Chicken satay burgers

Matt Tebbutt recipe

Preparation time

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4

By Mandy Yin
From Saturday Kitchen



For the satay spice paste:

  • Lemongrass stalk, 1, roughly chopped
  • Onions, 600g/1lb 5oz, roughly chopped
  • Garlic cloves, 5
  • Ground coriander, 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Ground turmeric, 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds, ½ tsp
  • Ground cumin, ½ tsp
  • Dark brown sugar, 100g/3½oz
  • Salt, 1 tbsp

For the peanut sauce:

  • Lightly salted peanuts, 180g/6¼oz, dry-toasted
  • Satay spice paste, 75g/2½oz
  • Coconut milk, 200ml/⅓pt
  • Dark brown sugar, 60g/2¼oz
  • Tamarind paste, 2½ tbsp
  • Chilli powder, ¼ tsp
  • Salt, ½ tsp (or less), to taste

For the cucumber pickle:

  • Cucumbers, 2
  • Red onions, 400g/14oz
  • Star anise, 1
  • Ginger, 2½cm/1in, sliced lengthways into 3 or 4 pieces
  • White caster sugar, 125g/4½oz
  • White rice vinegar, 75ml/2½fl oz
  • Salt, 1½ tsp

For the tomato sambol:

  • Fresh red chillies, 150g/5½oz
  • Garlic cloves, 3
  • Vegetable oil, 60ml/4 tbsp
  • Tomato purée, 3 tbsp
  • Dark brown sugar, 4½ tbsp
  • Table salt, 1½ tsp

For the patties:

  • Chicken thighs, 500g/1lb 2oz, boneless, skin removed, minced in a food processor
  • Homemade satay spice paste, 75g/2½oz
  • Free-range egg, 1, beaten
  • Oil, for frying

To serve:

  • Good-quality burger buns (such as brioche), 4
  • Chips (optional)


To make the satay spice paste:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until a fine purée forms. If using a smaller food processor or handheld stick blender, work in batches and combine them afterward.
  2. Always blend lemongrass with some onion to avoid hard, fibrous strands. Set aside.

To make the peanut sauce:

  1. Pulse the peanuts in a food processor until they reach a rough, sandy texture.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the ground peanuts, the remaining sauce ingredients, and 50ml/2fl oz water.
  3. Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Set aside.

To make the cucumber pickle:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 350ml/12fl oz water, star anise, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.
  2. Remove the ginger and star anise from the pickling liquid.
  3. Cut the cucumbers in half, then halve again lengthways. Deseed them with a spoon and slice into crescent moon shapes, ideally no thicker than 5mm/¼in.
  4. Cut the red onion into eighths, then slice into crescent moon shapes, ideally no thicker than 5mm/¼in.
  5. Mix the cucumber and red onion thoroughly in a large bowl, then transfer to a storage container.
  6. Pour the pickling liquid over the vegetables and let it sit overnight, then drain thoroughly.

To make the tomato sambal:

  1. Combine the chillies, garlic, and oil in a bowl and blend to a fine purée using a hand-held blender.
  2. Heat the oil in a small non-stick saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the chilli-garlic purée and stir-fry for 8 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato purée, salt, sugar, and 80ml/2½fl oz water. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Once cool, transfer to a clean glass jar for storage.

To make the patties:

  1. Mix the chicken mince, satay spice paste, and egg thoroughly in a large container using a gloved hand. Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, adding just enough oil to coat the bottom.
  3. Scoop out two balls of the chicken mix with a large ice-cream scoop and flatten into patties using a flat spatula.
  4. Pan-fry the patties for about 8 minutes, flipping every couple of minutes.

To assemble the burger:

  1. Cut the buns in half and toast the cut sides.
  2. Spread enough peanut sauce to cover the base of the bun.
  3. Add a cooked chicken patty, 2 tablespoons of cucumber pickles, and 1 tablespoon of tomato sambal (or more, to taste).
  4. Place the top bun on and serve with chips, if desired.
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