Our air fryer chicken satay recipe is a simpler way to prepare this Asian staple.
What Is Chicken Satay?
If you’re into spicy, creamy foods, chicken satay is the perfect dish for you. Small chicken pieces are slathered with spices, skewered, grilled, and served with an iconic rich peanut sauce.
The term ‘satay’ derives from an Indonesian and Malay term, ‘sate’, referring to grilled meat with sauce. Thanks to its addictive nature, this delicious street food soon spread out to other Southeast Asian countries and eventually became known all over the world.
In many Asian restaurants, you’ll often find it served with cooked rice and several slices of refreshing cucumber. Our air fryer chicken satay recipe sticks to this traditional format, but with a variety of fresh, crisp vegetables.
Is Air Fryer Chicken Satay Healthy?
Served at the right portion size, the dish should provide a reasonable amount of calories. Each serving of our Chicken Satay gives you around 495 calories, which mainly comes from carbohydrates and lean proteins.
Although the salty, sweet peanut sauce is typically high in sodium and added sugar, we use just enough to coat the chicken. Each serving only has about 573 mg sodium and 4 g added sugar.
Chicken satay and rice also give you plenty of important micronutrients. In the meat alone there are proteins, B vitamins, magnesium, copper, and many more.
Satay chicken, as previously mentioned, is seasoned with hot spices. Although not to a significant degree, spicy foods may help slow your appetite, increase metabolic rate, and promote heart health by improving blood circulation.
Main Ingredients for Chicken Satay
For our air fryer chicken satay recipe, you’ll need the following:
We chose chicken thighs over breasts because they’re juicier and not as tough when grilled. We removed the bones ourselves and cut the meat into 1-inch chunks.
The chicken is seasoned with garlic powder, fresh garlic, Italian seasoning for fragrance, salt, and paprika, cajun, and pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
Originally lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves were used instead of Italian seasoning. However, we think this more convenient alternative adds a new delicious twist.
- Chicken Satay Peanut Sauce
The main ingredients for the peanut sauce are surprisingly simple: peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar (we use honey), and vinegar. The key is the ratio, which should result in a salty, sweet sauce with just a hint of tanginess from vinegar.
To this base, we added finely chopped ginger for warmth, black pepper, some oil for extra richness, and chunks of chopped peanuts for texture.
To mellow out the heat and the richness of the sauce, chicken satay is often served with something crunchy and juicy. Cucumbers, naturally, tick all the boxes and are served with this dish in many restaurants.
In today’s air fryer chicken satay recipe, we’re placing lettuce, red onions, and mint leaves on the side. The cooling nature of mint makes it an interesting refreshment.
- Cooked Rice
Since the sauce is quite salty, this dish often includes cooked rice. Medium or long-grain rice is commonly used for this dish, like Jasmine — but you can use any type of rice you prefer.
If you don’t want to cook rice, microwave/ frozen rice packets are convenient options.
How to Make Chicken Satay in an Air Fryer
Although chicken satay is often grilled, we find that air-frying the chicken also returns a similar result. Blasting the chicken with hot air also gives it that smoky, charred, caramel flavor.
To sum up, here’s what you need to do:
Marinate the chicken.
Skewer and air-fry them.
Make the sauce.
Enjoy with rice and veg.
For the best result, stick to the ‘Air Fryer Chicken Satay Recipe’ card included at the bottom of this article.
How to Store and Reheat Chicken Satay
To store, you can remove the skewers and place all the chicken in a container. If you decide to keep the skewers, you may want to use plastic bags or biodegradable bags. Either way, make sure that the meat is tightly sealed/ wrapped.
Once that’s done, the cooked meat can be kept in the fridge for about 4 days, or the freezer for up to 3 months. To keep track more easily, write the date of storage on the containers or bags.
However, we suggest that you only make enough to eat for one sitting. Reheated grilled meat isn’t as juicy and tender as freshly cooked meat. You can store the marinated chicken in the fridge or freezer, then cook it whenever you want for the freshest, tastiest experience.
What to Serve With Chicken Satay
To make your meal more diverse and tasty, we suggest having a Thai mango salad and a glass of lemon water on the side. This salad is a balance between sweetness and sourness, and the lemon water is super refreshing:
Air Fryer Chicken Satay Recipe
This air fryer chicken satay recipe calls for simple ingredients and cooks the dish in no time at all. The spicy, juicy chicken and rich peanut butter sauce are worth the prep.
- cook TIME 17 mins
- prep TIME 8 mins
- total TIME 25 mins
- COURSE Main Course
- CUISINE Asian
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 494 kcal
- 19 ozskinless boneless chicken thigh (cut into skewable pieces)
- 2 tspgarlic (from about 2 cloves, minced)
- 2 tsppaprika
- 1 tspcajun seasoning
- 1 tspItalian seasoning
- 1 tspgarlic powder
- 0.3 tspsalt
- 0.3 tspred pepper flakes
- 2 tbspunsalted peanut butter
- 1.5 tbspreduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsprice vinegar
- 1 tbspcanola oil
- 1 tsphoney
- 0.5 tspground black pepper
- 0.3 tspginger (finely minced)
- 1 oztoasted peanuts (broken into fine bits)
- 8 ozcucumber (halved lengthwise then sliced)
- 0.5 ozred onion (about half a medium, sliced into rings)
- 0.3 cupmint leaves (for garnish)
- 3 cupscooked medium-grain rice
Season 10 oz chicken with 2 tsp garlic, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cajun seasoning, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
Skewer the meat (we made 8 skewers). Air-fry at 400°F for 17 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dip by combining 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp canola oil, 1 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp ginger, and 0.5 oz toasted peanuts (save the rest for later).
Sprinkle the rest of the peanuts on top of the chicken. Serve with the side veggies (8 oz cucumber, 0.5 oz red onion, and 1/4 cup mint leaves) and 3 cups cooked rice.