8-12 skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
1 package wooden skewers
1/4 cup minced , fresh or frozen
2 shallots OR 1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, thinly sliced
1 tsp. minced fresh turmeric OR 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric
2 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. dark soy sauce (available at Asian food stores)
4 Tbsp. fish sauce
5-6 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while you prepare the meat (to prevent burning). The kitchen sink works well for this.
Cut chicken into thin strips and place in a bowl.
Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or chopper. Process well.
Taste-test the marinade - you will taste sweet, spicy, and salty. The strongest tastes should be SWEET and SALTY in order for the finished satay to taste its best. Add more sugar or more fish sauce (in place of salt) to adjust the taste. You can also add more chili if you want it spicier.
Pour the marinade over the meat and stir well to combine. Allow at least 1 hour for marinating, or longer (up to 24 hours).
When ready to cook, thread meat onto the skewers. Tip: Fill up to 3/4 of the skewer, leaving the lower half empty so that the person grilling has a "handle" to easily turn the satay during cooking.
Grill the satay on your BBQ, OR on an indoor grill, basting the first time you time it with a little of the leftover marinade from the bottom of the bowl. OR you can broil in the oven on a broiling pan or baking sheet with the oven set to "broil" Place satay close beneath the heating element and turn the meat every 5 minutes until cooked (be sure to soak your wooden satay sticks in water before skewering). Depending on how thin your meat is, the satay should cook in 10 to 20 minutes.
Peanut Thai Sauce
1 cup fresh-tasting dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
1/3 cup water
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. tamarind paste OR 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, OR 1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup coconut milk
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.
Do a taste test, adding more soy if not salty enough,
or more cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh
lime juice. If you'd prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.
Serve warm or at room temperature. It also makes a great dip with fresh veggies, fresh rolls, or other Asian finger foods. Or combine with noodles to create a Thai-style noodle dish or cold noodle salad. Enjoy!
Note: This sauce tends to thicken as it sits - just add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator (keep up to 2 weeks; freeze thereafter).