Sate ayam kecap (Chicken satay with sweet sauce) – Chicken satay served in sweet and spicy Indonesian kecap sauce.
When it comes to the topic of Satay (we call it Sate in Indonesia), there are probably hundreds of varieties out there now. This classic sate ayam kecap is one of my favorite street foods I grew up with. If you think sate only comes with peanut sauce, well, then I can tell you, it doesn’t. This sate ayam kecap is served with sweet soy sauce and other ingredients like shallots, garlic, shrimp paste and chili to complement the satay. Summer is coming up and this will probably become your favorite barbecued food 🙂
Sate ayam kecap (Chicken satay with sweet sauce)
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 inch tamarind + 2 Tbsp hot water
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 candlenuts Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp Indonesian kecap manis
- 1 Tbsp coriander powder
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 15-20 bamboo skewers soaked in cold water
- 1 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 1 Tbsp grated garlic
- 2 shallots peeled and diced
- 2 red chilis -optional seeded and finely chopped
- ½ cup of sweet soy sauce kecap manis
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Pinch of salt
- Fried shallots crisp bawang goreng
Preparing chicken and marinate:
- Cut the chicken into long strips, about 3 inches long, 1 inch wide. Place 2 inches of tamarind in a bowl and put 4 Tbsp of hot water and let it soak for 10 minutes. This will be divided for marinade and peanut sauce later. Use the back of the spoon to mash the softened tamarind and squeeze out as many liquids as possible from the tamarind. Discard the solid
- Place candlenuts and garlic in a food processor and pour half of the tamarind juice and process into a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients for marinade in a large mixing bowl and add in the paste. Add chicken pieces and toss to make sure all pieces are coated with marinade. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes if you are pressed for time. You can let them marinade overnight too
- Meanwhile soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 1 hour so they don't break easily when you grill them. After the meat is marinated, thread the meat on each bamboo skewer. Save the marinade juice
Making the kecap sauce:
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by preheating a small saucepan with cooking oil. Add in garlic, chili, and shallots and saute for about 1 minute. Add in the sweet soy sauce followed by juice of 1/2 lime. Have a taste, it should be more at the sweet side, but I like to add a pinch of salt to bring out more flavor
Cooking the stay on the grill:
- Preheat your grill and grill the chicken until it is golden brown and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes each side. Basting the meat with the marinade juice. Brush with some cooking oil for that shine just before you get them off the grill
Cooking the satay in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with some oil or non-stick cooking spray. Place the satay on the baking sheet. They can be close to each other. Brush with some marinade juice bake for 8-10 minutes on one side, turn over and brush with some butter or cooking oil and bake for another 5-8 minutes. You don't want to overcook the meat. After that turn off the oven and turn on the broiler on low and let the satay broiled until it has nice golden brown. Take care not to burn them
- Serve with the sauce on the side or drizzle some on top. You can also sprinkle on some fried shallots crisp (bawang goreng)
Hi, I was wondering if this could be baked?
Hi Mina, yes, they can be baked in the oven. I’ve included instruction in the recipe card. I hope it helps!
I’ve gone to Asian market and Mexican market but cannot find tamarind cube like you told me! Which section is it at? I’ve searched everywhere and paid extra close attention jar sauce section and freezer section but no luck 🙁
oh no! Sorry you have trouble finding it. Hmm, the Asian store I usually go to put them at their “sauces” aisle, where the tau cheo (ground bean paste), chili paste, etc. BUT, I can tell you Asian stores are usually not the most organized either, unlike Western stores. You may not find them in the same aisle like I do 🙁 They usually are not in the freezer section, at least not at the store I shopped at. Will you be able to ask them where it is? It will probably make your life easier.
Where do you recommend to buy tamarind? I live in California. There are a lot of Asian supermarkets but I’ve only recently been into cooking Indonesian food. Any help will be appreciated! Thanks 🙂
Hi Magda, you can easily find tamarind (usually comes in a block) in Asian store. That’s where I usually buy mine. There is also tamarind paste that already comes in a jar and ready to use without you having to mix it with water like the block version. I found the jar version in non-Asian stores too like Target 🙂
Love your gorgeous photos! I saw your post on Facebook and cannot wait to check it out. What a perfect recipe for summer grilling 🙂
Thank you Maggie. Your photos are so mouth-watering too !!!!!!!
Love Kecap manis so much! this recipe sounds so tasty
Thank you Jayne. Me too. It’s quite a staple in Indonesian kitchen 🙂
I love satay! Lovely pictures! ☺️
Thank you Gwen !!
These look AMAZING! I’m drooling!!! Can’t wait to try this recipe out! Woo!
Thank you Sarah
I love sate that isn’t peanut – but you rarely find non peanut sate here in Australia. I definitely think I’m going to be trying these at home myself. They look incredible and I love the balance of flavoursa
I know what you mean. Lots of people think sate only comes in peanut sauce, but the non-peanut ones are actually my favorite !!
Really like the char on these skewers. looks really tasty.
Thank you Peter
I love chicken satay! These look absolutely mouth-watering!