Sambal Chicken Skewers

 Everyone needs a few recipes in their go-to file… that is, recipes that meet the requirements of easy to make, taste great… and like you slaved for hours!!This should be one of those.

When you read the list of ingredients, don’t balk when you see fish sauce. Not to worry. Doing it’s job, it gives a background hum to the sauce. It won’t taste of fish at all. Promise. 


In fact, I think you’ll be so delighted with the first kiss of sweetness, you’ll be ready for the little slap of heat that follows. Quantities can be easily multiplied, making this ‘go-to’ recipe an excellent option for a crowd. In fact, you should make extra. Any leftover make an excellent topper for most any salad – perfect for lunch.I used to scoff when I first saw boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the grocery store. Shaking my head in dismay, I thought… they’re ruining the best part of the bird. I take it back. They would be perfect for this recipe, making it even easier & faster if you don’t have to debone the thighs yourself.

When simmering the marinade, cook it down until it’s thick – like a bbq sauce consistency. That way you’ll spend less time grilling the chicken, and have moist & tasty results. This is one of those versatile recipes that could be done on the grill, or on your stove top in a grill pan. If you use a grill pan it will get quite messy & sticky… so do what we did in culinary school, after cooking sugar… add water to about half of the grill pan and simmer it. Most of the cleaning will be done here, and you should only have to give it a good wipe afterwards.

Finish the skewers off with a scattering of green… Italian parsley, chives or cilantro for a pop of colour & taste.

Sambal Chicken Skewers

Once you have these ingredients in your cupboard, you can do this anytime – all year, in fact. There’s something especially enjoyable about ‘grilling’ in winter. Most satisfactory. If you’re using a grill pan rather than a grill, there’s probably even no need to soak the skewers – I think I did it out of habit.

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch–2-inch pieces

Special Equipment:
8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 1 hour

Prepare grill or grill pan for medium-high heat – don’t forget to lightly oil before you add the chicken.

Whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Thread 4 or 5 chicken pieces onto each skewer.

Transfer marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half (about 1 cup), 7–10 minutes.

Grill chicken, turning and basting often with reduced marinade, until cooked through, 8–10 minutes.