• Instant Pot Chicken Satay

Instant Pot Chicken Satay

Recipe updated with second alternative Instant Pot cooking method. 

Ah, Chicken Satay – what a feast of a meal this is. Strictly speaking, Chicken Satay refers to pieces of chicken marinaded in just a few ingredients like soy or kecap manis (a thick and sticky Indonesian sweet soy sauce) and perhaps a few spices before threading onto skewers to cook.

Sometimes, that’s it but there are lots of different versions of Chicken Satay with influences coming from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and some do come with a peanut sauce. It’s a recipe you find in most Chinese takeaways here in England but the sauce is often watery and disappointing – this is anything but that.

Hungry Hubby and I love this meal and the chicken is super soft and tender and it is cooked with the peanut sauce to make it suitable for gobbling up from a bowl snuggled on the couch. Whilst it may not be fully authentic to one cuisine, can I tell you, my Instant Pot Chicken Satay is so delicious, you won’t mind at all!

Make a takeaway favourite in your Instant Pot for dinner tonight - try this Chicken Satay!Click To Tweet

Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients in this recipe – all you do is season little bite-sized nuggets of chicken with sweet and salty soy sauces then leave them to marinate overnight if you have the time. The next day, you blitz the sauce in your food processor or blender and boomski, you’re 12 minutes away from the most succulent Chicken Satay you have ever had, thanks to your Instant Pot. As the pieces are small, you can be eating this in 12 short minutes!

 Instant Pot Chicken Satay

I have a little confession to make about one of the ingredients. For a very long time, I have shunned store-bought curry powders as I just could not see the point. I mean, if you want to make a curry at home, then go the extra mile and use the individual spices to craft yourself something unique and delicious.

But, having succumbed to some nice packaging (I know, I feel so dirty and guilty…) in Grape Tree a new health food shop here in the UK, I can tell you their Hot Madras Curry Powder is spot on. As a seasoning, it works as a dirty little secret to give your satay just a little summin’ summin’ you can’t get any other way!

Of course, if you already have a curry powder you use and enjoy – go for that. And do feel free to up the sriracha if you are as much of a chilli head as me. Just know that as the recipe stands, chilli-phobe Hungry Hubby licks his plate clean without breaking a sweat 😀

5 from 5 votes
Instant Pot Chicken Satay
Instant Pot Chicken Satay

Luxurious and rich, this super tasty Chicken Satay will keep all you Instant Potters way away from the takeaway!

Servings: 4
: 264 kcal
Author: Just Jo
To marinade:
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (this is a thick, sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1.5 inch bite size pieces (skinless and boneless)
For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 rounded tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass paste (or use the green part of a fresh stalk)
  • 1 lime, juiced (30mls worth)
  • 2 tsp sriracha (or chilli sauce of your choice)
  • 2 tsp curry powder (I use Hot Madras Curry Powder)
To finish:
  • 2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tbsp roasted and salted peanuts, chopped or crushed
  1. Start by mixing the kecap manis, soy sauce and chicken thighs well to mix. If you have time, cover and store in the fridge over night - if not, try to give it at least half an hour steeping time 

  2. When ready to cook, place all the ingredients for the sauce into a food processor or blender and blitz to mix. Trickle in 120ml of water with the motor running until you have a thinner and very smooth sauce. 

  3. Mix the marinated chicken and sauce together and then scrape into the Inner Pot of the Instant Pot, laying the thighs in a flat, even layer. (You are cooking this from cold, don't preheat the Inner Pot or it will catch and burn).  Place the lid on and set on Manual High for 12 minutes. Give a QPR when the timer sounds (but it works well with a NPR if you prefer). 

  4. Stir the chicken very well and if you want more sauce, add a little boiling water and cook briefly on Sauté mode to ensure it combines with the sauce nicely. If not, serve on top of steamed rice garnished with the sliced spring onions and crushed peanuts. 

Recipe Notes

As this sauce is thick and a little gloopy before cooking, make sure you take the Anti-Block Shield off when you've finished and give it a really good scrub. Not that I think you wouldn't but the manual tells us anything gloopy means you need to pay extra attention to cleaning this part. 


Some folks have had bother with the IP not coming up to pressure - I think it is because the sauce is thick and some peanut butters have a lot of sugar which can catch and burn. Soooo - here's my alternative method which works a treat with no obvious difference in texture to the final dish. We're going to do it pot-in-pot style (a first on EN&C!):

  1. You will need a stainless steel bowl that fits in your Inner Pot with an inch ir so space around it. I use a deep Balti dish I got for next to nothing in Aldi. 
  2. Prepare the chicken marinade - I do this in my Balti dish. 
  3. Prepare the sauce but instead of adding 120ml of water, you only need 2 tbsp (or there would be too much sauce). Pour onto the chicken and mix well. 
  4. Put the trivet in the Inner Pot. Add 500ml water. Sit the stainless steel bowl on top. Put the lid on, close the vent and program on Manual High for 18 mins. Do a QPR or NPR as preferred. 
  5. Stir very well and serve - if the sauce is too thick for you, add a splash of boiling water. 

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn a little commission if you chose to buy items I’ve advertised, helping me to bring you all these recipes for free!

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  1. Gerry 28th February 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Just made this. Couldn’t wait overnight. Utterly delicious. Served with rice and salad.

    • Just Jo 1st March 2017 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Oh my goodness, you’re fast off the mark Gerry! So happy you enjoyed it 😀 Thanks for letting me know x

  2. Pretty 1st March 2017 at 9:27 am - Reply

    I feel the same way about using curry powder, will have to give this one a go!

    • Just Jo 1st March 2017 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Yeah, it’s not something I would ever use on it’s own to make Indian or Chinese curries but when you find a nice one, it’s a handy flavour enhancer. It really works in this recipe in particular!

  3. Corina 1st March 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

    I love the flavours in a good chicken satay and the sauce for this looks really rich and delicious! I’m definitely craving satay now!

    • Just Jo 1st March 2017 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      It’s super rich ad comforting – I could dip bread in the sauce and eat it straight lol

  4. Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry 1st March 2017 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    I was just looking for a chicken satay dish and this looks so delish! Do you find chicken thigh adds extra flavour?

    • Just Jo 1st March 2017 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      Absolutely – there’s so much more flavour in thigh meat plus it’s so much more succulent. You’d end up with stringy dry meat if you used chicken breast without adapting the cooking time.

      • Sheala Strong 3rd September 2018 at 5:46 am - Reply

        What would the adapted cooking time be when using chx breast?

  5. Shashi at RunninSrilankan 1st March 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    love a good satay with a little “summin, summin” 🙂 The long list of ingredients don’t scare me at all – they just mean all the more flava! This looks wonderful – and added bonus that after the prep it’s super quick to pull together!

    • Just Jo 1st March 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      😀 It’s so easy, you’d think that it can’t be as tasty as it is!

  6. Alyssa 1st March 2017 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I hated my InstaPot and sold it (I know, probably the only one it he world…) but I’m sure I can easily translate this delicious recipe to the stovetop.
    I’ve been Pinning lots of Satay recipes lately and this one’s being added to the board as well.

    • Just Jo 2nd March 2017 at 6:41 am - Reply

      Well you sure can do this more traditionally – I would griddle the marinated chicken and simply cook the blended sauce in a saucepan with a little extra water. Easy peasy. Sorry to hear you didn’t get on with the IP – what was it you didn’t like Alyssa?

  7. Sarah 9th March 2017 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure where I went wrong – except that I used 600g chicken thigh fillets and chopped them into bite sized pieces. Apart from that, I followed your recipe to the T. After the 12 minutes there was no pressure to release and when I lifted the lid the chicken and sauce had burnt to the bottom of the pan ? I managed to salvage it and the sauce tasted great, but the chicken was only just cooked. I can only guess that there wasn’t enough liquid in the sauce to allow the Instant Pot to come up to pressure. Any ideas?

    • Just Jo 9th March 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Sarah, thanks for much for the feedback and I am really sorry the recipe didn’t go to plan for you. I’m afraid it is my fault – the recipe should have had 8 tbsp water, not just four. I didn’t catch that mistake when I published the recipe a few day so I can’t apologise enough to you. 8 tbsp is 120ml and together with the lime juice and liquid from the marinade and sauce ingredients should be just about right to cook the chicken, it certainly works for me that way. For 600g chicken I would have upped the water to about 180ml to make sure there was plenty to coat it but it should work as otherwise stated. Once again – I’m truly sorry and hope it doesn’t put you off trying more of the recipes, I can assure you it was an unintended mistake x

  8. Deb Williams 18th March 2017 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    I also had problems, my instapot gave the OUHT error before it got to pressure. It wasn’t blackened so I stirred in some more water and put it on sauté for a few minutes then put the lid back on and did manual for 12 mins. There wasn’t a lot of steam released when I QR’d and the sauce was too runny so I sauted it again to thicken. Maybe I made the sauce too smooth (I did use a Thermomix) but I will make it again as it tastes lovely. I might heat it up on sauté mode first before pressure cooking next time and see how that goes.

    • Just Jo 19th March 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

      This is really interesting Deb as I’ve had a couple of people say this now but many others have let me know that it worked beautifully as stated – they was a bit of a kerfuffle whilst I took the recipe off the blog to retest it lol! I’ve got some blogger friends trialling it for me in their IPs too as I’ve never been able to replicate the error myself and will update the post as I get more information. I suspect it’s like using tomatoes or honey based sauces which trigger the Overheat error too. I’d be cautious about preheating the IP then putting it straight on the cook on Manual but if you are sautéing the chicken first, then adding the sauce for a minute then you will probably be ok. I’m really glad you enjoyed the taste though – I could drink that sauce lol 😉

  9. Susan 13th April 2017 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I’ve made this twice now and both times it didn’t come to pressure but started counting down because the sauce had burnt on the bottom of the pot. This last time I added more water and scraped the pot really well and it did come up to pressure. It’s very tasty tho ?

    • Just Jo 14th April 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

      That may be a helpful tip for people who’s IP isn’t coming to pressure on this one Sooze – although it will mean there’s tons of sauce. But actually.
      some people would probably prefer that anyway! Or just reduce it for longer when finished. So happy you enjoyed it! 😀

  10. Alyson Andrew 20th April 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    I SO want this recipe to work, so much so I have made it 4 times now but have never yet managed to get it up to pressure without it overheating, I have tried successively more and more water to the point where on the last attempt I added in over 350mls and it still overheated! I love the flavour but think I will just have to give up on the instant pot method until I can think of another way of trying it

    • Just Jo 20th April 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Alyson – thanks for commenting. How frustrating! For you and for me, as it works when I make it as stated. Adding tons of water is just a pain as you end up with tons of sauce and potentially dilute the flavour too much.
      A way around this I haven’t completely perfected but you may consider trying if you’re desperate to have another go is to do it pot in pot.

      I think, if you put 250 ml in the Inner Pot, pop the trivet in then put a stainless steel bowl or silicone bowl on top with the raw chicken and sauce mixed together in then cook for about 20 minutes on Manual High it should work. My initial attempts used a pyrex bowl and at 22 minutes, the chicken was still not cooked as the glass is so thick but using stainless steel or silicone should work.

      I tell you what – I’ll have another practice over the next few days and report back, updating the post with any progress I’ve made. Hope that’s helpful Alyson – I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe enough to give it four goes!

  11. Jackieweninger@gmail.com 27th January 2018 at 6:46 am - Reply

    So many ip recipes I see are like this: they look awesome, everybody’s saying thank you, but then the people who try it have issues. So is this recipe working well now that you tweaked it? Do I need to put the food in a bowl inside?

    • Just Jo 28th January 2018 at 8:18 am - Reply

      Hi there Jackie, thanks for your question. I have not had any bother since I changed it to a pot-in-pot style recipe. What is really important is that you use a stainless steel bowl – ceramic or glass is far too thick and you would have to up the cooking time considerably to get the chicken to cook.

      After much pondering about the initial method I used to cook the chicken directly into the pot, I have come to the conclusion that the viscosity of the sauce and the peanut butter, in particular, is the troublemaker (much like tomato purée can catch and burn if it is not diluted and very well mixed before cooking). I have never personally had a major stick-age or burning problem when I did it like that but others have.

      I hope the recipe works out for you, do let me know if you try it. And yes, you do need to use a metal bowl with the Alternative Method – it would definitely stick and burn if you put it all in the pot directly and cooked it for 18 minutes! Hope that helps x

  12. Mrs Leanne Knott 6th October 2018 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Hi, I want to try this recipe but I’m having trouble getting some of the ingredients. I can’t get Kecap manis, can I just use soy instead. And also sriracha would a sweet chilli sauce work. Thanks in advance. Really enjoy your recipes

    • Just Jo 7th October 2018 at 9:56 am - Reply

      Hi Leanne! I would use dark soy and consider adding a little brown sugar as kecap manis is actually rather sweet. It should work well enough though you might need to experiment with the proportions to suit your taste x

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