Chicken satay {for the girl who loves Thai food}

Princess S eating satay

Princess S eating satay

There’s a very special little girl in my life who turns 5 next week.

I agree with what “they” all say, how fast time goes. One minute she was a tiny infant I’d carry around SoHo from bookstore to playground to coffee shop and now she’s this wonderful person with her strong convictions, silliness, wisdom beyond her years, a preference for art museums not parades, a strong desire to go to Japan and a love of Thai food.

My little S was due on Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, but arrived to my great surprise on April 9th. All day on the 8th I had pain in my pelvis, as if a large bowling ball were resting on my bones, crumbling them. Yes, ouch.

(On a side note, an older woman I met in line while voting, asked me when S was born. I told her April 9th but that she was due May 5th; she told me that S was a typical Aries, showing up when she feels like it, and this is definitely a glimpse of her personality.)

April 8th also happens to be the day I got married two years prior so I was supposed to celebrate, but being so full of life, literally, going out to dinner was not on my radar so I canceled our reservation. I couldn’t eat a morsel (for those who know me, a strange notion) and sat in bed, took a walk to my doctor who told me that my baby could arrive in two nights or two weeks. Her arrival into the world turned out to be less than one day.


My dog, Jackson Pollock, a Jack Russell, had been diagnosed with cancer a few months prior so at that juncture of my life, I was saying goodbye to him and an entire seven-year chapter of blissful canine adventures as I was welcoming my new, human baby. When my water broke just after midnight, I was excited about finally meeting her, but emotional at seeing Jackson and his sad eyes as we walked out of the door and into a new phase, leaving him there alone overnight.

I knew my life would never be the same on so many different levels.

Jackson lived for another six months and we enjoyed a few fun baby/dog adventures during that brief period, but S’s infant needs took precedence, even when I yearned to reach for Jackson, knowing his demise was fast approaching.

Jackson passed away October 3rd. On a blustery fall day we took his ashes and scattered some of  them at his favorite dog “beach.” The ashes shot up in the air and blew into the sky, carried by a blast of wind.

I walked away from the beach carrying S and the rest of the remains stored in a green jar from the crematorium. One joyful life gone, one joyful life here for new adventures.


Chicken satay

Serves 4
Prep time 12 hours
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 12 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Child Friendly
Region Thai


  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger (minced)
  • 1 pound of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Tamari sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce (high quality)
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 pinch of turmeric
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 pound of chicken


Flatten the chicken with a mallet or a rolling pin.

In a mortar and pestle, crush the coriander and cumin. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together to form a marinade. Place chicken in the marinade and keep covered in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Gather a bunch of satay sticks and add chicken pieces onto each stick.

Over high heat, grill each skewer for about 8-10 minutes, brushing with the marinade and turning frequently.


If you need to buy the spices mentioned in this recipe, I highly recommend Kalustyans, which I reviewed in my App, iFoodShop. Even if you can’t make it to NYC, they ship nation-wide.

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