Prawn Satay with Kaffir Peanut Sauce

written by Sarah Michael Griffin February 12, 2018

Satay is one of our all time favorite street food in Malaysia. You can come across few stalls at night, cooking away their skewered beef, chicken or even mutton on a mini barbecue grill. While the stall owner basting the skewered meat and fanning them, so that the fire flares up and give a good char on the meat you can witnessed the grease from the meat sizzling, and falling on the charcoal and further flaring and cooking the meat. You will never be disappointed with the result, a good smokey meat that is addictive as you bite into one skewer at a time.

What is a good old satay without its Peanut Sauce right?  I was extremely tempted to try out the sauce at home, but was dying for a twist in it. Hence I have decided to substitute the main aromatic in the recipe “Lemongrass” to “Kaffir Lime Leaves” or else known as Bergamot Leaves. Widely used in Thai Cuisine, the leaves makes any dish appetizing.  Always be cautious when using them as they tend to get slightly bitter, but other than that its good to go.

As for the protein part of the meal, I opted for the prawns. Light, sweet and succulent, a perfect combo for my sauce. By all means pick any types of prawns you prefer, but always make sure that you are using fresh ones- We do not want to lack in flavour . Tiger Prawns would be the ultimate choice but in this recipe I am using the normal ones.

Best served along with Nasi Impit or Compressed Rice

How To Make Prawn Satay with Kafir Leaf Peanut Sauce

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Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 20 pcs of Medium sized Prawns- peeled with tail intact
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Rose Shallot- peeled and chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp Brown Sugar or Gula Melaka
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Kafir Leaves- Stemmed
  • 5 Candle Nuts
  • 4 cloves of Garlic- chopped
  • 1 inch of Ginger- chopped
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 100gram of Peanut- pan roasted and skin removed and blitz in blender till fine
  • 100gram of Peanut- pan roasted and skin removed and partially pounded with Mortar and Pestle.
  • 5-6 stalks of Dried Chilies- pan roasted
  • 2tsp Dried Shrimps
  • 4 Candle Nuts
  • 3 Kafir Lime Leaves- stemmed and veined
  • 4 Rose Onions- peeled and chopped
  • 3cm Galanggal
  • 1/2 tsp of Toasted Belacan
  • 4 cloves of Garlic- pan roasted
  • 20 ml of Tamarind Juice- soak 2 tsp of tamarind in 20 ml of water and press for juice, throw the seeds away.
  • 1/2 cup of Coconut Milk
  • 4 tbsp Oil


Marinating Prawns in Lime Juice

Prawn Marinade

  1. Marinate the peeled prawns with the lime juice. Let it rest in the refrigerator.
  2. In a blender add in the chopped shallots, garlic, and ginger, candle nuts, kafir leaves, brown sugar and salt and blitz them into a paste.
  3. In a pan or wok, heat up the oil for sauteing.
  4. Add in the paste and fry till fragrant and till the oil breaks.
  5. Let it cool thoroughly, then add 1 and a 1/2 tbsp of the paste to the prawn in the fridge and mix till they are evenly coated. Let it sit in the fridge for about an hour before skewering or grilling.

Ingredients for the Peanut Sauce from Clockwise: finely blended peanuts, coarsely ground peanut, coconut milk, blended chili paste mixture, Gula melaka and white sugar.

The Peanut Sauce

  1.  In a blender,  blitz up the dried chilies, dried shrimps, candle nuts, kafir lime leaves, rose onions, galanggal, toasted belacan and garlic to form a nice thick paste.
  2. In a pan or wok heat up the oil and fry the paste till the oil breaks.
  3. Add in the finely blended peanuts now and mix well.
  4. Add in about half a cup of water or any stock of your choice and mix well.
  5. Add in the partially ground peanuts and stir well.
  6. Add water if the mixture goes thick, bring it to simmer.
  7. Next add in the salt, sugar, gula melaka, tamarind juice and coconut milk and stir in till well combined.
  8. Let it reach mild simmer while stirring and cook till thick.
  9. Peanut Sauce is Ready to be served.



Grilling the Prawn

  1. Using a grilling pan would be extremely favourable, but since I have and electric stove, I resorted into using my pan under high heat. Coat the base of the pan with a layer of oil.
  2. Skewer the prawns into the pre-soaked bamboo sticks. Give each skewers a generous amount. Since we are using 20 prawns, 5 per stick would be great.

    All skewered up

  3. Cook each side of the prawns for no more than 1 minute and half.  Give about 3 minutes.
  4. Our seared prawn now is ready to be served with the fragrant peanut sauce.

    Searing Beautifully


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