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Thai Satay Peanut Sauce

Thai Satay Peanut Sauce

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the number of herbs and spices called for by several recipes for authentic Thai peanut sauce, here’s a really  simple and very delicious alternative recipe. All the herbs and spices are found in commercial Thai red curry paste. No need to hunt down all 20 of them. Regular granulated sugar and vinegar are handy replacements for the traditional palm sugar and tamarind pulp respectively – although if you can find tamarind paste, buy it and add a tablespoon or two.

Thai Satay Peanut Sauce
Photo Courtesy of:

Prep time: 8 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 13 mins
Serves: 3.5 cups


  • One 13.5-ounce can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 ounces (approximately ¼ cup) of Thai red or Massaman curry paste (milder but flavorful)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened (natural) creamy peanut butter (Do not use regular peanut butter or anything with added emulsifiers. It must be the type of natural peanut butter that comes with natural peanut oil on top and no sugar added. (Like Natural Smucker’s.)
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use white wine, red wine, balsamic, or anything else – not even rice vinegar)
  • ½ cup water


  1. Put everything into a medium heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
  2. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat; be careful not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.
  3. Take the pot off the heat, let the sauce cool down to room temperature (or slightly warmer), and serve the sauce with satay or fried tofu.
    Note: This peanut sauce keeps in a glass container in the refrigerator for weeks. Refrigerated sauce will thicken up considerably. All you have to do is thin it out with a little bit of water to desired consistency, reheat, and serve. The sauce also freezes beautifully. I prefer Maesri red curry paste. But you can also use Mae Ploy red curry paste (it’s hotter). A lot of people like to use massaman curry paste, and you can do that too.

***A word about this recipe: This is a Thai satay sauce which is on the sweet side, has a flavor that is found in Thai curry (but is not supposed to be hot), and is served as a dipping sauce for Thai-style satay. Serve as a classic grilled chicken or grilled shrimp dipping sauce or, if you wish to use as a dressing for an oriental chicken salad or drizzle over veggies, simply thin with additional vinegar.

Complement this dish with the Pali “Bluffs” Pinot Noir 2013 (750ml) – $17.99
With its aromatics of brambly black cherry, raspberry lavender and sage. This would be perfect with chicken sate. Bright acidity will keep this dish lively and fresh.

Courtesy of: Richard


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