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Authentic Southeast Asian Peanut Sauce Recipe: Bursting with Flavor!

Peanut Sauce from Southeast Asian cuisines

It’s a versatile and flavorful sauce that’s commonly used in dishes like satay, and gado-gado, or as a dipping sauce for various appetizers. Each region has its own unique variation, with ingredients and flavors tailored to local preferences.

Peanut sauce, a versatile condiment

In Southeast Asia, peanut sauce is a versatile condiment used in various dishes like perhaps the most well-known satay (get the recipe), or gado-gado. Gado-gado is a popular Indonesian salad featuring a mix of vegetables, tofu, and eggs topped with peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce Recipe, Easy, southeast asian cuisine min

How to make peanut sauce

Set aside

  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts (unsalted), grounded
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulps
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar (palm sugar preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)

Spice Paste

  • 8 dried red chilies (seeded and soaked in warm water)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 4 cloves small shallots or pearl onions (peeled)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (cut into 3 strips, use only 1 strip for the paste)
  • 10 mm (about 1/2 inch) galangal (peeled)

Chop the Spice Paste ingredients coarsely, transfer to a food processor and blend until very fine. Add a few tablespoons of water to help blending.

Do like this

  • In a small bowl, add the tamarind pulps plus 1/4 cup warm water. Set aside for 15 mins. Squeeze and extract the juice from the tamarind pulps and discard. Keep the tamarind juice.
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the spice paste.
  • Add the remaining two strips of lemongrass to the spice paste. Cook the spice paste until it becomes aromatic and smells spicy.
  • Add the ground peanuts, water, tamarind juice, salt, sugar, coriander powder, and sweet soy sauce. Stir to combine well.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low heat, stir continuously for about 5-10 minutes or until the peanut sauce thickens to your desired consistency. The oil and the peanut sauce should separate when it’s done.

Let cool at room temperature and serve the peanut sauce with satay.

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Chicken Satay Recipe, Easy, southeast asian cuisine min

Southeast Asia: travel and home

Peanut sauce has its origins in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in places like Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

But if you can’t be there in person, this recipe brings a slice of Southeast Asia to your kitchen. It’s the next best thing to being on holiday, allowing you to savor the authentic flavors and aromas right from home. Combine it with a variety of dishes for a touch of Southeast Asia on your dinner table. As mentioned earlier on, peanut sauce goes well with satay and gado-gado, but there are a few more dishes you can pair it with, like:

  • Lumpia: In the Philippines and some parts of Indonesia, peanut sauce accompanies fried spring rolls or fresh spring roll variations.

  • Noodles: It’s often used as a topping or mixed into noodle dishes like Indonesian gado-gado, Thai noodles, or Malaysian mee goreng.

  • Rice Dishes: Sometimes drizzled over rice or incorporated into rice-based recipes for added flavor.

  • Vegetable Dips: Used as a dipping sauce for fresh vegetables or as a dressing for salads.

  • Curries: Occasionally incorporated into certain curries for a nutty, rich flavor.