This peanut sauce is so good I want to dunk everything in it.
This is meant to go with my chicken satay recipe but you could drizzle this over steamed vegetables, pork chops or fried green beans for a few other tasty options.
Making the sauce is so much fun because the house will smell amazing while you prepare it.
How to Make Peanut Sauce
The sauce requires some ingredients that may be difficult to find. Tamarind and kecap manis are essential for this sauce.
- Kecap Manis – Essentially a sweetened and flavoured soy sauce that is used extensively in Indonesian cuisine. Kecap Manis is widely available here in the Netherlands but can be difficult to find elsewhere. If you can’t find it then add 1 tsp of palm/white sugar to every tbsp of soy sauce.
- Palm Sugar – I love this stuff. Slightly less sweet than normal sugar and gives a rich flavour to the dish. You can substitute with brown sugar but add half as much as palm sugar is less sweet.
- Tamarind – Probably the hardest to find but you can’t omit this one. Tamarind pulp that is de-seeded is exactly what you want. This gives the sauce a nice sour flavour and brown colour.
- Lemongrass – Sometimes difficult to find but the aroma is second to none.
- Plain, blanched peanuts – Roasting the peanuts yourself not only smells amazing but also makes the sauce tastier.
Is There a Quicker Peanut Sauce?
Sometimes you’re in a rush and you don’t have time to make the real deal.
This recipe is way faster, requires no cooking and still 100x better than any store-bought peanut sauce.
Fast Peanut Sauce
- 150ml roasted and salted peanuts
- ½ lime, juiced and zested
- 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ½ clove garlic
- ½ fresh chili
- ½ tsp ginger
- 2 tbsp kecap manis (or 2 tbsp soy sauce with 2 tsp sugar)
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- A couple drops of worcestershire/fish sauce
Blitz everything together in a food processor. Add salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick add a bit more coconut milk or water until it’s nice and saucy.
Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce – The Real Deal
For the Spice Paste
- 8 g garlic, peeled (2 cloves)
- 7 g ginger, peeled (about the same amount as the garlic)
- 13 g lemongrass, chopped finely (½ stalk)
- 1 whole chili
- 85 g peanut oil, or vegetable oil (¼ cup)
- ½ stalk lemongrass
- 65 g peanuts, unsalted, not roasted (¼ cup)
- 16 g kecap manis (1 tbsp)
- 10 g palm sugar (3 tsp)
- ¼ piece lime, juiced
- 87 g coconut milk (¼ cup)
- 5 g salt (1 tsp)
- 22 g tamarind pulp, de-seeded (1 tbsp)
- 62 g hot water (¼ cup)
- Set the oven to 190°C/375°F and roast the nuts on a tray until dark brown, about 7 minutes.
- Pulse the nuts in the food processor until fine but not a paste.
- Add the hot water to the tamarind and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste together.
- Strain the water from the soaked tamarind pulp. Discard the pulp and set aside the tamarind water.
- Cook the spice paste over low heat for about 5 minutes until it smells aromatic. Add the lemongrass stock.
- Add all of the other ingredients except the peanuts and cook out until slightly thickened. About 5-10 minutes.
- Once slightly thickened, add the peanuts and turn off the heat. Check the seasoning. Let cool slightly and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!