Thai-Inspired Chicken Satay Stir-Fry

A traditional Thai dish inspired this easy stir-fry perfect for dinnertime. Chicken Satay Stir-Fry, anyone?


Have you ever fallen into a cooking rut? When it seems like I am cooking the same dishes again and again, everything begins to feel so boring.

The challenge is to break out of that cooking rut. A few weeks ago, I unwittingly broke out of a rut simply by challenging myself to cook only from what I had in the house for a week. My kids and I were about to leave for vacation, and I didn’t want to leave a stocked kitchen while away. Suddenly, I found myself thinking creatively in the kitchen again — because I had to. Instead of the usual dishes on repeat, we dined on a new recipe for tuna pasta that was a huge hit, a turkey meatloaf that my kids devoured, eggless cookies and more.

Not only did I stamp that rut away, but I cleared a ton of space in the pantry, fridge and freezer so when we returned we could refill it with a new round of foods that also sparked more creativity.

Chicken Satay Stir Fry

At some point during that week, I started to think about chicken satay, a traditional Thai dish where marinated chicken is served on skewers with a salty-sweet peanut dipping sauce.

Though I’ve always grilled the dish in the past, I wondered if it could maybe be adapted to a stir-fry with lots of veggies and the essence of the meal I’ve loved since I was a teenager. After a little experimentation, it was a success. Tender chicken marinated in the traditional peanut-soy sauce marinade is cooked in a skillet to juicy perfection. Then fresh veggies are stir-fried to crisp-tenderness and it’s all mixed together.

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry Recipe

Serve this with a drizzle of the peanut dipping sauce that usually accompanies satay, and a sprinkle of peanuts and cilantro. It’s perfect on a bed of rice, rice noodles or even grains like farro or freekeh.

What I love about this version is that it’s a little easier than the traditional dish since you don’t have to fuss with soaking skewers or threading chicken onto them. Plus, the addition of a load of veggies makes it a perfect one-recipe meal.

Thai Chicken Satay Stir Fry

Chicken Satay Stir-Fry
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 6
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce, plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups cut vegetables, such as snow peas, red peppers and carrots
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped peanuts
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, ⅓ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup peanut butter and hot sauce until smooth. Be patient, this will take a few minutes but it will be fully combined when you are done. Add the pieces of chicken breast and stir to coat. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour (this can marinate all day, if desired).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Once the pan is all warmed up, add the chicken, discarding any excess marinade. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pan and toss well. Let cook for an additional 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining soy sauce, peanut butter, seasoned rice vinegar and ground ginger until smooth.
  4. To serve: arrange chicken and vegetables on a platter and drizzle with prepared sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts. This can be served over rice, rice noodles or other grains.


Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is editor of Bangor Metro magazine and senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News. She is the author of "The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook," (Sept. 2018, Rockridge Press) and the co-author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains" (March 2015, DK). Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, and more. She also writes about food at