Chicken Skewers with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Peanut Sauce

Chicken Skewers with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Peanut Sauce

A delicious recipe inspired a trip to Thailand and the culinary traditions of this fascinating country.

When you think of Thai cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is "spicy". And in fact, the gastronomic culture of this beautiful country uses chillies extensively along with a large variety of other aromatic spices and herbs. It is precisely this characteristic that makes it one of the most popular cuisines in the world.

A Balance of Flavours

Broadly speaking, Thai food is based on four primary flavours: spicy, sweet, sour and salt. Each dish seeks to find the perfect balance of these flavours with a variety of ingredients. For heat, chillies are of course the main source but pepper and ginger too. Sweetness is used to balance out the heat and is obtained from fruit, honey, sugar and coconut milk. Lemon, rice vinegar, lemongrass and tamarind add a sour taste while the salt taste is derived from soy sauce, fish sauce, smoked fish and even dried fruit.

One Country, Many Recipes

As in all countries around the world, the cuisines of the various regions of Thailand differ greatly from each other. In the south, people eat more fish and shellfish whereas in the central region, the dishes are simpler and based on rice and vegetables. In the eastern parts, the cuisine is more exotic with unusual ingredients (grasshoppers and snake meat are no strangers here!). In the north, glutinous rice is used in abundance. The one thing that all regions have in common though is rice and noodles and the widespread use of sauces and condiments.

The most famous Thai dishes

There are some dishes that are particularly well-known, those that we have perhaps enjoyed on a trip to Thailand or have tasted at a Thai restaurant. Some examples are:

Pad Thai - s speciality of rice noodles stir-fried in a wok with vegetables and shrimp, meat or tofu and topped with a variety of condiments such as tamarind juice, fish sauce and peanuts.

Som Tam - a savoury salad made with fresh green papaya that has been featured on CNN's list of the 50 most delicious dishes in the world!

Tom Yum - a spicy soup (among the countless others that exist in Thailand!) made with fish, molluscs or shellfish and flavoured with aromatic lemongrass, galangal, lime juice and other spices, notably chillies. There are many variations of this famous soup, the most famous one being with coconut milk - called tom yam kathi.

Curry - not to be confused with Indian curries flavoured with dried spices. In Thailand, curry is called "gaeng" and indicates any dish that is enriched and thickened with a spice paste. Thai curry pastes are extremely aromatic and made by grinding fresh ingredients such as ginger, chillies, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, coriander, lime galangal etc. Depending on the ingredients used, the curry can be red, orange, yellow or green and be more or less spicy in taste. Curry pastes are the basis of an infinite number of recipes, each tastier than the next.

Street Food

In Thailand, street food is widely eaten and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Thai street food is legendary - people go on trips to Bangkok simply to sample their way through the delicacies on offer at the colourful street food stalls scattered all over the city. It is rarely possible to enjoy food that is so authentic and delicious as that found in food street stalls - and cheap, to boot! There are tourist guides who will guide you to the best street food stalls in town. A Bangkok establishment has even been awarded a Michelin star! From noodles to soups, delicious fruits to insects - you are simply spoiled for choice.

Our Recipe - Chicken Skewers with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Peanut Butter

This recipe was inspired by a trip to Thailand. The combination of sweet chilli sauce and peanut butter creates the perfect harmony of tastes and aromas.

Ingredients for 2 people:

200 g chicken breast
Sweet chilli sauce
Peanut Butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil


6 skewers


Cut the chicken breast into cubes and thread them onto the skewers. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and cook the skewers over high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When the chicken is almost cooked, spread peanut butter on both sides and return to the hot skillet to cook further. When the chicken is completely cooked and nicely browned, add some sweet chilli sauce and let it caramelise briefly.

Serve hot with more sweet chilli sauce on the side and a side of rice with a salad or other vegetables.

Recipe and photo by bm_thelittlecaper