Asian Pesto-Grilled Chicken Satay

Asian Pesto-Grilled Chicken Kebabs

When one thinks of a pesto, the Italian basil pesto usually comes to mind, however a pesto can be made with many different herbs. This heady mix of fresh mint, cilantro leaves, roasted peanuts and ginger is perfect this Asian inspired chicken satay. This is a simple dish to prepare and can be served as part of a small plate meal or as a main course.  

A satay is typically a Southeast Asian dish, but in similarity is yakitori in Japan, brochettes in France and the shish kebab in Turkey. Cooking small pieces of meat on an open fire has been done for ages. It is said that in Turkey, soldiers in the field used their swords to cook small pieces of meat over an open fire before the battle with Anatolia. Source

Asian Pesto-Grilled Chicken Satay

Double pesto for extra sauce


1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into thick strips

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

1-1/4-inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated

large pinch of sugar

1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil

extra oil for frying or for brushing on grill rack if grilling outside

sliced green onions, for garnish

bamboo skewers, soaked for several hours, or use metal skewers


Thread the chicken strips on the skewers and place in shallow dish. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a food processor or blender, combine the mint leaves, cilantro leaves, garlic, peanuts, ginger root, sugar and avocado oil. Process to a coarse pulp. Pour half over the chicken, cover and marinate for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.

If pan grilling, brush pan with oil, then place over high heat. When hot, place the skewers in the pan   and cook, turning them frequently to brown all sides, until chicken is done.

Arrange on a dish, pour some of the pesto over the chicken or use as a dipping sauce.

Recipe from The World in Bite Size 

A great recipe to serve as an appetizer and is my contribution the Menu Lib (e) ro hosted this session by Lucia of Torta di Rose. Building a menu starting from recipes taken from cookbooks, an idea from Marta and brought to fruition by Eloisa is a fun project that I am a part of for the next few months. 


Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

1 Comment

  1. Lucia Ciattaglia
    June 7, 2018 / 11:59 am

    Thank you so much Lynne, your recipe is really inviting!

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