Real Satay Peanut Sauce: My Mother-in-Law's Secret Recipe

Traditional Thai Peanut Sauce (made with real peanuts!)
Traditional Thai Peanut Sauce (made with real peanuts!). D.Schmidt for
    15 min
Ratings (17)

For an authentic satay sauce, try this easy Thai Satay Sauce recipe! While most Western versions of satay sauce are made with peanut butter, this one starts with real peanuts - and you'll taste the difference! At the same time, this is a very easy recipe to make - just throw everything into your blender or food processor and blitz. Satay sauce can be used for a variety of purposes, from a dip for chicken or beef satay to an Asian salad dressing or a dip for fresh rolls. Or use it to make a yummy cold noodle salad or as a marinade for grilled chicken or tofu (vegetarian instructions included). ENJOY!

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup fresh-tasting dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon fish sauce, depending on desired saltiness/flavor - Vegetarians substitute 1.5 -2.5 tablespoon regular soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon tamarind paste or ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (more or less to taste)
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk

How to Make It

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.
  2. Do a taste-test, adding more fish sauce (or soy sauce) if not salty enough, or more cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you'd prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature with my Thai Chicken Satay, Thai Pork Satay, or Vegetarian/Vegan Thai Satay. It also makes a great dip with fresh veggies, fresh rolls, or other Asian finger foods. Or combine with noodles to create a Thai-style noodle dish or cold noodle salad. Enjoy!

Note: This sauce tends to thicken as it sits - just add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise, it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator (keep up to 2 weeks; freeze thereafter).