Peanut Sauce

This peanut sauce recipe is super easy to make and takes just a few minutes. It's perfect with chicken satay, Vietnamese spring rolls or even stir fried vegetables - just add as much water as you like for the consistency you're looking for.

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chicken satay skewers on a green platter with lime wedges, hot peppers and peanut sauce.

Easy Peanut Sauce

It’s surprisingly easy to throw a peanut sauce together and there’s really nothing else like it when you’re looking for a delicious savory dip for so many Asian ingredients. This recipe does include a little sautéing, but otherwise all you do is stir ingredients together and it’s ready to go!

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Ingredients on a counter with a cutting board and knife in front - peanut butter, soy sauce, chili flakes, honey, lime, rice vinegar and vegetable oil.

Chunky or Smooth Peanut Sauce

Of course the first decision you have to make is whether you want it chunky or smooth. I prefer chunky because, well, I love chunks of peanuts but also because you’re adding shallots, garlic and ginger to the mix and so there are going to be ingredient pieces in your sauce one way or another. You might as well use the chunky peanut butter and have chunks of peanuts too. I do recommend using a natural peanut butter for this recipe so that you’re adding only peanuts and salt and not added preservatives and sugar. 

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Peanut sauce in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

How to Make Peanut Sauce

The only reason you need a skillet for this sauce is to quickly cook the shallots, ginger and garlic. A quick sauté in a little oil takes the edge off these ingredients and really brings out their flavors. A little heat is also handy to melt the peanut butter into a sauce, but you’ll find that your peanut butter might seize a little. It’s when you whisk in the water that it will become smooth and dip-able. How much water you add is completely up to you and what your plans are for this sauce. Add at least ¼ cup for a thick sauce, or continue to add ½ cup or more for a thin sauce. You’re the cook!

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Vietnamese spring rolls on a platter with peanut sauce in the background.

What to Serve with Peanut Sauce

If you love peanut sauce, it’s pretty much delicious with anything, but traditionally you’d serve this along side some chicken satay skewers or some Vietnamese spring rolls. This sauce is also great if you thin it well enough and toss it with some stir-fried vegetables. Don’t forget to throw some roasted salted peanuts on top for garnish and dip away to your heart’s content!

Peanut Sauce

  • Prep Time: 7 m
  • Cook Time: 3 m
  • Total Time: 10 m
  • Servings:
    4
    (makes ½ cup)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced grated fresh gingerroot
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • ¼ to ½ cup water
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and sauté the shallot for a few minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, gingerroot and red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey and peanut butter. Stir and slowly melt the ingredients together. Add as much water as you like for consistency and mix well.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and squeeze in the lime juice.
  4. Serve with satay chicken, Vietnamese spring rolls or stir-fried vegetables.
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