Chinese chicken and green pepper in sate sauce

    1 hour 5 min

    I've searched everywhere for a British takeaway style of meat, pepper and sate (also known as "satay") sauce and not found one. This isn't the sate on a stick but the type of sate served as a main dish often on business lunch time menus or from takeaways. I'm not a cook that measures weights and I have a store cupboard of Chinese ingredients so I usually use what I've got available.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 1/2 to 1 large chicken breast
    • 1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
    • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • 1 (1/2 in) piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
    • 1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 small onion, halved and cut into small segments
    • 1 green pepper, halved and thinly sliced
    • Chinese rice wine (e.g. white or Shaoxing, or dry sherry)
    • light soya sauce, to taste
    • 1 heaped tablespoon shop-bought sate sauce
    • 1 to 4 tablespoons water
    • 1 teaspoon cornflour (dissolved in a little water)
    • 2 tablespoons sliced bamboo shoots (optional)
    • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, for decoration

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Extra time:30min resting  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Halve the chicken lengthways and slice it thinly across the grain. Velvet the chicken by placing the chicken slices, cornflour and bicarbonate of soda into a plastic bag and shake well. Leave this on one side whilst preparing the remainder of the ingredients. I usually try to leave them for approximately 30 minutes for the bicarbonate to soften the meat a little.
    2. Place a few pints of water into a saucepan, and bring to the boil over a high heat. There should be enough water so that chicken pieces won't stick to the bottom while cooking. Separate the pieces of chicken and drop them into the boiling water. Leave them for approximately 1 minute. If they're thin enough that's all they'll need to cook. Each piece should look totally white, if you can see pink then leave them a little longer. Here you're aiming to cook the chicken, but not long enough that the pieces go tough. When cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water and place them into a bowl. They are likely to cook a little longer in the residual heat.
    3. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of oil to a hot wok. When it reaches a very high temperature add the ginger, garlic and onion and stir fry the pan to prevent burning and cook the items until fragrant. This should only take a few seconds.
    4. Add the sliced pepper, carrot if using instead of bamboo shoots (see tip), and a splash of both rice wine and light soya sauce. The pan should be hot enough that the liquids evaporate into steam which cooks the peppers quickly. Stir fry the ingredients to prevent burning.
    5. Turn down the heat a little (open a window or turn on an extractor fan), add the sate sauce and stand back so that any chilli in the sauce doesn't make you cough. Add 1 to 4 tablespoons of water to loosen and cool the sauce. Add some of the cornflour/water mix to thicken the sauce if necessary.
    6. Add the bamboo shoots if using and cooked chicken. Stir well and bring back to the boil. Add the toasted sesame oil. Taste and add a little sugar if needed and/or a shake of light soya sauce if not salty enough. Serve in a dish and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds for garnish if you have them.


    I velvet both chicken and beef as above. sometimes adding more seasonings if the sauce is likely to be bland. Beef benefits from velveting as it can go really tough if stir fried.

    Sate sauce

    Select a quality product that looks more like a curry paste and contains peanuts, oil and chilli. I buy one that I'd need to add coconut cream if I were making a regular dipping sauce. I made this from one I bought from the Chinese supermarket and keep it in the fridge (e.g. Jimmys sate sauce from Hong Kong)


    Instead of bamboo shoots you can use a 2 in piece of carrot sliced thinly lengthways.

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