You won’t believe how quickly this chicken satay rice bowl comes together, for something so tasty! A perfect punchy peanut sauce coats tender chicken breast pieces. Served over rice or rice noodles with crunchy peanuts, fresh cilantro and a few Thai chiles, this is a colorful and delicious 15-minute weeknight meal.
I’ve had “chicken satay rice bowl” on my weekly menu for weeks. I didn’t really know where I was going with the idea, it just sounded good to me.
But life got in the way, I never got around to developing a recipe, and every week it got pushed to the following week.
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Boy do I regret that this was not in my life sooner! It turned out to be the easiest, fastest, and tastiest thing I’ve made in a while.
What is Chicken Satay?
Chicken satay, if you’re not familiar, is an Indonesian dish of skewered grilled chicken served with a peanutty sauce. I’m not going to claim this version is in any way authentic – it being neither grilled nor skewered – but I WILL vouch for its deliciousness.
The star of this show is definitely the peanut sauce. I’ve had a lot of bland, disappointing peanut sauce in my life, but this stuff is fantastic. You’ll notice that it doesn’t actually contain that much peanut butter, which I think keeps it from being too gummy and one-note.
Believe me, the peanut flavor comes through. Along with all the other flavors it has going on, as well as a nice little kick from the chile paste!
Speaking of the chile paste, I like to use Sambal Oelek, an Indonesian fresh chile paste with amazing flavor in this peanut sauce. See this post from Bon Appetit for a primer on this incredible condiment. You could substitute sriracha if you like.
Do feel free to add some veggies for additional nutrition! I like a few fresh cucumber slices, but snow or snap peas would be nice, as would broccoli or bell pepper.
For cooked veggies, I would give them a quick stir fry after the chicken, and add back to the sauce with the chicken, or serve on the side.
Here’s the step-by-step!
How to Make Chicken Satay Rice Bowls
*Note: I like to start cooking the rice at the same time as I start the stir fry, as they take about the same amount of time to cook.
1. Cut about 1 1/2 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 3 large chicken breasts) into 1/2-inch pieces. Season with salt.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable or peanut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Stir fry the chicken until lightly golden and just cooked through. Remove to a plate.
3. Return the pan to the heat and add the chile paste, tomato paste, and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.
4. Add the chicken broth, brown sugar, peanut butter, and hoisin to the pan and cook, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly. Reduce the heat to medium.
5. Add the chicken back to the pan and stir to re-warm and to coat with the sauce.
6. Serve over coconut lime rice, or plain rice, and garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro and/or green onions, and Thai red chiles or sriracha, if desired.
These chicken satay rice bowls are way better than your average takeout, and are definitely a new weeknight favorite in our house!
Sound good to you? If you make these chicken satay rice bowls, I would be thrilled and honored if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Chicken Satay Rice Bowls
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into bite size pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon chile paste such as sambal oelek* (see recipe notes)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 4 cups cooked jasmine rice or coconut lime rice, or rice noodles
- chopped unsalted peanuts
- chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
- cucumber thinly sliced
- thai chile (very spicy!) or sriracha
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and add them to the pan. Cook the chicken until lightly browned and just cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the minced garlic, chile paste, and tomato paste, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, brown sugar, peanut butter and hoisin sauce to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken back to the pan. Stir to coat and cook until the chicken is heated through.
- Serve chicken over cooked rice or rice noodles in a bowl, and garnish with desired toppings.