PK Makes Nagi’s ‘Chinese Restaurant’ Chicken Satay

I love old school Anglicised ‘chinese restaurant’ chicken satay.

Perth is very lucky now to have cafes and restaurants that serve all manner of global cuisines from the cultural traditional through to really clever fusion. However, growing up in Perth we were not spoilt for choice eating out, there was only Pizza Hut, Red Rooster and the local ‘Chinese Restaurant’.

This dish is far from traditional chinese cuisine but it hits fond childhood food memories. It is quite frankly the best satay chicken I have ever had.

There are 3 main preparation steps that look a little daunting at first but the recipe is actually really easy. With all credit to Nagi of for the way she created and laid the recipe out.

All I am trying to do is spread her amazing work :).


  • I have converted the powdered ingredient quantities in the original recipe to use whole grains using my own crazy rule of thumb.
  • I have gone heavy on the onions and garlic as per my childhood memories.

You will be:

  1. Prepping and tenderising the chicken
  2. Making the satay seasoning
  3. Making the satay cooking sauce
  4. Cooking the chicken
  5. Serving

You will need:

  • Ingredients:
    • Chicken:
      • 2 chicken breasts (a little over 500g)
      • 2 tsp baking soda
    • Satay Seasoning:
      • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
      • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
      • 3/4 tsp white peppercorns
      • 0.5 tsp tumeric powder
      • 0.5 tsp chili powder (I used store bought Kashmiri chili powder but you can make your own with this FoodHack.)
      • 3 tsp curry powder (any will do and extra points for home-made)
      • 1 tsp table salt
    • Satay Sauce:
      • 3 – 4 Tbsp Peanut Butter (I used just to increase the trip down memory lane)
      • 3 tsp raw sugar
      • 2 tsp soy sauce (light or normal but not thick like ketjip manis)
      • 3 tsp rice vinegar
      • 2 tsp hot sauce (I used Eaglobe piment sriracha)
      • 1 tsp fresh lemon grass (very finely diced)
      • 2/3 cups coconut milk
      • 1/2 cup water
    • For the wok:
      • A good slug of peanut oil
      • 1 – 2 large brown onions
      • 4 garlic cloves
  •  Equipment:
    • a chopping board
    • a long sharp knife
    • a bowl for the chicken to tenderise in
    • a mortar and pestle
    • a small bowl for the spices
    • a small whisk or fork
    • a small mixing bowl for the sauce
    • a wok or deep fry pan


Prepping and tenderising the chicken

  1. Slice the breasts in a long-wise fashion and then cut the flat slices in half.
  2. Pop the slices into a bowl and sprinkle them with the 2 tsp baking soda (Nagi says this tenderises them and I can confirm that it really works).
  3. Pop them back into the fridge while you make the seasoning and sauce.
Slice the chicken breasts like they do in the restaurants
Allow the slices to tenderise in the fridge

Making the satay seasoning

  1. In a mortar and pestle grind the:
    • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
    • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
    • 3/4 tsp white peppercorns
  2. When you have the your desired amount of grind add the ground spices to a bowl with the:
    • 0.5 tsp tumeric powder
    • 0.5 tsp chili powder
    • 3 tsp curry powder
    • 1 tsp table salt
  3. Give everything a quick mix.


Making the satay cooking sauce

  1. In a different mixing bowl mix until smooth the:
    • 3 – 4 Tbsp Peanut Butter
    • 3 tsp raw sugar
    • 2 tsp soy sauce
    • 3 tsp rice vinegar
    • 2 tsp hot sauce
    • 1 tsp fresh lemon grass (very finely diced)
    • 2/3 cups coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup water
  2. Add the satay seasoning and mix again.
  3. Refrigerate if you are not cooking the chicken until later in the day.
Mix all the sauce ingredients
Add the seasoning and mix again
Perfect colour

Cooking the chicken

  1. Bring the chicken and sauce out of the fridge.
  2. Chop up the 2 brown onions and mince the 4 garlic cloves.
  3. Add a slug of peanut oil to your pan and bring it to medium heat.
  4. Prepare any garnish (I went with some fresh sliced jalapenos and spring onions from my PK’s Working Garden).
  5. Add the onions and garlic to the hot oil and keep everything moving until they soften.
  6. Add the chicken slices and keep it moving until the chicken is beginning to brown.
  7. Add the satay sauce and stir fry until the sauce has reduced to your desired thickness (say a few minutes).
5 seconds of preparation
Soften the vegetables
Brown the chicken slices
Cook for a few minutes until the sauce is reduced


A bit of rice, some chilis, a side of asian greens in oyster sauce (e.g. Choy Sum) and I am in heaven.




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