Pecel with grilled chicken, hot peanut sambal, crispy shallots and chilli

Serves 4-5 Starters and mains

Chicken satay revised



  • 150ml grapeseed oil, plus 1tbsp extra
  • 6 banana shallots, halved and finely sliced
  • 3 long red chillies, deseeded and shredded
  • 300g tofu, cut into 1.5cm cubes and patted dry
  • 275g new potatoes, scrubbed 8-10 (approx. 450g)
  • mini chicken fillets
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 4 small eggs
  • 1 small Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cucumber, peeled into strips, then roughly sliced at different angles
  • 150g ready-to-eat bean sprouts
  • lime wedges, to serve

For the hot peanut sambal

  • 150g skinned peanuts, roasted
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded (if preferred) and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4tbsp tamari juice
  • 1 lime
  • 2tsp coconut palm sugar


To make the hot peanut sambal, grind 100g peanuts in a mini processor or pestle and mortar until fine. Roughly chop the remaining 50g and set aside. Add the rest of the sambal ingredients to the processor or mortar and whizz into a paste. Loosen with 3tbsp cold water and transfer to a small bowl.

Heat the grapeseed oil in a wok and carefully fry the shallots in 2 batches until golden and crisp. Drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper. Carefully fry the chillies in the same oil until crisp, then drain and mix with the shallots. Set aside to cool.

Pass the used oil through a sieve lined with kitchen paper into a bowl. Wipe out the wok, then return the filtered oil to it and reheat. Carefully add the tofu and fry for around 2 minutes on each side until golden. Remove and set aside.

Presoak 8-10 bamboo skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes until softened. When cool enough to handle, slice into 5mm rounds.

Cut the chicken fillets in half horizontally and season with salt (unless making ahead) and freshly ground black pepper before tossing with the extra 1tbsp grapeseed oil and the sesame oil. If leaving to marinate in the oil, add the salt just before cooking.

Thread the chicken on to the skewers. Heat a griddle pan until smoking and cook for 3 minutes on each side until charred and cooked through.

Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Cook for a further 6 minutes, then drain. When cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and place in a bowl of cold water.

Put the potatoes, cabbage, cucumber and bean sprouts in a serving dish. Cut each egg into quarters and arrange on top, along with the tofu and chicken, either on or off the skewers. Scatter over the crispy shallot and chilli mixture and top with the reserved peanuts. Serve with the sambal and lime wedges, for squeezing over.

Cook’s notes
Use regular tofu which is sturdier and pale beige (not white and fragile like silken tofu). You can make the chilli topping a few days ahead and store in a sealed container.

Food styling by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.
Chicken satay revised
Food styling by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.


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