Spicy Peanut Chicken is a scrumptious 15 minute meal which will surely become one of your favorite weeknight meals! Thai curry paste adds heat but if you are cooking for little ones too you can omit it and add all your heat to the salad. Alternatively, it’s SOOO easy that you won’t mind making two batches simultaneaously and you will be glad to have the leftovers – trust me!
Ooooh La La! That’s all I have to say about this little gem. It’s like your favorite chicken satay with peanut sauce but in a simple, 15-minute weeknight meal. All you have to do is make a batch of rice (if you have a rice cooker that is a one minute job) and you can have dinner on the table in under 25 minutes.
Spicy Peanut Chicken…my weeknight take on satay…
Satay is a national dish of Indonesia but it is now a huge part of cuisine all over Southeast Asia. In the west we know it as grilled chicken or beef skewers dipped in to a deliciously sweet and spicy peanut sauce. Traditionally the sauce is made with finely ground peanuts that thicken the coconut milk as it cooks. Some people may squirm at the idea of making dinner with peanut butter but don’t knock it until you try it! We’re not talking Skippy or Jif here. You need to use real, 100% peanut butter. The only ingredient on the jar should be peanuts! It saves you the hassle of chopping or grinding the peanuts on your own. If you can’t find this in your local supermarket head to a health food store.
The cucumber salad in this dish cuts the richness of the Spicy Peanut Chicken. If you’d like a bit more veggies added to your dinner you can wilt some spinach or bok choy. Or, add snap peas to the pot when you add the peanut butter so they just barely cook and retain their crunch.
Spicy Peanut Chicken would also be great served alongside The Best Pad Thai Ever. If you love Southeast Asian cuisine as much as I do another couple recipes you should check out are Thai Beef Salad with Noodles and Crunchy Vegetable & Noodle Salad with Peanut DressingPrint
Spicy Peanut Chicken with Cucumber Salad
A delicious 15 minute meal with the flavors of Southeast Asia. Serve with rice and optional green veggies (see above note).
- Prep Time: 7 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 17 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Southeast Asian
- 1 1/2 lbs (700g) chicken breasts
- 1 glug or dollop of vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
- 2–3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (this depends on the brand you use and the level of spice you want. I use traditional Thai paste purchased at Asian markets which is stronger than supermarket varieties so 2 teaspoons is enough for medium spice level)
- 1 14 oz (400ml) can of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (135g) natural peanut butter
- 1 1/2 Tablspoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
- For the cucumber salad:
- 1 long hothouse cucumber
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 scallion (spring onion) finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (handful) chopped cilantro (coriander)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar (or rice wine, or sushi vinegar)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Thai Fish Sauce (or you can use soy sauce if you don’t have)
- 1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon minced Thai red chili or jalapeño (optional)
- For serving:
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)
- 2 cups steamed white rice
- optional veg (see above note)
- Cut the chicken i9n to bite size pieces.
- Heat the oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat.
- Add the chicken and sear on all sides.
- After about 1 minute add the garlic, ginger and curry paste to the pot with the chicken and continue to saute until the chicken is seared, the garlic and ginger are fragrant and the curry paste is well blended amongst the chicken pieces.
- Pour the can of coconut milk in to the pot along with the optional kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a simmer and gently cook the chicken until just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the peanut butter to the pan and stir over medium heat until it is dissolved in to the sauce.
- Add the soy sauce and apple cider vinegar. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
- FOR THE SALAD:
- Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and, using a small spoon, scoop most of the seeds out of the cucumber and discard. Now thinly slice each half slightly on the diagonal in to half-moon shapes.
- Combine the cucumber in a medium bowl with the rest of the ingredients (ginger, scallion (spring onion), cilantro (coriander), vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil and optional chili)
- Serve the chicken alongside thai or basmati rice, sprinkle with chopped cilantro (coriander) and peanuts (optional) and pile some of the cucumber salad on top.
- Thai Curry Paste – these vary in strength and flavor. If possible buy curry paste from an Asian market as they are better quality but supermarket varieties work too. Traditional Thai paste purchased at Asian markets tend to be spicier than supermarket varieties so 2 teaspoons is enough for medium spice level.
- If you want your children to eat this and they don’t like spice you can omit the curry paste and add the red chili to your cucumber salad. Or just make two batches – it’s that easy!