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Coconut Chicken Spears

This grilled five-spice rubbed chicken kabob appetizer is served with red and green curry-sweetened coconut sauces.

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  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Grill: 10 mins

Coconut Chicken Spears



  1. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together coconut milk, toasted coconut, and brown sugar. Divide mixture in half. Stir green curry paste into one half. Stir red curry paste into remaining half of coconut mixture. Cover sauces; refrigerate until serving time.
  2. Combine five-spice powder and salt. Rub chicken strips with seasoning mixture. Place chicken strips between two sheets of plastic wrap. Gently pound with the flat side of a meat mallet to about 1/4-inch thickness. Thread chicken strips lengthwise onto bamboo skewers, keeping strips straight. Brush chicken with oil.
  3. Grill chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium-hot coals for 10 to 12 minutes or until no pink remains, turning once.
  4. Spoon some of the green-curry-coconut sauce into each coconut half or into condiment dishes, then gently swirl in some of the red-curry-coconut sauce. Serve with lime slices, if desired, garnish with star fruit slices and star anise. Makes 8 appetizer servings.

From the Test Kitchen


You can find coconut milk, green and red curry pastes, and five-spice powder in Asian specialty stores and some large supermarkets. If you cant find five-spice powder or red and green curry pastes, make your own Five-Spice Powder and substitute Curry-Coconut Sauce as directed in the following recipes.

Five-Spice Powder:

Combine 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 6 star anise or 2 teaspoons anise seed, 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, 1-1/2 teaspoons whole Szechwan pepper or whole black pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves in a spice grinder or blender container. Cover and blend spices to a fine powder. Store in a tightly covered container for up to 2 months. Makes 1/4 cup.

Curry-Coconut Sauce:

If red and green curry pastes are unavailable, make this sauce as a substitute for the coconut milk, toasted coconut, brown sugar, and curry paste mixtures used in the recipes at left. Combine 1/2 cup purchased unsweetened coconut milk, 2 tablespoons toasted coconut, 1-1/2 teaspoons of curry powder, and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Cover and chill. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Nutrition Facts (Coconut Chicken Spears)

    Per serving:
  • 111 kcal cal.,
  • 6 g fat
  • (3 g sat. fat,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 1 g monounsatured fat),
  • 25 mg chol.,
  • 194 mg sodium,
  • 3 g carb.,
  • 1 g fiber,
  • 2 g sugar,
  • 10 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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