May 27, 2016

Juicy Thai Chicken Satay & ‘Johnnie in Asia’ Cocktail

And just like that, we’re at the very end of the IPL season that inspired me to write this Appetizer + Cocktail series on the blog. What a cracker of a series this has been, right down to the wire to figure which teams qualify for the final! RCB are through, and let’s see how the play-off on Friday shapes up. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve shared an easy Tomato & Basil Bruschetta with a Red Label Snapper, and last week’s Hung Yogurt Dip and The Red Fizz… but it’s almost as though I’ve saved the best recipes for finals weekend.

These are the juiciest Thai Chicken Satay you will find – there’s a trick to it, and I’ll share it with you, and to go with, the folks at Johnnie Walker Red Label came up with a cocktail that has jaggery, ginger and kaffir lime leaves in it! We’re calling it ‘Johnnie in Asia’. Isn’t that the cutest name? And aren’t those ingredients synonymous with what you would use in Thai cuisine? That’s Varun Sudhakar, USL Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador for West, expertly mixing up this cocktail. I don’t have to tell you where you can find jaggery, every Indian home will be stocked with it. As for the kaffir lime leaves, stores like Nature’s Basket and Foodhall stock them, but I’ve had no trouble getting it from my local veggie vendor who almost always has them, or can usually bring them at a day’s notice.

As for the Satay, the trick to making them really juicy is brushing them with a bit of flavourless oil while they’re cooking. This just seals-in the moisture when they’re on the grill. And if you don’t have a grill, just use a grill-pan! But before I sign-off, I have to ask, who will you be rooting for this weekend?


  • Cuisine: thai
  • Passive Time: 720 mins
  • Course: appetizer
  • Cooking Technique: Grilling
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins


For the marinade
300 gms boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 stalks lemongrass
1 small red onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 inches piece of ginger, peeled & grated
2 tbsps coriander seeds
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsps light soy sauce
2 tbsps fish sauce
2 tbsps dark brown sugar
1 tbsp flavourless oil like canola oil or sunflower oil
For grilling
Wooden Skewers
1.5 tbsps flavourless oil like canola oil or sunflower oil


  1. Remove the tough outer layer of lemongrass and roughly chop just the white bits to use.
  2. Toast the coriander seeds until they become fragrant, coarsely pound them with pestle & mortar. Place chopped lemongrass, coriander powder, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, turmeric, soy sauce, fish sauce, dark brown sugar & oil in a small blender or mini food chopper and blend completely.
  3. Rub this paste on the chicken strips, place them in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Brng to room temperature before grilling.
  4. Soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before use, then thread the meat on to skewers to cover three-fourth of skewer. I used a grill pan to cook the these. Brush the pan with oil and heat on a medium flame. Once it’s hot place the skewers on the pan & and brush the chicken with oil (side on top) then flip & brush other side with oil. Grill until the chicken is cooked through & serve with sweet chilli sauce or peanut sauce.


  • Cuisine: Global
  • Course: drink


For the Syrup
250 gm jaggery
500 ml water
30 ml ginger juice
For Cocktail
60 ml Johnnie Walker Red Label
2 kaffir lime leaves
20 ml jaggery & ginger syrup
20 ml lime juice
Ice Cubes


  1. Place jaggery & water in a saucepan & cook on low flame until jaggery melts. Add ginger juice & simmer for 5 minutes. Set syrup aside to cool completely.
  2. To make cocktail, place Johnnie Walker Red Label, kaffir lime leaves, syrup & lime juice juice in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes & shake a few times. Place handful of ice cubes in a whiskey glass and pour the drink over it & serve.
  3. Please note that the syrup is abundant whereas ingredients for cocktail indicated are for 1 drink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *