Ultimate Peanut Sauce Recipe

Food & Beverage


My friend Peter is a professional baker by day, and one of the most excellent home cooks I’ve ever met. He gave me permission to publish his peanut sauce recipe which is good on everything from tofu to chicken to just plain rice. The way he writes recipes is very helpful, too; he uses a common sense approach that really reflects the way people actually cook. Ok, without further ado:

Tonight’s Dinner/Peanut Sauce:

1 20oz can coconut milk (Mae Ploy is best, just please not any American brand)
1T oil (coconut is best, peanut or whatever is fine)

1 thumb sized knob of galangal
same sized piece ginger
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
4 or 5 little shallots
some rehydrated long dried chilis (just pour warm water on them and let them sit, i usually use 5 or 6 but it’s up to you)

around 1-2T palm sugar or jaggery (or brown sugar if you’re lazy)
a big splash of fish sauce
a few big spoonfuls of peanut butter (1/3C?)
a splash of neutral vinegar
a squirt of sriracha

Pour the watery half of the coconut milk into a bowl; scrape the creamy half into your cooking vessel (wok or whatever). Add the oil, and cook over medium heat, stirring once in awhile. It might splatter, be careful. Let it cook down until you’re left with off-white curds frying in oil. Takes a bit of time.

Meanwhile, peel all of your paste ingredients, cut up, and food process into a thick paste. Might have to add a tiny bit of water if your processor is lame. Don’t add too much.

When your coconut milk is sufficiently broken, add the paste and fry over medium heat for five or seven minutes. It’ll smell cooked by then, not just like raw garlic. Add the sugar and fry for another minute or two, then fish sauce, same thing. Add your peanut butter and vinegar and amalgamate. Then dump in your reserved thin coconut milk-water. Stir and cook for just a minute or two more. Add a little salt if you want, and the sriracha.

Garnish: basil leaves, bean sprouts, cucumber, green onion, fried tofu, that kind of thing.

Serve over rice, with garnish. Makes enough for four or five hungry people. Good as leftovers, too.

In the picture above, Peter’s not actually making this peanut sauce, but a curry dish based on the same break-the-cocunut-milk technique. If you make this recipe, let us know how you like it!

10 thoughts on “Ultimate Peanut Sauce Recipe

  1. Hashi says:

    “Add your peanut butter and vinegar and amalgamate.” What is the amalgamate?

  2. Ultimate Peanut Sauce Recipe Rebecca Stern says:

    Amalgamate is a verb, it means to stir. So add the peanut butter and vinegar and stir it until it’s thoroughly incorporated.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So glad I read about this recipe with various products from Thailand. I’m so pround for Thai words appear around here.
    The paste is packed with herbs and they are all good for your stomach. Those of you who live in winter, I trust you will enjoy this.

  4. andrea says:

    I just finished making a double-portion of this for a group of people we’re having over and it’s great!

  5. Ultimate Peanut Sauce Recipe Becky Stern says:

    @andrea That’s so great! I made a batch last night too, yum!

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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