Peanut Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    285 ml

    of sauce

Appears in

This is the best-known, best-loved sauce for satay. It is also used for Gado-Gado, and goes well with any grilled meat or hamburger steak.

If you like your satay sauce chilli-hot, there are several quite passable powdered instant sauces on the market. For making it yourself, there are various so-called short cuts, most of them involving crunchy peanut butter. Avoid these; the method described below is as easy, cheaper, and much nicer.

Preparation: about 40–45 minutes


  • 112 ml/4 fl oz/½ cup vegetable oil
  • 225 g/8 oz/ cups raw peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • A thin slice of shrimp paste ( optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 450 ml/16 fl oz/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp tamarind water or juice of ½ a lemon


Stir-fry the peanuts for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain in a colander, and leave to cool. Then pound or grind the nuts into a fine powder, using a blender, coffee grinder, or pestle and mortar. Discard the oil, except for 1 tablespoonful.

Crush the garlic, shallots and shrimp paste in a mortar with a little salt, and fry in the remaining oil for 1 minute. Add the chilli powder, sugar, soy sauce and water. Bring this to the boil, then add the ground peanuts. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes thick; this should take about 8–10 minutes. Add the tamarind water or lemon juice and more salt if needed.

When cool, keep in a jar in the fridge. Reheat as required for use with satay or as a dip for crudités or savoury snacks. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.