Not only is this recipe fast, easy to make, and loaded with protein, but it is THE BEST all purpose peanut sauce recipe, even better than most Thai restaurants! It uses easy to find ingredients, is naturally vegan and dairy free and can be tweaked to be gluten free. And the best part - it can be ready in 10 minutes with minimal dishes to clean!
Peanut sauce is drool worthy to even the pickiest of eaters. Its creamy, salty, and so incredibly delicious that its hard to stop eating once you've had that first bite. But, as with most of the best things in life, sadly not all peanut sauces are created equal. Some are too watery and others are just straight up bland.
To me, a good peanut sauce has to be smooth, dippable, a bit sweet but not over the top, with the perfect level of salt, and balanced in every other way.
Behind the scenes, creating balance takes a bit of acidity (hello lime and vinegar), a hint of sweetness, and just the right amount of soy sauce to make it savory and add that umami punch that we all crave. This peanut sauce my friends, had earned it's title of being "the best." Its truly that good.
Peanut sauce isn't exactly health food, but it is high in protein and isn't as bad for you as it seems. Remember a few years ago when saturated fat got taken off the health food no-no list?
Research has shown that not all forms of saturated fat are equal and fat is an important part of a healthy diet. That being said, you've gotta use moderation and some common sense here. Its an occasional food not an every day food.
Why should you make this peanut sauce recipe?
Where to even start? First, I'm quite picky about peanut sauce and have tested this recipe dozens of times over the years. I've tried other variations and keep coming back to this combo.
It's perfectly creamy, has just the right salt level, enough kick without being too spicy (use less curry paste to make it more mild!), and it's easy to make.
How do you make homemade Thai peanut sauce?
It's so easy guys. After you've made it once, you'll kick yourself for waiting this long to try it! It can be done in less time than it would take to leave the house and pick up a takeout order. First you gather the ingredients:
- Lite coconut milk
- Peanut butter
- Ginger (mince it, grate it, or buy the pre-minced kind)
- Coconut sugar
- Thai red curry paste
- Apple cider vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Lime juice
You'll also need a small sauce pan, a whisk or spoon, 1, 1/3, and 1/4 cup measuring cups, a teaspoon and a 1/2 tablespoon.
Once all the goods are gathered, you just throw all of the ingredients in the pot, bring to a low simmer and simmer while stirring for 5 minutes. Then you slather this delicious sauce on everything within reach.
What can you pair with Peanut Sauce?
Anything and everything? Pair with salad rolls, chicken satay, easy non-rice paper salad rolls, curry roasted carrots, soba noodle bowls, chicken rice and veggie bowls, just dip veggies in it or drizzle it on an Asian inspired salad. Really the sky is the limit on this one. I can think of few things that wouldn't go well with a bit of peanut sauce.
Can substitutions be made?
I recommend making as written but since dietary restrictions don't cut the cravings for peanut sauce, let's figure out a way that it can work for you.
- Gluten free - Just replace that soy sauce with tamari and you're in the clear.
- Paleo - nope. Peanut butter isn't paleo no matter how you tweak it.
- Coconut milk - You can of course sub regular coconut milk for lite coconut (duh).
- Ginger - While fresh ginger is best, you can definitely use powdered ginger if you don't have it. It won't be quite as tasty as fresh, but it'll do. I love using the pre-minced kind since it keeps for a long time and is just too convenient not to use it.
- Coconut sugar - you can sub regular sugar or brown sugar for the coconut sugar and barely taste a difference.
- Vinegar -rice vinegar, red wine vinegar or plain distilled white vinegar can be subbed for apple cider vinegar.
- Curry paste - this is the ingredient that makes this peanut sauce so authentic tasting and delicious! I think its really necessary here and usually get this brand.
What is the best way to reheat homemade peanut sauce?
Its unlikely you'll have leftovers if you're serving this to a crowd paired with goodies like these roasted carrots, but leftovers happen to even the most gluttonous of us. Reheating on the stovetop really works best.
Pour or spoon the peanut sauce into a small sauce pan and heat on low heat, adding a tablespoon or two of water until it reaches the right consistency.
I have microwaved it before in a pinch and it tastes fine but the oil separates and the consistency just isn't quite right. I'll still just microwave for myself on occasion but I recommend the stovetop method for the best outcome.
What's your favorite way to eat peanut sauce? I'd love to hear of anything you can dip in it or put it on that I'm overlooking!
Best Peanut Sauce Recipe
- Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat and bring to a low simmer.
- Simmer while whisking or stirring continuously for approximately 5 minutes. During this time, add water if sauce is too thick (normally about ¼ cup depending on actual cooking time and consistency).
- Remove from heat and serve.