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A plate of easy Thai chicken satay.

Easy Thai Chicken Satay with Coconut Rice

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5 from 17 reviews


A Few Notes:

  • This marinade yields enough for 4 chicken breasts. I always use 2, but don’t be afraid to slice up 4.
  • 6-inch skewers make the cooking process painless — large skewers won’t fit into the pan, and they’ll burn if propped against the edge of the pan for too long. If you only have large skewers, break them.
  • To rinse rice: place it in a large bowl, fill it with cold water, swoosh the rice around a little bit; then tip the bowl to dump out the cloudy water. Repeat this process 3 to 4 more times. You don’t have to rinse it until the water runs clear, but rinsing 4 to 5 times will make a difference. Drain the rice by placing it in a fine-meshed colander, and letting it hang over a bowl for a few minutes to allow the excess water to drain out. 


For the satay marinade:

  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (you’ll use some for the rice — if you’re not making the rice, use about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, such as Madras
  • 2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, very thinly sliced, see video below
  • grapeseed oil or other neutral oil for cooking the chicken

For the coconut rice:

  • 1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed and drained, see notes above
  • 3/4 cup well-stirred unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Marinate the chicken. Open the can of coconut milk and stir it well. Measure 3/4 cup and set it aside for the rice. Dump the remaining coconut milk (it’s about 3/4 cup)  into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, turmeric, and curry powder. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours (or longer).
  2. Get the rice ready: Combine the rinsed and drained rice, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir. You can mix this several hours before cooking just to get it out of the way. When ready to cook: bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn heat to low. Cover. Cook 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Don’t uncover for at least 10 more minutes.
  3. Cook the chicken. Thread the chicken breasts onto small (6-inch) skewers. Heat one or two large skillets over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil (or so) into each skillet. Add the skewers, alternating them head to toe to fit as many as possible into the pan at one time. Cook for about a minute a side — if you cut them more thickly than I have here, you may need to cook them a little bit longer. Transfer skewers to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. Serve with rice on the side.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai