Recipes > Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Peanut Sauce


This highly flavorful peanut sauce has flavors of lemongrass, tamarind, ginger, garlic, Thai chiles and of course peanuts.
  • Serves: 2 cups
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 30,701
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place
  • 1 cup toasted, skinless peanuts, divided
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp/paste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups warm water
  • 4 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 1/2-inch pieces galangal (or ginger)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, minced
  • 3 to 4 Thai chilies*
  • 2 to 3 tbsp palm sugar, or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis or soy sauce


To prepare your mise en place, first prepare the tamarind pulp. If needed, review this “What is Tamarind” video, to see how to prepare the pulp.

Next, in a food processor, add the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and Thai chilies and blend until you reach a somewhat smooth paste. Remove the aromatic mixture from the food processor and set aside.

*Note: For the Thai chilies, you can use either dried or fresh chilies. The fresh chilies will just give you a brighter red color peanut sauce, like the one pictured in this recipe.

Once the aromatic mixture is removed, in the food processor, add half of the peanuts and finely chop. Roughly chop the other half by hand. Place both the finely chopped and roughly chopped peanuts into a bowl and add the tamarind pulp, along with 1 1/2 cups of the warm water.

Step 2: Cooking the Peanut Sauce

Cooking the Peanut Sauce
  • 1 to 2 tbsp oil


To cook the peanut sauce, heat a fry pan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the aromatic mixture from above. Sweat the ingredients for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has softened and begun to release its aroma.

Once the aromatics are ready, add the peanuts-tamarind-water mixture and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add a touch more water if the sauce seems a bit too thick. Note that the peanut sauce will thicken considerably as it cools.

Lastly, add the palm sugar and kecap manis. Depending on the desired sweetness you may want add more of less palm sugar.


  • Brandon D
    Brandon D
    Can this sauce be stored in the fridge for long periods of time? Was hoping I could make a big batch.
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Brandon. I would keep this about a week in the fridge. If you make a large batch, freeze the extra. Thanks for making it! Lauren
  • Wendy T
    Wendy T
    Can I replace the fresh galangal with powder? What would be the ratio?
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Wendy, I would try fresh ginger first (1:1), if you can get it. If not, powder would work. I would start with 1/4 teaspoon, then taste and adjust as desired.... It is always possible to add more, but taking it out is quite the challenge! Cheers, Sandy

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