Easy Thai peanut sauce for dipping your favorite chicken or tofu satay, or for dressing summer salads and noodle dinners. Get the recipe here.
This Thai peanut sauce is absolutely delicious, and it’s so easy to make. It can be used as a dressing or dipping sauce with noodles, rice, chicken, shrimp or tofu. You could also use it in wraps or on top of salads. The possibilities are endless!
This Thai peanut sauce is vegan, healthy, and crunchy. Perfect as a dipping sauce for skewers or as a dressing, this punchy sauce goes with almost anything. You can customize this recipe by adding broccoli or leaving out tofu depending on your taste preferences.
What is Thai Peanut Sauce?
Thai peanut sauce is a simple peanut butter-based sauce that’s commonly used as a dipping sauce for Satay or spring rolls, as well as a sauce to mix in with classic Asian noodle or stir-fry dishes.
Despite its name, peanut sauce has its roots in Indonesian cuisine, where it’s often used with Satay dishes. Thai versions of the sauce tend to be a little sweeter, which is what we’re going for with this adaptation through the use of maple syrup.
At its core are peanuts, which we’ll introduce by using smooth peanut butter. However, there is much more going on through the use of a variety of interesting ingredients. It features maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger, which all combine to create a fine balance of flavor that stays the right side of spicy, sweet, and zingy.
How to Make Thai Peanut Sauce
You can either whisk all the ingredients by hand or using an electric whisk, except for two tablespoons of warm water. When you whisk by hand, you will end up with a close-to-natural texture. Using an electric whisk will give you a smoother texture. Then begin to add the warm water you had earlier put aside, a bit at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
If you don’t feel like you have the energy to whisk, you can put the ingredients in a jar and vigorously shake the bottle. The consistency depends on what you want to use the sauce for.
The good thing is that you can make this sauce well ahead of time and store it. There is no cooking involved, and as such, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to make the sauce. It’s an easy recipe to follow, and this is what makes it a standard go-to. It’s a versatile sauce that you can use to make peanut dip, marinade, or a salad dressing, amongst other options.
To make peanut sauce, you will need:
- Peanut butter: The smoother the peanut butter, the better. Chunky butter can be hard to work with.
- Spice: Choose a blend that is as hot as you need it to be.
- Sweetener: You could use a syrup-like maple syrup, which will complement the sweetness in the peanuts.
- Water: This helps loosen the peanut butter and make it easier to whisk. However, you could use milk in place of water, and this way, you get a creamier side of the sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce adds flavor and saltiness that balances the sauce
- Ginger: It brings the heat to the dish
- Rice wine vinegar
- Sesame seed: They bring a crunchiness to the sauce, adding texture
The result of mixing all these ingredients is a spicy, salty, slightly sweet yet peanut-tasting sauce.
How to Thicken Peanut Sauce
If you feel that your peanut sauce is not thick enough, you still have some room to make it thicker. If this is still not enough for you, there’s the option of adding more peanut butter or using less water to start with. Often peanut butter sauce will thicken the longer it sits. But this can alter the recipe, and you can avoid this by using tapioca flour or tapioca starch. To use it, simply mix the tapioca starch with boiling water, make sure it dissolves and then mix it into the peanut butter sauce.
How to Thin Out Peanut Sauce
On the other hand, if your peanut butter sauce is too thick and you need to thin it out, the solution is also equally simple. You can add a tablespoon of water at a time to the sauce as you heat it. Whisk it thoroughly as you do so so that it doesn’t separate or clump up. Be sure to use warm water. Do this until it has the consistency you want. You can also use milk, depending on your preference.
You can easily store peanut sauce in the fridge, and it will be good for about one week. When you need to use it, all you need to do is reheat it in the microwave or do it over low heat (which is better because you can see what is happening and if it begins to thicken).
Your other option is to freeze the peanut butter. This will give you a lot more time. When you do this, make sure to apportion it into amounts that you may need at a time. This way, you can make a lot of sauce ahead of time but then freeze it in airtight bags. When you need some sauce, simply thaw out what you need. It will save you time and money since you won’t need to buy the sauce in a store.
You can serve peanut sauce with a wide array of dishes. It can be used as a salad dressing. You can also serve it with egg rolls, noodle salad, quinoa salad, stir-fries, baked tofu, chicken satay, or shrimp skewers.
Chicken satay can be served with cucumber alongside the peanut sauce. You could also have it in Thai tofu pizza, jalapeño poppers, spicy broccoli salad with peanut sauce, soba noodle bowl with peanut sauce, or veggie summer rolls with spicy garlic peanut sauce.
- Want to adjust the spice? The simplest way to make the sauce milder is to add a little coconut milk. If you’re a heat freak, you can add more spice by simply doubling the red pepper flakes.
- If the peanut butter you’re using is on the thick side and you’re finding it difficult to work with, you can melt the peanut butter in the microwave for just 5-10 seconds to help make it smoother and more pliable
Thai Peanut Sauce
- ⅓ cup smooth natural peanut butter
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp of sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp hot water
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredients except the warm water
- Slowly add the warm water until you reach the desired consistency