Chicken sate


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



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The highlight of any Indonesian street food market is the sate, usually sold by someone from Madura where they are famed for their tasty skewers. The first sign is the glorious smoky smell from coconut husk coals, then you’ll see the vendor busily twirling the sate and fanning the embers with practised hands. The sugar glaze makes flames jump and crackle as they cook, charring and caramelising the meat. These are a favourite with children - certainly with my children.


  • 400 g (14 oz) skinless chicken breast
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kecap manis
  • oil, for grilling
  • juice of ½ lime, to serve
  • Peanut sauce, warmed


Cut the chicken into a 2-3 cm (1 inch) dice. Mix with the garlic, kecap manis and a pinch of salt. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes (or if longer, cover and keep in the fridge).

If using bamboo skewers, soak in water to stop them burning whilst the meat marinates. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, keeping the pieces tightly packed together.

The best results are indisputably on a barbecue - add coconut fibres or wood chips for the wonderful smoky notes - but you could also grill or griddle on a high heat. When searing hot, brush your grill with a little oil and cook your sate over a direct heat (keeping the sticks away from the coals). Turn until browned on all sides and cooked through.

Spritz the lime juice over the sate and douse with the warm peanut sauce.