Post ID: 881

Viral Thai Peanut Sauce

Warning — highly addictive! 

The first time I made this was about 3 years ago, with chicken skewers and noodles. Since then, I have made and improved upon this awesome peanut sauce at least a dozen more times. It has been featured at potlucks and makes a great holiday gift. I admit that — selfishly — I was not going to share this recipe with the world. After receiving phenomenal feedback from those who tried it, and then from our friend David, himself an accomplished chef who reproduced it, I decided that it deserves to be enjoyed across the universe.

Plus, Darryl is crazy about this recipe and would eat it five out of seven dinners in a week if he could.

In the process of reorganizing my recipes, a tragic thing happened — I couldn’t find my recipe! What was worse, I couldn’t even find or remember the recipe that I based it on. I experimented, but couldn’t quite reproduce it without my notes. Several days later, the recipe turned up. (Of course in a place I had looked for it many times. The Borrowers struck again!) Lesson learned: it is now secured in several places.

One of the most important things about the sauce is the texture. It needs to be at just the right consistency to flow with relative ease while thick enough to coat the central ingredient. The suggested amount of water is 1/2 cup — but watch the consistency as you slowly drizzle it in — you may need less or more. Note that the sauce tends to thicken when it is in the refrigerator, but can easily be reheated.

You can also adjust the quantity of the chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek, depending on how spicy you like it.

Yield: 3 cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total time: 15 minutes


1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (or sambal oelek)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Juice from 2 limes (or 4 tablespoons lime juice)
1/4 cup hot water

How is this sustainable ?

Ideally, you would make your own peanut butter from sustainably sourced peanuts for this recipe. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get the right consistency with this type of peanut butter, but I will keep experimenting. 

Using organic or sustainably sourced ingredients is otherwise the best way to be sustainable with this recipe. The peanut butter you buy will partially determine the consistency as well. Read the label carefully when buying the peanut butter — choose the one with the least ingredients (usually roasted peanuts and salt) and no GMOs.


  1. Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lime juice in a food processor or blender.
  2. Purée to combine.
  3. While mixing, slowly drizzle in the hot water until the right consistency is reached. (See above for tips on best consistency.)
  4. Serve over pasta, chicken, rice or your favorite ingredient and garnish with chopped peanuts and scallions if desired.
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Rating: 5.0/5. From 2 votes.
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1 thought on “”

  • This is the best Thai peanut sauce that I have ever had (or made!). The level of heat and peanut is just right and it really hits the spot over some noodles. Feel free to adjust the sambal oelek (or chili sauce) up by 50% for more heat or down by 50% for a little less heat. But otherwise, this is a killer recipe!

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