Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce – The Real Deal

Sweet, tangy and slightly spicy peanut sauce.

It’s sweet, tangy and just spicy enough that you’ll want to use this sauce with everything. Make this peanut sauce the next time you make chicken satay, steamed vegetables, steamed rice, or even on fried eggs in the morning.

This recipe is by no means authentic but definitely my favourite way to prepare it and super tasty. Making the sauce is so much fun because the house will smell amazing while you prepare it.

All of the ingredients ready to go.

Must have ingredients

The sauce requires some ingredients that may be difficult to find. I had to go to a specialty Asian grocery store to find the ingredients but it was definitely worth it.

  • Kecap Manis – Essentially a sweetened and flavoured soy sauce that is used extensively in Indonesian cuisine. Kecap Manis is widely available here in the Netherlands but can be difficult to find elsewhere. If you can’t find it then add 1 tsp of palm/white sugar to every tbsp of soy sauce.
  • Palm Sugar – I love this stuff. Slightly less sweet than normal sugar and gives a rich flavour to the dish.
  • Tamarind – Probably the hardest to find but very worthwhile. Tamarind pulp that is de-seeded is exactly what you want. This gives the sauce a nice sour flavour and brown colour. If you can’t find this then just use more lime juice.
  • Lemongrass – Sometimes difficult to find but the aroma is second to none!
  • Plain, blanched peanuts – Roasting the peanuts yourself not only smells amazing but also makes the sauce tastier.

Tamarind pulp. A close up shot of the spice paste after blending.

Is there a quicker version if I don’t have time to make this one?

Sometimes you’re in a rush and you don’t have time to make the real deal. No problem. This recipe is way faster, requires no cooking and still 100x better than a store-bought peanut sauce.

Lazy peanut sauce

  • 150ml roasted and salted peanuts
  • ½ lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ½ clove garlic
  • ½ fresh chili
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (or 2 tbsp soy sauce with 2 tsp sugar)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • A couple drops of worcestershire/fish sauce

Blitz everything together in a food processor. Add salt to taste.  If the sauce is too thick add a bit more coconut milk or water until it’s nice and saucy.

This recipe is my own but some inspiration came from Bee @ Rasa Malaysia. Her blog has lots of great authentic asian style dishes. Check it out!

Cooking the spice paste with the lemon grass stock until aromatic.

Sweet, tangy and slightly spicy peanut sauce.

Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce - The Real Deal

A fantastic recipe for a peanut sauce that is a must have with chicken satay. Sweet, tangy and slightly spicy makes this sauce the perfect accompaniment to any steamed vegetable, rice, chicken or pork dish.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course sauces
Cuisine Southeast Asian
Servings 4 people
Calories 230 kcal


  • Food processor
  • Strainer


For the Spice Paste

  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • ½ stalk lemongrass chopped
  • 1 whole chili stem removed
  • 1 piece ginger 6g or about the same amount as the garlic
  • ¼ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil

The Rest

  • ½ stalk lemongrass
  • ¼ cup blanched peanuts peeled, unsalted, not roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ piece lime juice
  • 3 tsp palm sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt

Tamarind Water

  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp de-seeded
  • ¼ cup hot water


  • Set the oven to 190°C/375°F and roast the nuts on a tray until dark brown, about 7 minutes.
    Roasting the nuts on a tray in the oven.
  • Pulse the nuts in the food processor until fine but not a paste.
    Blitzing the nuts in the food processor until fine.
  • Add the hot water to the tamarind and let sit for 15 minutes.
    Soaking the Tamarind in water.
  • Gather these ingredients and the oil.
    Chili, garlic, lemongrass and ginger.
  • Blitz with the oil until fine.
    A close up shot of the spice paste after blending.
  • Strain the water from the soaked tamarind pulp. Discard the pulp and set aside the tamarind water.
    Straining the tamarind pulp.
  • Have everything ready to go like this before you begin.
    All of the ingredients ready to go.
  • Cook the spice paste over low heat for about 5 minutes until it smells aromatic. Add the lemongrass stock.
    Cooking the spice paste with the lemon grass stock until aromatic.
  • Add all of the other ingredients except the peanuts and cook out until slightly thickened. About 5-10 minutes.
  • Once slightly thickened, add the peanuts and turn off the heat. Check the seasoning. Let cool slightly and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!
    Finished peanut sauce in the pan.


If the sauce is too thick just add 1 or 2 tbsps of hot water and mix. 
Keyword chili peanut sauce, coconut peanut, easy sauces, indonesian food, kip sate, peanut sauce, plant based sauce, satay sauce, sate sauce, spicy peanut sauce, thai sauce, vegan sauce
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