Peanut Butter Chicken (Southeast Asian style)

Hyun Primus


My Southeast Asian History professor had made this for the class when he invited us all over to his beachfront home many many years ago! Anyway, years later I decided to try and make it with my own twist since I really can't remember everything he said he put in it! My family loves it with a side of asian slaw.

If you can, go to the Asian market to get your asian ingredients. They usually are a better quality and of flavor. Like soy sauce, fish sauce has a high salt content. They will last a long time. Find other recipes, especially Vietnamese cuisine, to use the fish sauce.


★★★★★ 1 vote

1 Hr 20 Min
35 Min


  • 2 1/2 lb
    bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 c
    coarse salt (for cleaning chicken)
  • 2 Tbsp
    rice wine vinegar

  • 1/2 c
    peanut butter, creamy
  • 3 Tbsp
    fish sauce (3 crab brand is my preference)
  • 3 Tbsp
    soy sauce
  • 1/2 c
  • 1/4 c
    sliced scallions (or finely diced white onions)
  • 1-2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp
    ginger, finely minced (i use a micro grater to get a nice pulpy ginger)
  • 2 Tbsp
    cilantro leaves only, finely chopped
  • 1-2 sprig(s)
    lemongrass (stalks) crushed (using the bottom meaty part) i use the bottom of knife handle to crush
  • 1 tsp
    ground black pepper

How to Make Peanut Butter Chicken (Southeast Asian style)


  1. Clean the chicken by rubbing the coarse salt and rinsing. Then score chicken to get the thigh to lay out flat and even. Score around the bone but make sure it is still attached.
  2. Place in bowl and pour the vinegar over chicken and mix to coat. You won't taste the vinegar in the chicken but it will help tenderize it. Set aside and make marinade.
  3. In a bowl with a fork mix peanut butter and honey. Then add the fish sauce and soy sauce. Incorporated well then you add all the other ingredients. Pour ingredients into chicken. Coat entire chicken well and cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Cooking:

    For grill, set on medium-low to medium. Peanut Butter will burn quick so be careful. Cook thoroughly about 6-8 minutes on each side (skin side down first). But it will vary depending on size of chicken. (this is where scoring helps cook it quicker and more evenly)

    For oven bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

    I cook it on a grill on my stove top for the caramelization and finish it off in oven to thoroughly cook it. (it can get messy on the grill)

    Make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly. Juice should run clear when pierced.

    Serve with rice. Goes great with a light refreshing side like Asian Slaw.

Printable Recipe Card

About Peanut Butter Chicken (Southeast Asian style)

Course/Dish: Chicken
Regional Style: Asian
Hashtags: #peanut #vietnamese

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