• The Ninja Cook

Air Fryer Chicken Satay - Chunks of Deliciousness!

Updated: Jan 25

Make this Singapore supper favourite at home!

chicken satay
Bet you can't tell these chicken satay sticks were made with an air fryer! :P

Satay is a hot favourite amongst many Singaporeans and is definitely a dish that epitomises the best of our multi-cultural roots. Those of us who are old enough would remember the Satay Club and its origins and how the hawkers would set up their roadside stalls along the Esplanade area once the sun starts to set. I would say that the Satay Club could be considered as one of Singapore's most treasured food heritage trails, especially for visiting tourists!

Thankfully, satay is now found all over the island and the two popular types here are Malay and Chinese satay. As a Hainanese, my favourite is the pork satay because it is simply the bomb-ass of all the satay varieties. What's not to love about well-marinated juicy chunks of pork and that sliver of crunchy lard sandwiched in between? Roasted over charcoal and dunked in thick pineapple peanut sauce as a condiment, it is quite the taste sensation of everything smoky, savoury and sweet.

For this recipe however, I am however opting for a healthier version (sorry for the anti-climax lol) by using chicken instead but I can assure you it would suit pork just as well. I am also using air fryer to cook the satay here, just because it's actually faster than cooking in a convectional oven.

I've also created a 5-ingredient hack for the peanut sauce so you don't have to make it from scratch. Technically, red curry paste has almost the same make-up as all of the ingredients needed for satay sauce, hence I am using it as a base to cook the gravy. And it actually tastes 90% like the commercial ones out there! I hope you'll have fun recreating this as much as I did. :D

chicken satay, satay sauce
Yummy yummy!

Chicken Satay

(around 7-8 sticks)



  • 150 chicken or pork or beef

Seasoning Marinade:

  • 6 shallots

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp kecap mais (dark caramel sauce)

  • 2 lemongrass stalks (the bottom white ends)

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • Dash of chilli powder

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1 packet red curry paste (I used Dancing Chef but any brand would do)

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

  • 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate

  • 1.5 palm sugar

  • 400 ml water

  • Roasted peanuts


To make the chicken satay:

  1. Slice the chicken thigh into cubes.

  2. To make the marinade, add the seasoning ingredients into a food processor and blend. I'd suggest giving your sauce a taste, you would want the satay hints from the sugar, lemongrass and coriander.

  3. Marinade the chicken cubes well in the seasoning for at least 6 hours in the fridge.

  4. Remove after 6 hours, using skewers, poke your chicken meat through to make the satay.

  5. Arrange the sticks in an air fryer, making sure the meat doesn't overlap.

  6. Spray some oil over the meat, then cook for 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees till the meat is slightly charred.

  7. Serve with sliced cucumber and peanut sauce.

To make the peanut sauce:

  1. Stirfry the red curry paste in 1 tbsp oil till fragrant.

  2. Add 2 tbsp peanut butter and stir in, followed by 2 tbsp tamarind concentrate and 1.5 tbsp palm sugar.

  3. Dissolve in 400ml of water and bring to a boil.

  4. Add the roasted peanuts and stir in.

  5. Taste to see if the gravy is too salty and add more water if required.

  6. Bring to a simmer to thicken and when you start to see bubbles of red oil floating on the surface, it's ready.

  7. Serve with your delicious satay.

chicken satay
Great as an appetizer for any party!