, thinly sliced or
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce (available at Asian food stores)
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar (you need all of this)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (peanut or sesame oil)
- Make the marinade by placing the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chiles, galangal or ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and oil in a food processor or chopper. Process well.
- Taste-test the marinade. You should taste sweet, spicy, and salty. In order for the satay to taste its best, the strongest flavors should be sweet and salty. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You also can add more chile if you want it spicier.
- Cut chicken into small pieces or strips—thinner is better. Place in a bowl and pour the marinade over. Stir well to combine. Can cook right away or allow at least 2 hours for marinating.
- When ready to cook, thread meat onto the skewers or just toss into the pan. Fill up to ¾ of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty so that the person grilling has a "handle" to easily turn the satay.