This creamy satay chicken stir fry recipe ticks a lot of boxes! Short on time? It takes no longer than 20 minutes to make, prep included. Looking to get some veg into the veg-haters at dinner? This will change their minds. Looking for the greatest flavour punch without the effort? I've got you.
This recipe provides a winning sweet and savoury combo with the added depth of peanut satay sauce. It's a superstar in our household and I especially love the bit of chew you get from the thick Udon noodles.
So what's so great about this recipe apart from it being genuinely delicious? We'll be cheating a little bit! I will show you how to make the quickest, simplest satay sauce with just three basic ingredients. Game changer!
For more comfort food recipes, try this easy South African bobotie, aromatic beef curry with coconut milk and butter rice or the best devilled sausages.
What's to love about this recipe
- No complicated satay sauce making - three ingredients and we're off to peanut satay chicken heaven!
- Takes no more than 20 minutes to make, from start to finish
- Popular with kids
- Easy way to get a whole heap of veggies in
- Adjust the recipe to add more of your favourite veg, or swap them out to what you have available in the house
- What's to love about this recipe
- Key ingredient notes and substitutions
- How to make satay chicken stir fry - Quick summary
- Tips for success
- Serving suggestions
- Other dishes that go with satay chicken stir fry
- Storage and reheating
- How to make this gluten free
- How to make this vegetarian
- More Asian inspired recipes you might enjoy
Key ingredient notes and substitutions
Peanut butter - You can use either crunchy or smooth peanut butter.
Thai sweet chilli sauce - Take note, you need Thai sweet chilli sauce and not sweet and sour cooking sauce from a jar. The latter is different, the flavour is weaker and usually contains pineapple pieces. The sweet chilli sauce you need is often also labelled as 'Thai sweet chilli dipping sauce'. A UK brand to look out for is Blue Dragon sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Soy sauce - We use light soy sauce.
Quick-cook udon noodles - Also called 'straight-to-wok' noodles. These Udon noodles are pre-cooked and are usually vacuum packed. You can use any other noodles you'd prefer if you can't get hold of Udon.
Skinless boneless chicken breasts - You can also use chicken thighs.
Oil - You can use any oil you choose for frying, whether that be vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil etc
Vegetables - For this recipe we used red peppers, spring onions and mange tout. You can swap these veggies for your own favourites, or whatever you have available in the fridge. Suggestions might be julienned carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts and onion.
Flavourings - Garlic, ginger and sesame oil.
How to make satay chicken stir fry - Quick summary
- Cut the chicken into strips, slice or dice the red bell pepper and cut the spring onions into rings.
- To make the sauce, whisk together the peanut butter, Thai sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Remove the Udon noodles from the packaging and place in a bowl with boiling water. Leave to separate and soften.
- Fry the chicken strips until done and remove from pan.
- Fry the garlic, ginger and vegetables for about 2 minutes until done.
- Drain the noodles from the bowl.
- Reduce the heat, add the chicken to the vegetables and then add the sauce. Stir through until heated through.
- Tip in the noodles along with the sesame oil and toss together. Briefly fry until heated through. Kitchen tongs work well for this step.
- Spoon into bowls, top with more chopped spring onion and crushed peanuts.
Tips for success
- Pre-cooked Udon noodles are also called straight-to-wok noodles, so technically you should just be able to add them straight to the pan. However, I prefer putting them in a bowl of boiling water at the start of my cooking process. It helps to separate the strands of noodles. This will make it so much easier to combine with the rest of your stir fry at the end.
- When frying the veg, try to not overload your pan, otherwise you will be steaming the food and not frying it. If you have a small pan, or you are doubling the recipe, fry in batches. You want a single layer of either meat or veg in the pan at any given point. Also make sure your pan and oil is quite hot before adding anything for frying.
- For this recipe you can fry the red bell peppers, mange tout and spring onions at the same time. If you are using different vegetables, always start with your hardest vegetables, like broccoli, first. That way you can ensure evenly cooked veggies.
- Save some of the green ends from the spring onions. Chop and scatter over the stir fry before serving.
- Sprinkle over chopped peanuts.
- Add chilli crisp.
- Add bean sprouts.
- Sprinkle over sesame seeds.
- You can also swap the Udon noodles for Jasmine rice.
Other dishes that go with satay chicken stir fry
- Cucumber salad
- Prawn crackers
- Mango chilli salad
- Asian slaw
- Pot stickers with gyoza sauce
- Vegetable spring rolls
- Kale chips
Storage and reheating
Any leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to three days. You can reheat it in the microwave, or tip it back in a hot pan with a splash of water. Heat until piping hot throughout.
Can you freeze leftover stir fry? Yes you can! Stir fry can be frozen quite successfully for up to three months. To defrost, remove from the freezer a few hours before consuming. Follow the above advice for reheating.
Note that the vegetables won't be as crispy as when it was made fresh. You are essentially cooking it twice now, so they will be softer.
How to make this gluten free
You can swap the noodles for rice. Cook the rice separately and either add it to the stir fry as you would have with the noodles, or spoon the stir fry on top of the rice.
We would recommend adding the rice to the stir fry in the pan. It allows the rich, creamy sauce to flavour the rice too - it's delicious!
How to make this vegetarian
Simply leave out the chicken and just stick to the veggies, or add fried tofu.
1. Fry your meat first.
2. Start with the hardest vegetables first and add the softer, smaller diced veg once the harder veggies have partially cooked.
3. Add any precooked noodles last.
Yes you can, it freezes rather well. It can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months.
You can add it at the same time you start frying the vegetables.
More Asian inspired recipes you might enjoy
Satay chicken stir fry with Udon noodles
For the sauce
- 4 tablespoons peanut butter - crunchy or smooth
- 4 tablespoons Thai sweet chilli sauce
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
For the stir fry
- 300 gram quick-cook Udon noodles
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 red bell peppers
- 3 spring onions
- 100 gram mange tout
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Slice the two chicken breasts into strips
- Deseed and slice the two red bell peppers into small cubes
- Slice the three spring onions into small rings. Make sure to add the white bulb section, the light green section as well as some of the darker green tops
For the sauce
- In a bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce. Set aside
For the Udon noodles
- Remove the noodles from the packaging, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soften
For the chicken
- Heat the teaspoon of oil in a pan or wok over medium to high heat and add the chicken strips
- Add salt to taste
- Fry until golden on both sides and remove from pan. Set aside. Keep the pan on the heat at the same temperature.
For the vegetables
- Add the tablespoon of garlic and teaspoon of ginger to the pan, followed by the chopped red pepper and spring onions.
- Briefly fry the vegetables for about 2 minutes and remove the pan from the heat
Bringing it all together
- Drain the udon noodles from the water
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the cooked chicken into the pan with the vegetables, place the pan back on the heat
- Immediately follow with the sweet chilli and peanut butter sauce. Stir everything together until the sauce is heated through
- Add the Udon noodles to the pan together with the tablespoon of sesame oil
- Gently stir everything together until the Udon noodles are heated through. Using kitchen tongs work well for this part
- Dish into bowls and garnish with more chopped spring onion and a scattering of peanuts
**Nutritional data disclaimer**
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is calculated by a third party and we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We try our best to give you the most accurate information, but we do not take responsibility for errors that may be present. Also, the nutritional value of the recipe may change depending on the exact brands and products used. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on your dietary needs.
For food safety advice, including guidance on food allergies
Dan McC says
Really good! Can't wait til we have it again!
Maretha @ The Cinnamon Jar says
Thanks Dan! Glad you liked it!