Why don’t I just call it chicken satay? Because sate / satay is skewered meat. It’s actually Indonesian/Malaysian sate but known by other names across Southeast Asia. It shouldn’t be confused with the peanut sauce that is sometimes served with. Grilled skewered meat in Southeast Asia is served with a variety of dipping sauces and peanut sauce is just one of them.
This dish isn’t grilled. It’s stir fried. And as with most stir fry dishes, the prep time is just as long as the cooking time if not longer. The rather long prep time is due to the number of ingredients and the time you have to spend cutting them to pieces small enough to allow them to cook in a short time. Stir frying, after all, requires short cooking time over high heat.
The longest part of the cooking is making sure that the chicken gets cooked through. No one eats raw chicken, after all, for health reasons. I’ve read that the danger of Salmonella only applies to poultry raised in the United States because they don’t vaccinate their birds against the disease while other countries do. But, still, raw chicken meat leaves a nasty taste so I like my chicken cooked through.
So, I take time to cook the chicken. As small as the pieces are in this recipe, I still spend more than half of the ten-minute cooking time just letting the chicken cook and brown. Only after that do I add the spices.
After a minute or so of stir frying, the sauces go in. Everything is tossed together just long enough for the thick sauces to coat the chicken. Don’t take too long because hoisin sauce contains sugar and sugar burns fast. Once the sauces have been fully intergrated, the peanuts are tossed in and the dish is ready to serve.
Chili peanut sesame chicken
- 1 large chicken thigh fillet
- ½ salt
- ¼ pepper
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 small bell pepper - diced
- 1 small onion - thinly sliced
- 1 heaping teaspoon hoisin sauce
- 1 heaping teaspoon peanut butter
- 1 generous pinch dried chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 drizzle sesame seed oil
- 2 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
- toasted sesame seeds - to garnish
- fresh cilantro - to garnish
- sliced scallions - to garnish
- hot cooked rice - to serve
- Cut the chicken fillet into one-inch pieces. Toss with salt and pepper.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Cook the chicken until browned and cooked through, about six to seven minutes. If the chicken skin renders too much fat, you can pour off the fat and leave only a teaspoonful of so in the pan.
- Add the garlic, bell pepper and onion to the chicken. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Stir fry for about half a minute.
- Stir together the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, lime or lemon juice, chili flakes (or powder or paste), fish sauce and sesame seed oil. Pour into the pan and stir everything together.
- Add the roasted peanuts, stir and turn off the heat.
- Scoop the cooked rice into a bowl. Top with the chili peanut chicken. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro. Serve at once.