Gluten Free Malaysian Chicken Satay (Fish-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Options)

What can you place on a stick to eat besides shish kebobs and corn dogs? Chicken satay! Satay originated in Indonesia, but there are also Asian versions. Satay is different than shish kabobs, mainly in the sauce. Instead of barbecue sauce and such, Thai satay recipes call for coconut milk and curry. Indonesia satay, also known as sate ayam, calls for ketchup or tomato sauce and sugar. Malaysian satay calls for such ingredients as belacan (shrimp paste), galangal (a relative of ginger), and lemon grass, which are not available to everyone. This is my own unique gluten free, soy free, Malaysian version of satay using more commonly known ingredients. You may use chicken or a tender cut of beef or pork. Pork tenderloin is wonderful! However, today I am using chicken breast meat. I’m not a big peanut butter fan, but the peanut butter sauce is out of this world!

Gluten Free Malaysian Chicken Satay


Yield: 20 Satay Sewers / Serves 4

Gluten Free Malaysian Chicken Satay

A gluten free, soy free, Malaysian satay with peanut butter sauce, with fish-free options. A welcomed and delicious change!


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 20-25 skewers, soaked in water
  • For the Marinade
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar or turbinado sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons turmeric powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon spicy shrimp paste (or beef broth paste – Better Than Bullion* + ¼ teaspoon pepper)
  • For the Satay Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, soaked in water 1 Tablespoon water, drained (use the water)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or white vinegar + 1 teaspoon sugar or 1/8 teaspoon stevia powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons shrimp paste (or beef broth paste – Better Than Bullion* + 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates, soaked in hot water, skinned and pureed, reserve water
  • 1 1/8 cups water, or more to your liking
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or condensed milk** or cream)
  • 1 cup chunky natural peanut butter (I used unsalted)
  • Fine sea salt, to taste


    To Make the Marinade
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in a preheated, pre-oiled skillet.
  2. In a food processor, add the garlic, onion and remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.
  3. To Marinate the Chicken
  4. Slice the chicken breasts in half so that they will be thinner; slice the chicken breasts in long strips. Alternatively, you may cube the chicken, which is easier to eat from the skewers.
  5. Marinade the meat in the above mixture for at least 2 hours or better, overnight, in the refrigerator.
  6. To Make the Satay Sauce
  7. To a saute pan or deep skillet, add the water from the soaked red pepper flakes, lemon juice/vinegar mixture, ginger, shrimp paste/bullion mixture, date paste and stir; add water and milk; stir; simmer for 2 minutes; add peanut butter; and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally; set aside.
  8. To Cook the Satay
  9. Using a grill, barbecue, or hibachi, preheat to high heat.
  10. Push each chicken strip onto a skewer by starting at one end and pushing it away from yourself so that you do not stab your fingers or hand.
  11. Place the skewers on the grill or whatever you’re using for cooking, and cook on each side approximately 5 minutes, removing the smaller ones first, as they become done.
  12. Reheat the satay sauce. If it has becomes too thick add additional water and stir. Coat the chicken while on the skewers with the satay sauce.


*Better Than Bullion contains yeast extracts.

**You can also make your own condensed milk from dry fat-free milk and a bit of water and sugar.

You'll end up with about 1 cup of left over peanut sauce. Save for your future grilled or broiled chicken, etc.

Turbinado sugar is unrefined, as are demerara and muscovado sugars.

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