Grilled Thai Chicken Skewers: Spice Up Your Next BBQ


Grilled Thai chicken skewers are a popular and flavorful dish that originated in Southeast Asia and has gained popularity worldwide. Rich in flavor and aroma, this dish is certain to delight your taste buds. Traditionally served as street food, grilled Thai chicken skewers have made their way into restaurants and home kitchens, making them an ideal option for a delicious and exciting dinner.

To prepare this dish, chicken is marinated in a blend of ingredients such as coconut cream, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, soaking in all the flavors before being threaded onto skewers. These skewers are then grilled to perfection, resulting in a smoky and tender chicken that is both savory and satisfying. The dish is often accompanied by a creamy and tangy peanut sauce, adding another layer of flavor and making it even more irresistible.

Not only is this delightful dish easy to prepare, but it also allows you to experience a taste of Thai culture right in the comfort of your own home. So, the next time you’re looking for a mouthwatering meal to impress your family or guests, consider grilled Thai chicken skewers as the winning choice.

Selecting Ingredients for Grilled Thai Chicken Skewers

A hand reaches for lemongrass, garlic, and chili peppers on a wooden cutting board. A bowl of soy sauce and lime sits nearby

Choice of Chicken

When preparing grilled Thai chicken skewers, selecting the right cut of chicken is crucial for achieving tender, juicy results. There are two primary options: boneless, skinless chicken thighs and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Chicken thighs tend to have a richer flavor and more tender texture, as they contain a higher fat content. On the other hand, chicken breasts are leaner and can be a healthier choice. However, they might require more attention during grilling to avoid dryness.

Marinade Essentials

The secret to flavor-packed Thai chicken skewers lies in the marinade. By combining aromatic and vibrant ingredients, you can create a marinade that both tenderizes the meat and elevates its flavor. Here are some essential ingredients to include in your marinade:

  1. Garlic: A must-have in Thai cuisine, minced garlic adds a punch of robust flavor and enhances the other ingredients.
  2. Soy sauce: This adds a savory, umami taste and helps to tenderize the chicken. For a gluten-free alternative, you can use tamari sauce.
  3. Coconut milk: Not only does coconut milk give the marinade a distinct, creamy flavor, but it also helps to tenderize and moisturize the chicken.
  4. Lime juice: The acidity of lime juice works to break down the proteins in the chicken, ultimately making it more tender. It also brings a bright, tangy note to the marinade.
  5. Curry: Including a Thai-style curry paste, like red or green curry paste, adds depth of flavor and a touch of spice.

To make the marinade, simply whisk together the ingredients in a bowl. Be sure to evenly coat the chicken pieces and let them marinate for at least one hour, or up to 8 hours for maximum flavor absorption. Finally, thread the marinated chicken onto skewers, either metal or pre-soaked bamboo, and grill to perfection.

Preparing and Marinating the Chicken

Chicken pieces are being threaded onto skewers and then coated with a mixture of Thai spices and marinade, ready for grilling

Creating the Marinade

To create a delicious marinade for your grilled Thai chicken skewers, combine the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 lime (lime zest adds a refreshing tanginess)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (for that savory umami flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (a key ingredient in Thai cuisine)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (to balance the salty and sour flavors)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (for a nutty richness)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (for a hint of earthiness)
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste (to bring some heat and Thai flavors)

Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, whisk them together until well combined and a smooth marinade is formed.

Marinating Time in Refrigerator

For the best results in flavor infusion, allow your chicken to marinate in the mixture for at least 1 hour. However, if you want to plan ahead and intensify the flavors, you can marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Before grilling, make sure to thread the marinated chicken pieces onto metal or bamboo skewers. If you’re using bamboo skewers, remember to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning and splintering during the grilling process.

With your chicken skewers marinated and prepared, you’re ready to enjoy a flavorful and easy-to-make grilled Thai chicken dish.

Grilling Techniques

Wooden vs. Metal Skewers

When grilling Thai chicken skewers, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether to use wooden or metal skewers. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • Wooden skewers: Inexpensive and disposable, but they require soaking in water for at least 30 minutes before use to avoid burning. Bamboo skewers are a popular choice.
  • Metal skewers: Reusable and not susceptible to burning, but they can be more expensive and may cause the meat to cook faster due to heat conduction.

Consider the above factors when deciding which type of skewer best suits your needs.

Mastering the Grill

After you’ve prepared your Thai chicken skewers, it’s time to get grilling. Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect grilled skewers:

  1. Preheat the grill: Ensure that your grill (barbecue, grill plate, charcoal grill, etc.) is heated to high heat, with a smooth and shining surface. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to the grates and promote even cooking.
  2. Marinate the chicken: To infuse the chicken with Thai flavors, marinate it with coconut cream, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for at least 30 minutes. This will not only add taste but also help to keep the chicken moist during grilling.
  3. Thread the chicken: Skewer the marinated chicken pieces onto your pre-soaked wooden or metal skewers, ensuring you leave some space between the pieces to allow for proper cooking.
  4. Grill the skewers: Place the skewers on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through. Keep an eye on the skewers while grilling to avoid flare-ups and ensure even cooking.

By following these grilling techniques, you’ll be able to create delicious, flavorful Thai chicken skewers that are perfect for your next barbecue.

Thai Grilled Chicken Accompaniments

Side Dishes and Veggies

When enjoying Thai grilled chicken skewers, pairing them with the right side dishes and vegetables can elevate the flavor experience. Rice is a classic choice, and jasmine rice complements the skewers particularly well with its aromatic fragrance. Alternatively, try serving the skewers over noodles for a satisfyingly different taste.

It’s also important to include vegetables for a balanced meal. Fresh, crisp cucumber slices or a light cucumber salad provide lovely contrast to the savory flavors of the skewers. Bell peppers and zucchini, either grilled or stir-fried, are fantastic accompaniments too. A simple way to serve these vegetables is:

  1. Slice bell peppers and zucchini into thin strips.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan and toss in the veggies.
  3. Stir-fry for a few minutes until they’re tender but still have a slight crunch.

Dipping Sauces

One of the key elements in Thai cuisine is the variety of dipping sauces used to enhance dishes. A must-have is peanut sauce – its creaminess perfectly complements the grilled chicken skewers. Here’s a basic recipe to prepare your own peanut sauce:

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, and adjust the seasoning to your preference.

In addition to peanut sauce, sweet chili sauce is another popular dipping option, with its tangy sweetness adding delightful contrast to the grilled chicken. Likewise, a satay sauce brings complex and deep flavors, boosting the overall taste.

Remember that grilled Thai chicken skewers are versatile, so don’t hesitate to experiment and find your favorite accompaniments that suit your taste best. The key is to enjoy a well-rounded, delicious meal bursting with the flavors of Thailand.

Nutrition and Storage

Nutritional Information

Grilled Thai chicken skewers are not only delicious, but they also provide a variety of nutritional benefits. They are a good source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Here is an approximate nutritional breakdown per serving of grilled Thai chicken skewers:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 250
Protein 25g
Fat 12g
Carbohydrates 8g

Keep in mind that these numbers may vary depending on the specific recipe and ingredients you use. Feel free to adjust the marinade ingredients and cooking technique according to your nutritional preferences and dietary needs.

Storing Leftovers

If you find yourself with leftover grilled Thai chicken skewers, it is important to store them properly to ensure they remain fresh and safe to eat. Follow these guidelines for storage:

  1. Allow the grilled chicken skewers to cool down to room temperature before storing away.
  2. Remove the chicken pieces from the skewers and transfer them to an airtight container. You can also wrap each skewer tightly with plastic wrap if you prefer to store them whole.
  3. Place the container or wrapped skewers in the refrigerator. Properly stored leftovers can last for up to 3-4 days.

To reheat the leftover grilled Thai chicken skewers, you can either use your oven, stovetop, or microwave. For the best taste and texture, try to reheat them at a low temperature so they don’t overcook or become too dry. Enjoy your tasty grilled Thai chicken skewers again!

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