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Grilled Shrimp Satay

There are myriad versions of Southeast Asian satay, or grilled skewers of seasoned meats or seafood. This is our simplified version of Singapore-style shrimp satay. A fragrant blend of cashews and coconut milk gives the shrimp richness and cloaks them with bold new flavor. The shallot-vinegar dipping sauce is a perfect accent.

Photo Credit: Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

Grilled Shrimp Satay

Main ingredient


Cook time

40 Minutes

Serving size



  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Cashews, Plus 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Roasted Cashews
  • 5 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, Divided
  • 1 Ounce Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Roughly Chopped
  • 4 Medium Garlic Cloves, Smashed and Peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Lime Zest
  • 2 Serrano Chilies, Stemmed, Halved and Seeded, Divided
  • 3 Tablespoons Packed Light or Dark Brown Sugar, Divided
  • 4 Teaspoons Fish Sauce, Divided
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Extra-Large (21/25 per pound) Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined, Tails Left On
  • 2 Medium Shallots, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Unseasoned Rice Vinegar

Quick Tip

Don't use shrimp smaller than the size specified. They will overcook before they have a chance to take on the flavorful char that is a hallmark of satay, And don't use light coconut milk. The fat from regular coconut milk is needed for flavor.

Recipe Preparation

  1. In a food processor, combine the 1/2 cup cashews and 3 tablespoons of coconut milk. Process until almost smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the ginger, garlic, lime zest, 2 chili halves, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of fish sauce; process until finely chopped, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the shrimp, rubbing to coat them thoroughly. Marinate at room temperature while you make the sauce and prepare the grill.
  2. Thinly slice the remaining 2 chili halves and add to a small bowl along with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar, the remaining two tablespoons of fish sauce, the shallots and vinegar. Stir until the sugar dissolves; set aside.
  3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high-heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.
  4. While the grill heats, thread the shrimp onto eight 10- to 12-inch skewers, dividing them evenly. Skewer each shrimp in a C shape, piercing through two points.
  5. When the grill is ready, brush one side of the skewered shrimp with some of the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut milk. Place the skewers brushed side down on the grill (directly over the coals if you are using charcoal) and cook until the shrimp are well charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush the skewers with the remaining coconut milk, then flip and cook until the second sides are well charred and the shrimp just turn opaque, about another 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cashews and serve with the dipping sauce.
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