Most “Thai” recipes created by Americans that I see when I’m scrolling through Pinterest have some sort of Thai peanut sauce made of sugary peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil and red pepper flakes (none of which are used in a Thai peanut sauce you would find in Thailand?!).
I often wonder, “Oh wow, do most Americans think that almost all Thai food has peanut sauce, and that it tastes like this??”
If so, let me set the record straight. Out of around 302 billion Thai dishes in the world, only ONE dish eaten in Thailand has a Thai peanut sauce!!
So how did Thai food and peanut sauce become synonymous in America??
I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that we Americans love our peanut butter (what’s not to love?!), so once Thai Pork Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce arrived (which is the one dish that has a Thai Peanut Sauce in Thailand), we pounced on it, and adored it, and told everyone we knew that Thai food is amazing because it has peanut sauces on everything!!! Let’s make peanut sauce now!
Thai food is amazing, and Thai Peanut Satay Sauce is also amazing, but Thai food goes way beyond a good Thai peanut sauce, check out the rest of the Thai recipes on my blog if you need evidence ;).
My Thai Peanut Sauce is based off of the kind you might find on the streets of Thailand. That means it’s made of creamy coconut milk, spicy red curry paste, sweet palm sugar and tangy tamarind paste, and normally is served with Thai pork satay.
Feel free to use it on whatever you want though because who doesn’t love a good Thai peanut sauce? Especially if it’s legit! Plus this is a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan Thai peanut sauce! Yay!
Here are some tips for how to use this peanut sauce Thai-fusion style:
- slather it on noodles along with leftover chicken and veggies from the fridge
- mix it in a crunchy Asian slaw with some quinoa
- drizzle it over grilled shrimp tacos
- whatever you can imagine! Share in comments please!
Try it today, and share it with me on Instagram, @thaifoodie! I want to see!Print
How to Make Legit Thai Peanut Sauce
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
Have you ever had legit Thai peanut sauce? Now’s your chance to make it at home with this easy recipe. So jam-packed with flavor: coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and roasted peanuts! Plus it’s a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan Thai peanut sauce! Perfection!
- 3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (a tablespoon or so less if you don’t want it as spicy, a tablespoon or so more if you want it spicier)
- 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or 3/4 cup grated palm sugar
- 2 tbsp white vinegar or 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup water
- salt to taste
- In a medium saucepan, combine the Thai red curry paste and the top layer of coconut cream from the can, (there should be about 2 tablespoons or so of cream) over medium heat.
- Stir until the paste is incorporated, and it starts to smell amazing, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the peanut butter and the rest of coconut milk, and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken, 3-4 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium-high, and add the sugar, vinegar (or tamarind if using) and water.
- Simmer while continuing to whisk it for a few minutes, until sugar is dissolved and it’s thickened to your liking, and turn off the heat.
- Add salt to taste, and more sugar if you want it sweeter (but if you add more sugar make sure you dissolve it before turning off the heat).
Thai Peanut Sauce can be refrigerated for 2-3 weeks, or put in the freezer for 3-4 months. It usually thickens over time, so I recommend warming it on the stove, and adding a few tablespoons of water to help thin it out some.
If you use vinegar and brown sugar instead of tamarind paste and palm sugar, it will taste slightly different from what you would find on the streets of Bangkok, but will still be delicious and still not taste like most Americanized Thai peanut sauces 🙂
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Serving Size: 3 cups
Satay is also the only thing I’ve ever seen with peanut sauce. Nice read.
Thanks Andrew! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this, thank you!
Hope you enjoy it Karen! 🙂
This peanut sauce is exactly what I was looking for! No amount of chili flakes and sesame oil called for in just about every recipe posted on the internet can achieve the authentic flavor found here. Thank you for sharing the recipe. 5 STARS
Thanks so much Kara! You are so kind! I’m so glad you appreciate legit THai peanut sauce as much as we do 🙂
Thank you, this is the best peanut sauce recipe I have found! After finishing his chicken satay, my husband was simply eating rice with peanut sauce, he loved it so much. It tastes just like our favorite restaurant’s sauce and isn’t bland like many other recipes!
Aww! Thanks so much for your kind comment Sarah! I love that y’all like it so much, and that it tastes like your favorite Thai restaurant’s! They must be a legit Thai place!