An easy satay dipping sauce, that uses simple ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare from scratch! You read it right, from scratch using raw peanuts. This spicy-salty-tangy peanut sauce is dairy free, gluten free and vegan. Beyond satay, once you start using this peanut sauce, then you would be using it for all kinds of things. Pour it over your tofu satay, dip your veggie sticks or drizzle over salad.
Popularity of Satay Sauce
Satay sauce, often referred to as peanut sauce is widely used in Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Chinese cuisine. A familiar sight in Southeast Asia street food which has grown popular all around the world. A ‘must’ in your condiment collection, if you enjoy Asian cuisine and food. This Asian Peanut Satay sauce is creamy, savory, spicy, with a hint of sesame flavor in it. Peanut satay sauce will make all your kitchen recipes, even more delicious.
Where do you use Asian Peanut Sauce?
You can use this versatile sauce with different meals, including barbeques, noodles, and vegetables. Peanut sauce also works very well with wraps, and as a dipping sauce. The sauce makes an excellent marinade, and you can use it as a glaze also.
Made from Scratch! - My adapted version of Peanut Sauce
This EYP’s Peanut Satay Sauce recipe starts with dry roasted unsalted whole peanuts instead of peanut butter which makes it different from other available recipes. Starting from whole peanuts, rather than pre-made peanut butter makes a world of difference in taste and texture. Once you try this recipe, you will never go back to peanut butter sauce or any recipes using peanut butter as the main ingredient.
Many different recipes exist for making peanut satay sauce and each recipe tastes differently depending upon how the recipe has been tweaked.
Easy Adaptation of Authentic Peanut Sauce
Each version of peanut sauce has been modified and adapted to local taste. While the authentic Indonesian peanut sauce known as “Bumbu Kacang” uses whole peanuts fried in oil along with red chilis, ginger and garlic. Which is then crushed with lot more labor and hard work using mortar and pestle instead of using a shortcut and easier tool, food processer. For the authentic flavors, Bumbu Kacang is then seasoned with cumin, coriander, lemongrass and sweetened with pasty palm sugar and kecap manis, a sweetened version of soy sauce. In authentic version, tamarind and hint of lime juice are used to balance out the spicy and sweet flavors of the Indonesian peanut sauce, while this recipe uses rice vinegar instead.
Singaporean and Malaysian version of peanut sauce call for shallots and galangal along with garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. This version skips on soy sauce and also lime juice and uses only tamarind pulp to bring out the sourness of the sauce.
Indonesian version of peanut satay sauce is not very high on heat level, but you may find Thai version a little higher on heat scale. In Thai peanut sauce pre-made red Thai curry paste is usually used along with shrimp paste for deeper umami flavor to freshly roasted and crushed peanuts. Even though peanut satay sauce is not original to Thai cuisine, it is still an integral part of Thai street food culture.
The adaptation of this Southeast Asian peanut sauce to America is totally based on the ingredients one can find easily in American grocery stores. The American version of peanut sauce often features store bought peanut butter as a shortcut instead of whole peanuts and uses chili garlic paste, granulated sugar and vinegar instead of fresh red chilis, unprocessed palm sugar and tamarind pulp.
The recipe I am sharing is definitely closer to Americanized easy quick peanut satay sauce version, but using whole peanuts instead of peanut butter. This simple change to the peanut sauce recipe make it more delisious and helps avoid any artificial preservatives. The whole roasted peanuts and sesame seeds are first processed into a butter using food processor. Processed peanut paste is then combined with soy sauce. The spiciness comes together from sriracha and chili garlic paste. Rice vinegar and lemon juice add the tartness to this peanut sauce. If worried about spiciness, it can be easily controlled by adjusting the quantity of sriracha and chili garlic paste in the recipe.
Once you will try the peanut satay sauce made from scratch with whole peanuts, you will never go back to peanut butter sauce or any other recipes using peanut butter as the main ingredient.
My family favorites are peanut sauce noodles and tofu curry.
Some FAQs associate with Peanut Satay Sauce recipe:
Initially the sauce was meant as a sauce for satay, a dish comprising sliced or diced meat grilled and served on skewers. This sauce is very popular in Southeast Asia and almost every country has its own version peanut satay sauce.
Peanut sauce is really delicious, you won’t get enough of it by just using it as a satay sauce. Other than satay dipping sauce, you can use it as a salad dressing. It tastes great with fresh spring rolls and on buddha bowl. Peanut sauce is perfect for marinade and as stir fry sauce. Once you start experimenting, you will find yourself using on everything.
Peanut sauce stores well in the fridge easily for months since there is rice vinegar, which acts as a preservative. It gets thick when stored in fridge, so remember to bring the sauce out from fridge to come to the room temperature before using.
Peanut Satay Sauce: Made from Whole Peanuts and Sesame Seeds
- If you are using raw peanuts then first dry roast the peanuts in a skillet on stovetop on medium heat. While roasting shake and toss the peanuts few times and do not leave the stove, as they can burn very easily. Transfer to a bowl when peanuts are lightly brown and smell toasty. (Skip this step if you are using pre-roasted peanuts.) Alternatively, you can toast the peanuts in the oven or air fryer.
- After roasting peanuts using same skillet roast the sesame seeds, since the quantity is small it would be better to toast on stovetop rather in oven or air fryer. Dry roast sesame seeds over medium heat with frequent tossing for even browning. Toast seeds for 3-4 minutes or lightly golden brown. Transfer the seeds to a bowl.
- Now transfer the roasted peanuts and sesame seeds to a food processor bowl fitted with blade attachment. Pulse few times so that nuts get crushed.
- After few pulsing run the food processor for a minute, peanuts and sesame seeds will go through a few stages on their way before reaching to buttery texture.
- Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add rest of the ingredients, tamari, sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, maple syrup, lime juice, chili garlic paste, sriracha and red chili flakes one by one to peanut and sesame seed butter and run food processor for another minute.
- Stop the food processor, scrape down the sides of bowl and lid and pulse again few times for smoother consisitency.
- Stop and check the consistency of Thai peanut sauce, add water to adjust the consistency.
- Run food processor one more time with added water.
- Peanut satay sauce is ready to enjoy!