Easy Beef Satay (沙嗲牛肉)

5 from 1 vote
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Skewers of flavorful beef get that perfect char over the Chinese grill and are served with a sweet, tangy and totally craveable nutty sauce. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Beef satay served with peanut sauce and cilantro

Summer is not over yet! Before you bid adieu to the longer days where lingering outdoors with friends and family makes the best memories, you should host one last barbecue. And when you do, you should make my beef satay. It is so easy to prepare and tastes amazing. The flavor comes from my simple marinade. Then once it’s grilled, you serve it with a nutty dipping sauce. So it’s meat on a stick served with a dipping sauce, making it the best summer barbecue food you can possibly serve.

Make this and you’ll see that these will go in a flash and your guests will all be begging for more. This’ll be the most popular thing on your table, I can assure you.

Grilled beef satay served on a tray

Cooking notes

Here are my tips for getting this beef satay to come out perfectly.

1. What cut of beef to use

For starters, you’ll want to use flank steak or skirt steak. I really recommend these for the best flavor. You can use my tips for tenderizing tough meats that I’ve mentioned in my other posts by adding about 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda onto the beef and then adding the marinade to it, but don’t add to much baking soda or you’ll alter the taste.

2. Marinating is the key

You should also marinate for at least one hour at room temperature. If you want to let it marinate longer, you should put it in the fridge. You can even marinate it overnight if you’re expecting a big crowd so that you can just grill it when you’re ready.

3. Secret weapon

My next tip is to use a Chinese grill (I’ve written a more detailed post on this). If you plan on doing lots of grilling this way, I recommend getting one, though if you don’t you can always use your regular grill. Charcoal grills are best for getting the right flavor. I talk in great detail about the Chinese grill in my post about how to host a Chinese BBQ party. Essentially, the Chinese grill uses less coal, cooks faster, and creates a good char while leaving the beef very tender inside.

Grilling beef satay on a Chinese grill

4. Skewers

Also, when it comes to skewers, I highly recommend using the metal ones instead of the bamboo ones. Bamboo ones always need to be pre-soaked and with metal ones, you never have to worry about that. But with bamboo ones, even pre-soaking them will result in burnt skewers (as you can see in my photos!). Metal skewers are easier to thread the meat onto and are longer than bamboo skewers so they’re easier to flip without burning yourself on the grill. They’re more cost-effective too, as you can use them with so many different kinds of kebabs.

Get one last hurrah out of the summer by hosting a Chinese barbecue party with beef satay!

Beef satay served with peanut sauce and cilantro close up

More grilling related recipes

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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Beef Satay - Skewers of flavorful beef get that perfect char over the Chinese grill and are served with a sweet, tangy and totally craveable peanut sauce. #marinade #recipe #sticks #gluten-free

Beef Satay (沙嗲牛肉)

5 from 1 vote
Skewers of flavorful beef get that perfect char over the Chinese grill and are served with a sweet, tangy and totally craveable nutty sauce. {Gluten-Free adaptable}If you need to make this dish gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: street food
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 pounds (1kg) flank steak , cut to 1/2” (1 cm) thick 1” (2 cm) wide pieces
  • Chopped peanuts for garnish (Optional)
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (Optional)


  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 thumb ginger , minced


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons water (or more to adjust sauce texture)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 clove garlic


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag, seal, and shake to mix well. Add the beef into the bag. Massage the bag a couple times to mix everything well. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. If you plan to marinate longer, store in the fridge for a couple hours, up to overnight.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and mix until it forms a smooth sauce. If the sauce comes out too thick (depending on the density of the peanut butter you use), add 1 or 2 tablespoons more water and blend again. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • As you prepare to cook, thread the beef onto skewers.
  • Preheat a grill over medium high heat until hot. Brush oil onto the grill gates and spread the beef skewers on top. Cook the skewers until both sides are charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove immediately and place on a serving plate. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if using. Scatter some chopped peanuts into the sauce to add texture. Serve hot with the peanut sauce.


Serving: 8g, Calories: 293kcal, Carbohydrates: 8.1g, Protein: 33.8g, Fat: 13.5g, Saturated Fat: 4.8g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 304mg, Potassium: 466mg, Fiber: 0.6g, Sugar: 1.1g, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 2.9mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!
Beef Satay - Skewers of flavorful beef get that perfect char over the Chinese grill and are served with a sweet, tangy and totally craveable peanut sauce. #marinade #recipe #sticks #gluten-free

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Danielle says:

    5 stars
    I must check out this chinese grill. I am intrigued and feel like i really want to have one!! I’m not in a situation where I have space or am able to grill right now, but I will be soon. And these skewers are going on the menu!!

  2. Marsha Masi says:

    Can you make this in an oven or even a george forman grill if you dont have a bq grill.

  3. Adiah says:

    Plain Peanut Butter no salt or sugar is best and gives you an excellent short-cut to grinding your own peanuts, too logical whats the difference except time? A great shortcut!

    I feel Shirachi is tame heat-wise but some good garlic and sweet flavor to it and would spike it with some Sambal Olek for the heat as it’s just peppers, salt and vinegar.

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