The Best Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe – Excitingly Different Flavors

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Embark on a tantalizing journey with our Best Thai Peanut Sauce — a harmonious blend of creamy peanut butter, aromatic Thai herbs, coconut milk, and a touch of spice, prepared in just minutes. It’s a symphony of rich flavors and tantalizing aromas. Elevate your meals effortlessly, as this sauce pairs exquisitely with stir-fries, satays, noodles, and more.

In the bustling streets of Naples, Italy, I found myself drawn to a local eatery. The air was rich with enticing aromas, yet one scent stood out—upon searching, I found out that Spicy Clam Sauce was being served in a restaurant with a dish. Its aroma was intoxicating, the appearance glistening and inviting. 

Best Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

So, I went and ordered the dish. The first taste was a harmonious blend of spices, tingling my taste buds with a zest I hadn’t experienced before. It was a moment of sheer delight reminiscent of the best culinary memories. 

Such experiences are not limited to Europe. I brought it back to the US. So, stay tuned, for we are about to introduce you to a world of flavors with a Thai Peanut Sauce recipe. 

You can also check out more sauces like the Fermented Pebre, Sos Ti Malice, Fermented Lime Pepper Sauce, Smooth Serrano Cilantro Mint Chutney, and Fermented Chermoula. 

Are you ready to begin your culinary journey? Let’s begin. 

What Is Thai Peanut Sauce? 

Thai Peanut Sauce is a flavorful condiment originating from Thailand. It combines roasted peanuts, coconut milk, soy sauce, spices, and herbs. 

The sauce is excellent for its rich, creamy texture and savory-sweet taste, often accompanied by a hint of spiciness. It is better served with satay, salads, or spring rolls. 

Yet, don’t forget, it’s versatile and can also be a dip or dressing. My best advice: if you’re unsure about trying it, remember that Thai Peanut Sauce is often a favorite among many for its unique and delectable flavors.

History Of Thai Peanut Sauce 

Thai Peanut Sauce’s origins are not solely Thai. Its roots trace back to the maritime trade routes connecting Indonesia and Thailand. While Indonesia is known for its peanut sauces, the Thais, over time, added their flavors. 

Thai Peanut Sauce is an excellent example of cultural fusion. It evolved by blending traditional Indonesian elements with Thai ingredients like tamarind, coconut milk, and Thai chili peppers. 

Whereas the exact individual who invented it remains unknown, it’s clear that this sauce represents a harmonious blend of Southeast Asian culinary traditions. Remember the rich tapestry of regional influences when in doubt about its origin.

Interesting Facts About Thai Peanut Sauce  

  • Thai Peanut Sauce isn’t just for Thai dishes. It’s versatile and is used in various Asian cuisines.
  • While peanuts are essential, they aren’t native to Asia. The Portuguese and Spanish traders introduced them.
  • Tamarind, a key ingredient, gives the sauce its unique tangy flavor.
  • It is better to use roasted peanuts for an authentic taste and texture.
  • Don’t forget, Thai Peanut Sauce can be a condiment and a main dish sauce.
  • The sauce’s spiciness can be adjusted according to personal preference.
  • Traditional recipes might use fish sauce for an added depth of flavor.
  • The consistency of the sauce can vary from runny to thick.
  • Great for vegetarians: a protein-rich option when served with tofu.
Best Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce? 

While rooted in Thailand, Thai Peanut Sauce has seen various regional adaptations. In Indonesia, it’s often thinner, mainly used for satays. You won’t find as much coconut milk in Malaysia but a pronounced shrimp paste flavor

Vietnam introduced a variant that is great for dipping, often tangier with added lime juice. It is sweeter and frequently employs sesame oil when in doubt about its Chinese variant. 

In the Philippines, a citrus twist with calamansi juice is not uncommon. The Western adaptations tend to be creamier, making it a good idea to use them in salads. I’d recommend tasting each variant to appreciate the global love for this sauce.

What Will Make You Love This Thai Peanut Sauce? 

What will make you fall for Thai Peanut Sauce? First and foremost, its rich, creamy texture is unmatched. It’s a harmonious blend of savory, sweet, and spicy flavors. 

The robust notes of roasted peanuts, paired with the depth of coconut milk and tamarind’s tang, create a symphony in every bite. 

It is better paired with meat and vegetarian dishes, amplifying their taste. Don’t forget its versatility: dressings, dips, and main dish gravies. Its adaptability to different dishes and cuisines makes it a global favorite. 

My best advice: give it a try with your next meal. With its delightful complexity, you might find that Thai Peanut Sauce becomes a staple in your kitchen.

Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List

Creamy peanut butter1 1/2 cups
Coconut milk1/2 cup
Water3 tablespoons
Fresh lime juice3 tablespoons
Soy sauce3 tablespoons
Fish sauce1 tablespoon
Hot sauce1 tablespoon
Minced fresh ginger root1 tablespoon
Garlic (minced)3 cloves
Chopped fresh cilantro1/4 cup

Ingredient Tips 

  • Natural, unsweetened peanut butter is good for a more authentic taste.
  • When doubting coconut milk’s thickness, opt for full-fat versions for creaminess.
  • Fresh lime juice is best; avoid bottled versions, which can alter the sauce’s taste.
  • Low-sodium soy sauce can be used if you’re concerned about salt content.
  • Freshly minced ginger root offers a zestier kick than pre-packaged alternatives.
  • Adjust the hot sauce according to your spice preference.
  • Cilantro stems pack more flavor than leaves; don’t discard them.
  • Fish sauce brands vary in intensity; start with less and adjust to taste.

What Are The Variations Of Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe? 

  • Vegan Version: Swap fish sauce for tamari or extra soy sauce. When in doubt about dietary restrictions, there’s a gluten-free adaptation using gluten-free soy or tamari.
  • Tamarind Twist: Add tamarind paste for a tangy undertone.
  • Creamy Curd: Introduce yogurt for a creamier, tangy profile.
  • Sweetness Spike: Some add a dash of honey or brown sugar for a sweeter note.
  • Chunky Style: Use chunky peanut butter for added texture.
  • Red Curry Variant: Mix red curry paste for deeper flavors and color.
  • Sesame Surprise: Add toasted sesame oil for a nuttier depth.
  • Herb-Heavy: Elevate with extra herbs like mint or basil for a fresh twist.

Recipe Directions 

Cooking Method

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, water, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot sauce, ginger, and garlic. Whisk well until the mixture is smooth, and all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • If you’re unsure about consistency, adjusting with more water or lime juice if the sauce is too thick is a good idea.
  • Let the sauce sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This rest time allows the flavors to meld and intensify.
  • Just before serving, mix in the chopped fresh cilantro for freshness.


While this recipe doesn’t include a fermentation method, fermented ingredients like fish sauce add depth to the flavor profile.

Scaling The Recipe

  • Double the Batch: Simply multiply each ingredient by two. It’s a good idea to make more for larger gatherings.
  • Halving: Divide each ingredient’s quantity by half for smaller servings.
  • When in doubt about consistency after scaling up, adjust with water or lime juice to achieve the desired thickness.
Best Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads? 

  • Marinade: It’s excellent for infusing meats or tofu with its rich flavors. Let them marinate for a few hours before cooking.
  • Dipping Sauce: The creamy texture and savory-sweet profile make it a favorite for spring rolls, satays, and dumplings.
  • Dressing for Salads: When doubting how to elevate a salad, drizzle this sauce over greens, noodles, or grain bowls. You don’t need much to impart a delightful taste.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Thai Peanut Sauce? 

  • Satay: Skewered grilled meats, especially chicken or beef, are great for dipping.
  • Spring Rolls: Fresh or fried, these rolls and the sauce are a match made in heaven.
  • Thai Noodle Salads: It’s a good idea to toss noodles with this sauce for a savory touch.
  • Grilled Vegetables: The sauce enhances the smoky flavors of charred veggies.
  • Rice Bowls: Drizzle over rice, proteins, and veggies for a balanced meal.
  • Tofu: Whether grilled, fried, or steamed, tofu pairs wonderfully.
  • Wraps and Sandwiches: A delightful spread to elevate your lunch.
  • Dumplings: Any kind, especially potstickers, benefit from a dip.
Thai Peanut Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Thai Peanut Sauce? 

  • Chicken Satay: Grilled skewered chicken, often served with a side of this sauce for dipping.
  • Pad Thai: While not always, some versions feature the sauce for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Thai Peanut Noodle Salad: Cold noodles tossed in the sauce with veggies and proteins.
  • Som Tam: Although traditionally a papaya salad, some variations include a peanut dressing.
  • Gado-Gado: An Indonesian dish that uses a similar peanut sauce over boiled vegetables.
  • Thai Spring Rolls: Fresh rolls filled with veggies and sometimes shrimp, enjoyed with the sauce.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Thai Peanut Sauce Offers? 

  • Savory: Thanks to soy and fish sauces, it has a deep umami profile.
  • Sweet: The natural sugars in peanuts, complemented by potential sweeteners, offer a gentle sweetness.
  • Creamy: Peanut butter and coconut milk contribute to its lusciously smooth texture.
  • Tangy: Fresh lime juice introduces a zesty, citrusy note.
  • Spicy: Hot sauce or chilies add a heating element, which can be adjusted to preference.
  • Herbaceous: Ingredients like cilantro provide a refreshing, green lift.
Jar & spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life? 

  • Refrigeration: Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It typically lasts for up to a week.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the sauce in individual portions. It can last for up to 3 months this way.
  • Reusing: If refrigerated, give it a good stir before using, as separation might occur. For frozen sauce, thaw in the fridge overnight.
  • Shelf Life: At room temperature, using it within a day is a good idea. Refrigerated or frozen storage extends its life.

What Are The Substitutes For Thai Peanut Sauce? 

  • Almond or Cashew Sauce: Swap peanut butter for almond or cashew butter. The profile remains nutty but offers a different nuance.
  • Tahini-Based Sauce: A sesame paste, tahini brings a rich, creamy texture with a more muted flavor.
  • Soy-Ginger Sauce: Combining soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of honey can give a savory-sweet kick.
  • Hoisin Sauce: While sweeter and less nutty, hoisin can stand in for a similar consistency and taste.
  • Curry Pastes: Thai curry pastes, when mixed with coconut milk, offer a flavorful, spicy alternative.
  • Teriyaki Sauce: Teriyaki can be handy as a sweet and tangy substitute.
 Thai Peanut Sauce

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce? 

  • Too Thick: Add more coconut milk or water, stirring in small increments until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Too Thin: Increase the amount of peanut butter or let the sauce simmer gently to reduce and thicken.
  • For Dipping: A thicker consistency is usually preferable, making it cling to the dipped items.
  • For Dressings: Thin it slightly with water or lime juice for a pourable texture.
  • Taste Balance: When in doubt about flavor after adjustments, taste and season accordingly.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

  • Cold: For salads, cold rolls, or as a dip for fresh veggies, serving it chilled is a good idea. Refrigerate for a few hours before use.
  • Warm: A slightly heated sauce complements the dish for hot dishes like grilled meats or warm noodle dishes.
  • Room Temperature: This is often the most versatile option, especially if used as a dip for room-temperature appetizers.
 Thai Peanut Sauce

Nutritional Values 

A typical serving of Thai Peanut Sauce contains approximately 90 calories, dominated by peanut butter and coconut milk fats. It also provides protein, essential vitamins like Vitamin A and C, and trace minerals such as calcium. 

The sauce is also a source of dietary fiber, thanks to the peanuts. Beware of its sodium content, primarily if made with commercial soy and fish sauces. Refer to specific product labels or conduct a detailed nutritional analysis for precise values.

What Are The Total Calories In Thai Peanut Sauce? 

Calculating the total calories in Thai Peanut Sauce requires specifics on ingredient quantities and brands. However, as a general estimate:

Thai Peanut Sauce is calorie-dense, primarily made from peanut butter and coconut milk. A typical tablespoon might range from 35 to 45 calories, depending on the recipe and ingredient ratios.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Thai Peanut Sauce 

  • Peanut Allergies: Contains peanut butter, a common allergen.
  • Gluten: Soy sauce may contain gluten. Opt for gluten-free versions if needed.
  • Fish Allergies: Contains fish sauce. A potential allergen for some.
  • Vegetarian: Fish sauce is not vegetarian. Substitute with tamari or vegan fish sauce.
  • Vegan: Both fish sauce and some peanut butter (due to additives) may not be vegan. Check labels.
  • Low-calorie Diets: This sauce is calorie-dense due to peanuts and coconut milk.
  • Low-sodium Diets: Contains soy and fish sauces, both high in salt.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-Thickening: Too much peanut butter can make the sauce excessively dense. It’s a good idea to balance it with liquids for consistency.
  • Over-Thinning: Excessive water or coconut milk addition can dilute the sauce’s flavor.
  • Skimping on Fresh Ingredients: Fresh lime juice, garlic, and cilantro are crucial. Don’t substitute with their dried or bottled counterparts.
  • Over-Salting: Both soy sauce and fish sauce are salty. When in doubt, add in increments and taste.
  • Overheating: Cooking the sauce too long can alter its taste and texture. Heat just until the ingredients meld.
  • Not Tasting as You Go: Flavors can vary based on ingredient brands. My best advice: Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Ignoring Texture: A smooth peanut butter is typical, yet some prefer crunch. Ensure it matches the dish’s desired texture.
  • Overlooking Spice Level: Not adjusting the heat to personal preference can result in a sauce that’s too spicy or bland.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

  • Pasta Stir-fry: Use it as a base for a quick noodle dish.
  • Sandwich Spread: Adds a zesty twist to regular sandwiches or wraps.
  • Pizza Base: Swap out tomato sauce for an Asian-inspired pizza.
  • Soup Base: Mix with broth for a creamy peanut soup.
  • Marinade: Coat meats or tofu before grilling or baking.
  • Roasted Veggies: Drizzle over vegetables before roasting.
  • Smoothies: Add a dollop for a creamy, nutty flavor.
  • Breakfast Bowls: Drizzle over avocado or breakfast bowls for added richness.
Thai Peanut Sauce

Special Tools & Equipment Needed 

  • Blender or Food Processor: Ensures a smooth, well-blended sauce, especially if incorporating larger ingredients.
  • Mixing Bowls: Useful for combining and adjusting ingredients.
  • Whisk: Helps to emulsify and blend the ingredients well.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: Crucial for accurate ingredient quantities.
  • Glass Jars with Lids: Ideal for storing the sauce in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Spatula: Ensures you get every bit of sauce from bowls or jars.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: Useful if you need a super-smooth texture.
  • Saucepan: If you’re heating the sauce or reducing it.

Frequently Asked Questions  

How Long Can I Store Thai Peanut Sauce In The Refrigerator?

Thai Peanut Sauce can typically be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Always check for signs of spoilage before use.

Can I Freeze The Sauce For Extended Storage?

Yes, you can freeze the sauce for up to two months. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion. Thaw in the refrigerator before use.

What Can I Do If The Sauce Is Too Thick?

Suppose the sauce is too thick for your liking. In that case, you can thin it out by gradually adding small amounts of coconut milk or water and mixing until you reach the desired consistency.

I Have A Peanut Allergy. What Can I Use As A Substitute For Peanut Butter?

Almond or cashew butter can be used as a substitute for those with peanut allergies. Remember that the flavor profile will change slightly, but you’ll still achieve a creamy, nutty taste.

Is There A Vegan Version Of Thai Peanut Sauce?

Yes, to make a vegan version, omit the fish sauce or replace it with vegan fish sauce or tamari. Ensure all other ingredients, including the peanut butter, are vegan-friendly.

The Best Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe – Excitingly Different Flavors

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Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time





Thai Peanut Sauce is a harmonious blend of creamy peanut butter, aromatic coconut milk, and a medley of spices and seasonings. It offers a delectable balance of nutty, savory, sweet, and tangy flavors, making it a versatile accompaniment for various dishes.


  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 Creamy peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons 3 Water

  • 3 tablespoons 3 Fresh lime juice

  • 3 tablespoons 3 Soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Hot sauce

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Minced fresh ginger root

  • 3 3 Garlic cloves (minced)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Chopped fresh cilantro

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Assemble all the ingredients on your counter for easy access.
    Choose the Right Bowl: Ensure a large mixing bowl accommodates all ingredients without spilling.
  • Mix Wet Ingredients
    Start by pouring the coconut milk into the bowl.
    Add water to dilute and provide the base for your sauce.
    Squeeze in the fresh lime juice for that tangy zing.
  • Add the Flavor Elements
    Spoon the creamy peanut butter into the mixture.
    Pour in the soy sauce for a savory umami touch.
    Introduce the fish sauce for depth and complexity.
    Drizzle the hot sauce to achieve the desired heat level.
  • Incorporate Fresh Ingredients
    Grate or mince the fresh ginger root and add it to the bowl.
    Introduce the minced garlic, ensuring it’s evenly spread.
  • Stir and Blend
    Use a whisk or spatula to mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Ensure the mixture is smooth and the peanut butter is well integrated.
  • Final Touch
    When you’re ready to serve, fold in the freshly chopped cilantro. This adds a burst of freshness and color to the sauce.
  • Taste and Adjust
    Sample the sauce. If you’re unsure about the seasoning, adjust according to your preference, whether you need more lime for acidity or soy sauce for saltiness.
  • Serve
    Transfer the sauce to a serving dish or store it in an airtight container for later use.

Recipe Video


  • The sauce’s consistency can be adjusted to suit the dish it accompanies, be it thick for dips or thinner for dressings.
  • Fresh ingredients play a pivotal role in its authentic taste.
  • Always adjust seasoning based on individual preference, especially saltiness and heat.

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