Real Thai Satay Peanut Sauce

Thai peanut dipping sauce

The Spruce


  • Total: 18 mins
  • Prep: 18 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a dip
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
237 Calories
17g Fat
17g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 4 to 6 as a dip
Amount per serving
Calories 237
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 509mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 9g
Calcium 76mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

While most Western versions of peanut sauce are made with peanut butter, this authentic Thai peanut sauce starts with real peanuts--and you'll taste the difference! At the same time, it is super easy and quick to make--and is really versatile. This peanut sauce can be used for a variety of purposes, from a dip for veggies to a sauce for chicken or beef satay. Or use it to make a delicious cold noodle salad or as a marinade for grilled chicken or tofu. 

This sauce is meant to have a smooth consistency, but if you prefer it with a bit of texture you can process just until there are some small bits of peanut remaining. The dry roasted peanuts do make for quick preparation, but if you like you can buy raw peanuts and roast them yourself. Place nuts on a cookie sheet in the oven or in a dry frying pan and toast until golden and fragrant.


Click Play to See This Thai Satay Peanut Sauce Recipe Come Together


  • 1 cup fresh, dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (for vegetarians: substitute 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons regular soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste (or 2 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce, more or less to taste) 
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Thai peanut dipping sauce
     The Spruce
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

    Thai dipping sauce ingredients in food processor
     The Spruce
  3. Blend or process until sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.

    Fully processed dipping sauce ingredients
     The Spruce
  4. Do a taste-test, adding more fish sauce (or soy sauce) if not salty enough, or more cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you'd prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

  5. Serve warm or at room temperature with Thai chicken satay, as a dip with fresh veggies, with fresh spring rolls or other Asian finger foods. Or combine with noodles to create a Thai-style noodle dish or cold noodle salad. 


  • This sauce tends to thicken as it sits—just add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise, it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; place in the freezer thereafter.