Satay Peanut Sauce

Recipes | Basics Makes about 4 cups Satay Peanut Sauce

This peanut sauce is often served as an accompaniment to satay (or saté), marinated skewered meat or seafood traditionally grilled over charcoal in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Satay Peanut Sauce is best eaten on the day it’s made, though it can be refrigerated overnight.


12 large dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
12 red shallots, sliced (see notes)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3cm piece galangal
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, very finely sliced  
⅔ cup peanut oil
500ml water 
2 tablespoons dark coconut sugar (see above) 
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
200g shelled roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon kecap manis (see notes)
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp, worked into 1 cup of warm water (see notes)


Drain chillies and place in a food processor with shallot, garlic, galangal and lemongrass and process to a fine paste. 

Heat oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add paste and cook for 5-10 minutes, until oil separates. Add water, sugar, salt, peanuts and kecap manis and strain in tamarind water from the pulp, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible and discarding the pulp. 

Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and set aside until needed.


If red shallots are unavailable use 6 large golden shallots or 2 red onions.

Dark coconut sugar (called gula jawa) can be replaced with dark palm sugar if unavailable.

Kecap manis, available from Asian grocers, is a sweet soy sauce popular in Malaysian and Indonesian cooking.

Dried tamarind pulp is sold in blocks at Asian grocery stores.

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