Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thai Peanut Sauce/Dip/Marinade

While most Western versions of peanut sauce are made with peanut butter, this Thai peanut sauce recipe starts with real peanuts - and you'll taste the difference! At the same time, it's super easy and quick to make. This peanut sauce can be used for a variety of purposes, from a dip for veggies to a sauce for chicken or beef satay. Or use it to make a yummy cold noodle salad or as a marinade for grilled chicken or tofu. A very easy and versatile peanut sauce recipe.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: SERVES 4-6 as a Dip


  • 1 cup fresh-tasting dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, to taste
  • 2 to 2.5 Tbsp. fish sauce - for vegetarians: substitute 2.5 to 3 Tbsp. regular soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste OR 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, OR 1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk


  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, as a dip with fresh veggies, with fresh spring 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).

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