Grilled Chicken Skewers

These chicken skewers are magnificently easy to toss on the grill for a quick dinner. The distinct Thai mojo comes from a simple marinade of coconut milk, fish sauce, cilantro, and curry.

Chicken Skewers

Chicken skewers come in all sizes and shapes. These chicken skewers are easy as can be, require just a handful of ingredients, and take on a lovely Thai lilt thanks to coconut milk, which lends the chicken sweetness and tenderness without leaving it overwhelmingly coconutty, and fish sauce, which lends the chicken just the right complexity. Originally published July 16, 2016.Renee Schettler Rossi

How to Use Up Leftover Coconut Milk

You’re going to be left with a little extra coconut milk in the can after making the marinade for these chicken skewers. Not that you asked, but if you want our advice, consider tossing together some coconut rice as a subtly sweet side that goes perfectly with the slightly pungent and peppery chicken. Simply cook rice as you usually would, substituting the coconut milk for an equal amount of water. Watch and stir the rice frequently as the natural sugars in the coconut could cause it to scorch more easily than usual. And don’t forget a pinch of salt.

Special Equipment: 6 to 12 skewers (metal or wood)

Chicken Skewers Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 6


  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 250 ml) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 60 ml) fish sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 ounce or 10 grams) lightly packed chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds (908 grams) boneless chicken breasts
  • Thinly sliced red onion, for garnish


  • 1. In a resealable plastic bag or baking dish, mix together the coconut milk, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, curry powder, and pepper. (Or, if you prefer to save yourself the chopping by hand, simply toss everything into a food processor or blender and pulse prior to pouring it into the bag or baking dish.)
  • 2. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Place them on a cutting board and, working with 1 chicken breast at a time, hold a sharp knife parallel to the cutting board and cut all the way through each to create two skinny chicken cutlets. Then cut the chicken into bite-size pieces or long strips. Place the chicken in the marinade and squish the bag or turn the pieces in the baking dish to coat. Seal the bag or cover the baking dish and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. (If you’re in a hurry, you can marinate the chicken for less time, although the flavor will be quite faint.)
  • 3. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water at least 1 hour before grilling. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.
  • 4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread the it on the skewers.
  • 5. Place the chicken skewers on the grill directly over the heat. Cook, turning frequently to char all sides, until the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Pile the skewers on a platter or, if desired, use a knife to slide the chicken off the skewers and onto individual plates. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and thinly sliced red onion. Serve immediately.  
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