Satay Chicken Stir Fry

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Make dinner in about 30 minutes with this totally delicious Satay Chicken Stir Fry which uses peanut butter, creamy coconut milk and your favourite vegetables. You could also substitute the chicken for beef.

satay chicken stir fry with rice in bowls

In the past 12 months or so, I have been on a mission to declutter our home. I have long aspired to have a minimalist home (I blame Pinterest) but I always felt that minimalism was incompatible with raising children. Even if I aspired to a home filled with monochromatic and Nordic-designed wooden toys, there is no avoiding the many multi-coloured, multi-tiered Lego constructions which my son likes to build and display (in perpetuity), nor the noisy and brightly coloured plastic toys which come into our home by way of gifts from friends and family (and which our children totally love).

But upon realising that I felt burdened by all of our possessions, most of which we don’t use anyway, I thought the least we could try was to rid our home of things we no longer used and loved. It is a massive effort which I realise is not something you can achieve over a long weekend, but is rather an ongoing and daily process.

satay chicken stir fry with rice on marble table

My current project is going through all of my cooking magazines which have accumulated over the past decade and occupy more valuable real estate than they deserve. There is something quite satisfying about flicking through an old magazine, removing a few pages of interesting recipes, and then discarding what is mostly a bundle of advertising.

Many years ago, a reader suggested on my Facebook page that one good way to store recipes torn from magazines is to laminate them. It is quite an ingenious, but simple, idea, especially since it gives some structure to flimsy magazine paper, but it also protects the recipe from splashes and accidents in the kitchen!

Currently, I am experimenting with digitising my magazine recipes with the Evernote App on my iPhone.

satay chicken stir fry with rice and gold cutlery

As I was going through some of my old recipes which I had eagerly laminated when I first bought the machine some 5 years ago, I came across a recipe for Satay Chicken Stir Fry, a dish which my mother and I loved to order whenever we went to a Chinese restaurant. Actually, she loved to order satay beef, but chicken was always my favourite.

Satay Chicken Stir Fry was one of my favourite recipes to make at home during my years as a student, especially since it is a one-pan dish and this was the only kind of recipe my two-burner stove could accommodate. And like most students, I also had a thing for instant noodles and loved eating this dish with instant curly ramen noodles.

satay chicken stir fry with rice and sprinkled herbs

I have since tweaked the recipe a bit, mainly to reduce the amount of spice so that our children can also enjoy this dish, as well as bulk up the vegetable component. But as with most Chinese stir-fries, the ingredients are quite changeable. I love to use capsicums (bell peppers), but beans, snow peas, and broccoli also work well in this recipe. Whatever you have in the fridge, really!

I also like to make a plentiful and runny sauce so that it goes well with a bowl of rice, but you can make it as runny or as thick as you like (the restaurant versions tend to have less sauce).

satay chicken stir fry with rice in saucepan

Although the list of ingredients look long, these are items which I commonly have at home. In fact, if you regularly make curries at home from scratch (and a satay sauce is essentially a curry), you are also likely to have most of these spices already. My spice rack is also an area which I frequently try to pare down to what is most essential, though there is still room for improvement! I don’t know why, but I still have over 40 jars of different spices …

How many different spices do you have in your pantry?

satay chicken stir fry with rice and cilantro

Satay Chicken Stir Fry

satay chicken stir fry

5 from 3 reviews

Make dinner in about 30 minutes with this totally delicious Satay Chicken Stir Fry which uses peanut butter, creamy coconut milk and your favourite vegetables. You could also substitute the chicken for beef.

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

  • 500g (1 lb) chicken breast fillets, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (see Kitchen Notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder (see Kitchen Notes below)

Satay Sauce

  • 250ml (1 cup) coconut milk, plus more to taste
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder (see Kitchen Notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

For the stir fry

  • 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into large dice
  • 1 green capsicum (bell pepper), cut into large dice
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into large dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, coarsely grated or very finely chopped
  • handful unsalted cashew nuts (optional)
  • spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle over the baking soda and curry powder. Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to mix everything together. Set aside for 10-15 minutes while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
  2. Prepare the satay sauce. I tend to do this in a large measuring jug by measuring first the coconut milk and water, and then whisk in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Heat a large saucepan or wok over high heat with a few tablespoons of oil.
  4. Cook the chicken in batches until lightly golden. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked through at this stage. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken to a bowl.
  5. If necessary, add more oil to the saucepan.
  6. Cook the capsicums (bell peppers) for a few minutes, and then add the onion, garlic and lemongrass. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables have softened slightly.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan, together with any juices which have collected in the bowl.
  8. Add the satay sauce and give everything a good mix.
  9. Simmer gently for a few minutes.
  10. If the sauce is too thick, add some more coconut milk and/or boiling water, until you have the desired consistency. Coconut milk will add further richness and flavour to the sauce, whilst water will slightly dilute or tone down the flavours if the sauce is too strong.
  11. Be careful not to simmer for too long as the vegetables may overcook. Ideally, the vegetables should still have some crunch.
  12. If you are using cashew nuts, either stir them through the sauce to warm them through, or sprinkle them on top to retain their crunch.
  13. Garnish with spring onions (scallions) and coriander (cilantro) before serving.
  14. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice or ramen noodles.

Kitchen Notes

  1. Baking soda is typically used in Chinese cooking to tenderise meat. You can, of course, omit the baking soda, if you prefer.
  2. I use a mild curry powder for this recipe, but you can use any blend which is intended for Chinese or Indian cooking.
  3. I have intentionally kept this recipe mild in spice so that my young children can also enjoy this dish. You can increase the heat by adding maybe 1/4 teaspoon or so of ground chilli powder to the Satay Sauce. But make sure you are using pure ground chillies and not a chilli spice mix – check the ingredients, and your best bet for finding pure ground chillies is from your Asian grocer.
  4. I think this dish is best served with steamed Jasmine rice, but it also works well with brown rice or a wild rice mix. As a student, I loved eating this dish with instant curly ramen noodles.
  5. You can also substitute the chicken for beef. I recommend a cut such as entrecôte, fillet or sirloin.
  6. Other vegetables can also be used in this recipe, including:
  • green beans
  • snap peas
  • snow peas
  • carrots
  • broccoli

Nutrition

  • Calories: 418
  • Sugar: 9.5g
  • Sodium: 1454mg
  • Fat: 11.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.2g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Protein: 33.2g
  • Cholesterol: 93mg

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird

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14 comments on “Satay Chicken Stir Fry

  1. Shadi Hasanzadenemati 17 February 2018

    I love flavors like this. A dish like this satay chicken stir fry makes the perfect weeknight dinner!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 18 February 2018

      I wholeheartedly agree! The recipe looks long but I can make it within 30 minutes, which is great for weeknights 🙂

      Reply
  2. Valentina 18 February 2018

    I love de-cluttering! Though I admit, with kids in the house it is indeed a chore. And I love that you have a laminating machine. More importantly, so happy you came across this recipe — it looks and sounds divine.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 18 February 2018

      I love the feeling you get after you have done a big spot of decluttering! Thankfully, our children have become quite good at tidying up, and it helps that we now have less toys 😉

      Reply
  3. Jessica Robinson 18 February 2018

    I keep all of my recipes in sheet protectors in 3-ring binders. It helps keep everything organized and clean. Love the flavors in this recipe!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 18 February 2018

      I contemplated ring binders too – I guess it is similar to laminating as, you have mentioned, it keeps everything organised and clean 🙂

      Reply
  4. Emily | OatandSesame 18 February 2018

    I do the same thing with cooking magazines! I collect, rip and then recycle!! I also have a really cool app on my iPad that captures a lot of my recipes – which otherwise would be everywhere. This recipe sounds absolutely delicious – the peanut butter and curry spices. Right up my alley!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 18 February 2018

      Ooh I need to find this iPad app! I would love to move to an electronic system but I’m not sure if I am one generation behind, if you know what I mean 😉 I love the idea of having everything on my iPad but I am still someone who needs the physical paper in my hands … which is why I can’t let go of my many cookbooks!!

      Reply
  5. Katherine Hackworthy 18 February 2018

    This Chicken Satay Recipe looks absolutely scrumptious! And you’re photos look so amazing!

    Reply
  6. All That I'm Eating 26 February 2018

    I need to give this recipe a try, I love satay chicken. I can easily see this recipe becoming a weekly staple!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 1 March 2018

      I’m trying it with beef this weekend 🙂 Hope you will enjoy the recipe!

      Reply
  7. Julia 16 April 2018

    So yummy!!! I like this! This is a great recipe! I definitely want to try! Thank you!

    Reply
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