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Secrets from the Banana Tree Kitchen: Malaysian Satay and Peanut Sauce

For those who haven’t already tried the Malaysian treat, satay is skewers of marinated chicken meat, made with a distinctive blend of spices including turmeric and coriander, and usually served with its equally famous accompaniment, the special spicy peanut sauce. Indeed, many would say that satay is incomplete without its peanutty partner! Customers often forget that, here at Banana Tree, our Malaysian dishes are just as important to us as our Vietnamese or Thai – so if you thought you’d never find an authentic Malaysian restaurant in Angel, Hampstead or any of our other location, you’re wrong! And to celebrate the importance of our Malaysian recipes, we’re sharing this very special Satay recipe with you – so that you can try a taste of Malaysia, at home.

How to Make Malaysian Satay

Serves: 4-6 (20-25 satay sticks)

Satay Sticks


800g Chicken Thighs

3 Tablespoons Oil

2 Teaspoons Ground Turmeric

1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

¼ Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce

2 Stalks Lemongrass (chopped, pale part only)

5 Shallots

2 Cloves Garlic (Sliced)

2-3 Slices Ginger

You’ll also need a set of 20-25 skewers. Remember to leave them soaking in water for an hour before skewering – this is to stop them from burning when you put the hot chicken on them.


    Blend the shallots, garlic, ginger and lemongrass with a blender, food processor or pestle and mortar, until they make a fine paste.

    Slice the chicken into small cubes and combine with the paste.

     Add the oil, salt, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar and soy sauce and leave to marinate in the fridge (overnight if possible).

     Once marinated, skewer the chicken cubes and brush oil on top.

     Grill the chicken skewers for about 2 minutes, turning continually to avoid burning.

Once you’ve finished grilling the skewers, your satay sticks are all done! But of course, Malaysian satay wouldn’t be without the same without the peanut sauce – so let’s move on to that.

Satay Peanut Sauce


2 Shallots (sliced)

6 Dried Red Chillies (soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes with stalks discarded)

2 Cloves Garlic (sliced)

1 Stalk Lemongrass (coarsely chopped, pale part only)

2 Slices Galangal

200g Roasted Peanuts

350ml Vegetable Oil

250ml Water

1.5 Tablespoons Sugar

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

60ml Oil

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

2 Tablespoons Tamarind Puree


     Crush the peanuts with a mortar and pestle.

     Blend the chili, shallots, garlic, lemongrass and galangal to a smooth paste. Add oil and mix well.

     Add the paste and chili powder to a pot and heat to a medium temperature for 8-10 minutes.

     Add the crushed peanuts, tamarind puree, sugar, salt and water and bring to boil.

     Cook until the sauce thickens at a medium temperature (about 10-12 minutes).

Once you’ve finished that you’re all done! All that’s left is for you to get to work enjoying your freshly made satay sticks – just like you’d find in Malaysia!