Satay Chicken Stir Fry

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 or tofu.

satay chicken stir fry with rice in bowls

Minimalism with Kids

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

Cooking Magazine Addiction

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!

satay chicken stir fry with rice and gold cutlery

Satay Chicken Stir-Fry

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

Satay Chicken Recipe

I have since tweaked my satay chicken 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.

satay chicken stir fry with rice and cilantro

More Stir-Fry Recipes

If you are looking for more stir-fry recipes, you might also like:

Black Pepper Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken

satay chicken stir fry

Satay Chicken Stir Fry

5 from 19 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir-Fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese

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 or tofu.


For the Chicken Marinade

  • 500g (1 lb) chicken breast fillets, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder (see Kitchen Notes below)

For the Satay Sauce

For the Stir-Fry

  • 24 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

To Serve


For the Chicken Marinade

  1. Place the chicken in a bowl and sprinkle over the salt and curry powder.
  2. Use a pair of chopsticks or tongs to mix everything together.
  3. Set the chicken aside for 10-15 minutes while you get on with the rest of the recipe.

For the Satay Sauce

  1. I like to do this in a large measuring jug by first measuring the coconut milk, followed by the water, and then whisk in the rest of the ingredients.

For the Stir-Fry

  1. Heat a large saucepan or wok over high heat with a few tablespoons of oil.
  2. Cook the chicken in batches until lightly golden. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked through at this stage.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken to a bowl.
  4. If necessary, add more oil to the saucepan.
  5. Cook the capsicums (bell peppers) for a few minutes.
  6. Add the onion, garlic and lemongrass.
  7. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables have softened slightly.
  8. Return the chicken to the pan, together with any juices which have collected in the bowl.
  9. Add the satay sauce and give everything a good mix.
  10. Simmer gently for a few minutes.
  11. 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.
  12. Be careful not to simmer for too long as the vegetables may overcook. Ideally, the vegetables should still have some crunch.
  13. 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.
  14. Garnish with spring onions (scallions) and coriander (cilantro) before serving.
  15. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice or ramen noodles.

Kitchen Notes

I use a mild curry powder for this recipe, but you can use any blend which is intended for Chinese or Indian cooking.

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.

You can substitute the chicken for beef. I recommend a cut such as entrecôte, fillet or sirloin. 

You can substitute the chicken for firm tofu. Cut the tofu into thick slices, and then cut them into small pieces, similar in size to the vegetables. Once you have added the satay sauce to the vegetables, add the tofu and cook until they are warmed through.

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.

Other vegetables can also be used in this recipe, including:
* green beans
* snap peas
* snow peas
* carrots
* broccoli
* baby corn

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • 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


This recipe was first published on 17 February 2018. It has been updated with more comprehensive recipe notes.










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  1. Shadi Hasanzadenemati 17 February 2018

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

    • 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 🙂

  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.

    • 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 😉

  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!

    • 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 🙂

  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!

    • 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!!

  5. Katherine Hackworthy 18 February 2018

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

  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!

    • Eat, Little Bird 1 March 2018

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

  7. Julia 16 April 2018

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

  8. Gemma 11 May 2020

    Really lovely sauce but I’m really annoyed i’ve just had to bin a lot of chicken as the bicarbonate of soda gives the chicken a disgusting taste! Am just lucky I tried the chicken when first fried and not after I’d put it in all of the sauce… having googled it seems the bicarb should be rinsed off before cooking? Is this the case?

    • Eat, Little Bird 11 May 2020

      Hi Gemma,
      The baking soda helps to tenderise the chicken, so it will change the texture of the chicken slightly. However, it shouldn’t affect the taste of the chicken, especially if you add it to the sauce later. I wouldn’t recommend eating the chicken on its own if it has only been marinated in the curry powder and baking soda – it needs a bit more flavour, such as the satay sauce 😉 But, as noted in the recipe, you can also leave out the baking soda – it’s totally optional. Hope you will give this recipe another try, maybe without the baking soda next time! Thanks for popping by.

  9. Cindy Chen 11 May 2020

    I made this recipe for the second time tonight, the first time with chicken and tonight with tofu. It’s totally better than my local Chinese takeaway! My family loved it.

  10. Khanh 11 May 2020

    I only had crunchy peanut butter but the recipe worked out great. Thanks!

  11. Shez 11 May 2020

    Awesome recipe! It was delicious with hokkien noodles. Do you know how long this recipe would keep in the fridge?

  12. Mark Thomson 12 May 2020

    Tasted great!

  13. Jenny 14 May 2020

    Yum! The family loved it, even my fussy toddler. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve been following you for a while on Instagram and just love your photos.

  14. Chris 16 July 2020

    This recipe is absolutely delicious. We all loved it. Didn’t do the marinating of the chicken and forgot to lemongrass but it still was the best satay I’ve had.

  15. Cook in training 8 September 2020

    Made this tonight and even my son who doesn’t like peanuts said it was the best chicken dish ever! Bookmarking this one. Didn’t have lemongrass so used lemon rind otherwise did as exactly written. Thanks for a great recipe

    • Eat, Little Bird 23 October 2020

      So glad you and your son enjoyed this satay chicken recipe! My son loves it too.

  16. Danielle Xuereb 29 October 2020

    Looks so delicious!
    Wanting to make this tonight, just wondering how many grams per serving?

  17. patricia machale 27 November 2020

    It was so so tasty. I was looking for a satay sauce then decided to follow the recipe in fully.
    It is so quick to make and the flavours are amazing.

    • Eat, Little Bird 30 November 2020

      Hi Patricia,
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! It’s one of my favourite recipes as you can change the vegetables and meat depending on what you have, and it will always taste good 🙂

  18. Danielle 22 August 2021

    It’s hard to find a nice satay recipe, this one is definitely going on my go to list, delicious, thank you.

  19. Peter 2 October 2021


  20. Celine 15 April 2022

    Amazing recipe! I make it at least once a week, using either chicken, beef or firm tofu. I also use whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, it’s always delicious.

  21. Gabrielle 27 April 2022

    Amazingly delicious! I’ll be making this regularly for sure!

  22. Lisa 25 May 2022

    Family favourite! I make this recipe at least once a week, sometimes with chicken, sometimes with beef. I prefer a vegetarian version but my kids love it with chicken the most.

  23. Keira 16 January 2023

    This was so so delicious! I’m going to make this every week!

  24. James 17 January 2023

    This is my family’s favourite dinner and your suggestions for variations are great. Surprisingly, my kids loved it with tofu! But chicken and beef are always requested. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. Samuel 20 January 2023

    This recipe is a firm family favourite! My kids give it 10/10 every time 🙂

  26. Helen Robinson 25 June 2023

    I didn’t have sirracha so used Harrisa. So easy to make and absolutely delicious. Thank you!! Will definitely be making this again xx

    • Eat, Little Bird 3 July 2023

      Hi Helen,
      Harissa sounds great! I think any type chilli sauce would work great, and you can add to taste. So glad you enjoyed this recipe!