Cooking Aboard: No Fuss Thai for the Whole Cruising Family

Cruising in the Caribbean and Bahamas there definitely is no shortage of fresh fish and Caribbean and American staples to choose from when you are feeling peckish, but what about when you are craving something a little more exotic? Like Thai food? Well, most likely you are going to have to make it yourself!


So, if you are in the mood for something a little different from conch fritters and hamburgers, and want something quick and easy that the entire family will love, here’s a readily available pantry staple for Thai Chicken Satay with a homemade Peanut Sauce and Som Tam (green papaya salad) that will fill your cravings for something light, refreshing, and bit different. If you want to make this a more filling and substantial meal, add some Thai Jasmin rice for a proper filling family feast.


This recipe is also an easy prep ahead dinner party hit! And all the ingredients are easily available Caribbean staples too! Not to mention this recipe has the added bonus of being gluten-free (if you use Tamari, or Gluten-Free soy sauce).


Chicken Satay

by Hanrie Bosch


4 Servings

Makes About 8 Skewers

This recipe is for chicken satay, but you can easily substitute fish, shrimps, tofu, or veggies with the same marinade and just adjust the cooking times according to your protein of choice.



  • 1 1/2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I prefer thighs because they are a lot more succulent than breasts)

  • 2tsp curry powder

  • 1 tsp red curry paste

  • 1 tbsp. white sugar

  • 1 cup coconut milk (reserve the rest from the can for the peanut sauce)



Cut the chicken into pieces and add to a Ziploc bag or bowl that will fit in your fridge.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the chicken and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 30min, or up to 24 hours.


Once marinated, Preheat the oven to 380 F and thread the chicken on to skewers. If you are using wooden skewers and going to BBQ them, just make sure to soak them in water for about 15min before threading the chicken on, as this will prevent them from burning on the grill. If you are doing them in the oven there’s no need to soak the skewers.


Place skewers in an oven proof dish, sprinkle with salt, cover with foil and place in the oven for about 20min.


While the chicken is cooking start making the peanut sauce.



Peanut sauce

4 Servings


This sauce is so good I end up eating most of it whilst waiting for the chicken to cook! I always make a double, or triple batch, as It will store for up to a week in the fridge, so get creative by splashing it on salads or stir-fry’s later in the week.



  • Reserved coconut milk from Chicken Satay

  • 2/3 cup Peanut Butter

  • ½ cup Soy sauce (use Tamari or Gluten Free Soy sauce to make this gluten free)

  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • Pinch cayenne pepper

  • Freshly ground salt and pepper



Add all ingredients, except the coconut milk, to a bowl and mix until smooth. Slowly add coconut milk until you reach your desired consistency.


Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.



Som tam (green papaya salad)

4 Servings


Having lived in Bangkok for 2 years this is the one thing that immediately transports me back and fills my craving for authentic Thai food. And as exotic as it sounds all the ingredients are Caribbean staples!



  • 1x small green papaya (if you can only find ripe papayas, they will work too, just put them in a strainer once cut and let the juices run off.)

  • 1x small carrot

  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, or 1 regular tomato

  • ¼ cup sliced Green beans

  • ¼ cup chopped unsalted peanuts

  • Handful chopped cilantro



  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tsp light brown sugar

  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes depending on how sour you like your dressings

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

  • 2 tsp soy sauce (use Tamari or Gluten Free Soy sauce to make this gluten free)

  • Birds eye chili, seeded and thinly sliced, or chili flakes (optional)




Start by making the dressing.

Finely chop the garlic and add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly mix. Taste and adjust to your liking of sweet and sour.


To make the salad, use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off the papaya. If you have a julienne peeler, use it to slice the papaya into thin strips. If you do not have a julienne peeler a regular peeler will also work, just use a knife to cut the slices into thin strips, and add to a bowl.


Using the same method peel and slice the carrot and add to the papaya. Halve the cherry tomatoes, quarter the green beans, roughly chop the peanuts and cilantro and add to the papaya.


If not serving immediately, refrigerate the salad until ready to serve and add the dressing over just before serving. Top with extra chopped peanut.



Let the Leopard family know what your favorite Asian or exotic dish is to cook onboard! Happy cooking and happy cruising!


Topics: Boating Tips

Hanrie Bosch

Guest blogger, Hanire Bosch, is a professional yacht chef. Based in the Caribbean and Bahamas, since 2013, she has worked on boats ranging from 48 ft Leopards to 160 ft superyachts.


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