Homemade Satay Sauce


This homemade satay sauce is my favourite because it actually tastes like the satay sauce available in Indonesian restaurants. It’s tastes great with grilled chicken and meat skewers, you can also stir it into rice for a flavour explosion! Let’s make Satay Sauce! Best of all, it takes 10 minutes and cost me less than $5 to make a big batch! A traditional recipe that’s proven delicious when used in chicken skewers, salads, or wherever you would use store bought. Yum!

Homemade Satay Sauce

yield: 6 SERVINGS

prep time: 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES

cook time: 20 MINUTES

total time: 2 HOURS 50 MINUTES

Perfectly grilled chicken satay skewers in the most flavorful marinade. Served with THE BEST creamy peanut sauce ever!!!


  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger


  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons water until desired consistency is reached; set aside.
  2. Coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and fish sauce are all combined in a medium bowl.
  3. Chicken and coconut milk combination should be combined in a gallon-size Ziploc bag or a big bowl; marinate for at least two hours or overnight, rotating the bag occasionally.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and throw away the liquid.
  5. Heat the grill to a medium-high setting. Put skewers with chicken on them. Apply a coat of canola oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Put the skewers to the grill and cook, flipping once in a while, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
  7. Serve with peanut sauce right away.

Satay Peanut Sauce

Satay peanut sauce alongside chicken satay

Prep:10 mins

Cook:0 mins

Total:10 mins

Servings:4 to 6 servings

Yield:1 1/2 cups


(Nutrition data is calculated using an ingredient database and is only a rough approximation.)

A peanut sauce known as satay sauce is mildly spicy. Although it is frequently associated with Thai food, it actually has Indonesian roots and is popular throughout Southeast Asia. The most popular use for it is as the sauce for satay, a delectable dish made with marinated meat (often chicken, hog, or beef) that is barbecued on a skewer.

It takes only a few minutes to prepare a tasty homemade satay sauce. This dish requires no cooking; all you have to do is combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender, taste, and adjust the spice.

The majority of satay sauces sold in the West are created with peanut butter. You’ll notice the difference when using dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts as the base of this recipe. Frequently, peanut butter includes salt, sugar, and/or oil. By utilizing whole peanuts, you can completely manage the components and avoid using harmful additives.

Brown sugar makes it sweet, tamarind paste adds a sour element, cayenne pepper gives it that distinctive spiciness, and fish sauce provides an umami saltiness. Together, these tastes provide a spicy, salty, tangy peanut sauce that can be tailored to your preferences and used in a variety of dishes.

“This satay sauce has a taste that is identical to that of a Thai restaurant’s satay sauce. It tastes terrific when mixed with noodles and is also excellent as a dip or served with chicken skewers. I made the sauce from beginning to end in less than 15 minutes!”

Satay Peanut Sauce Tester Image


  • 1 cup unsalted fresh dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste (or 1/2 tablespoon lime juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 1 teaspoon Thai chile sauce), more or less to taste
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.Ingredients for satay peanut sauce
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.Peanuts in food processor
  3. Blend or process until the sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk. Taste and then adjust as needed.Peanut sauce
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature with chicken, pork, beef, or vegetarian satay, or your favorite recipe. Enjoy.Finished bowl of satay peanut sauce


Finding the balance in this sauce is key. To adjust the flavor, blend in one of the recipe’s ingredients until it’s to your liking:

  • Add more fish sauce or soy sauce if not salty enough.
  • Make it spicier with more cayenne.
  • When it’s too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  • If you’d prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.
  • To make it vegetarian, use soy sauce instead of fish sauce. 
  • This sauce tends to thicken as it sits; add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out as needed.

What Do You Serve Peanut Sauce With?

The peanut sauce can be used for all kinds of things beyond satay. Satay sauce is excellent as an all-purpose Asian salad dressing and a dip for fresh spring rolls. Use it to make a delicious cold noodle salad or as a marinade for grilled chicken or tofu. It’s also a great dip for a snack of fresh raw veggies.

How to Store and Freeze Satay Sauce

This satay stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator for two weeks. It can also be frozen in ice cube trays, then transferred to a freezer-safe storage bag or container and kept in the freezer for up to six months.

Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

The pinnacle of genuine Thai cuisine is Thai Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce! Everyone will be begging for the recipe for the chicken that has been marinated in a delicious peanut sauce, and they’ll be shocked at how simple it is!

Close up of Thai Chicken Satay being dipped into Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Chicken Satay skewers

At the risk of sounding completely annoying, this recipe for Thai Peanut Sauce-topped Chicken Satay Skewers genuinely compares to your favorite Thai eatery.

You can just tell they are going to taste wonderful because the aroma when it hits the stove is SO AMAZING.

The peanut dipping sauce is next sampled. You’ll just shake your head and wonder how something so basic could taste so delicious.

Or perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “OMG, I finally got it, this tastes just like the real Chicken Satay I had in Thailand!”

So, perhaps that was only in my head.

Overhead photo of Thai Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Sauce on a plate with rice and cucumbers

What goes in Chicken Satay and Thai Peanut Sauce

It might surprise you how few ingredients go in Chicken Satay and the peanut sauce! Here’s what you need:

Ingredients in Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

The BEST Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai Red Curry paste is a “secret ingredient” in both the marinade and the sauce. You just need about 2.5 tbsp which doesn’t sound like much, but we don’t want this to taste of red curry. We’re just using it as a flavour enhancer.

While I’m an advocate of homemade curry paste for Thai Red Curry and Green Curry, for recipes like this that use a smaller quantity, I use store bought.

I use Maesri Thai Red Curry Paste which I think is the best by a long shot. I also use this same brand for Green Curry and Red Curry for quick midweek curries.

It also happens to be the cheapest, at around $1.30 per can at major supermarkets like Coles, Woolies and Harris Farms.

Best Thai red curry paste Maesri

How to make Thai Peanut Sauce

Thai Peanut Sauce is almost unbelievably simple to make. It’s literally just a 5 minute plonk-and-simmer job:

  • coconut milk
  • red curry paste
  • cider or white vinegar (not lime juice!)
  • pure peanut butter (see below for more info)
  • soy sauce
  • sugar and salt
How to make Thai peanut sauce

“For the BEST Thai Peanut Sauce, use natural peanut butter”

While commercial peanut butter spread is acceptable, using pure peanut butter will result in a Thai peanut sauce that truly rivals that of your favorite Thai restaurant. Today, most supermarkets have it in their department of healthy foods.

With no added sugar, oil, or other ingredients, pure peanut butter has a greater peanut flavor.

Also, since natural peanut butter is thinner than commercial peanut butter spreads (see below), less water is needed to thin the sauce, which improves the flavor of the peanuts in Thai Peanut Sauce.

I tested the Thai Peanut Sauce with natural, pure peanut butter and commercial peanut butter (Kraft, now Bega) side by side before publishing this recipe to confirm this!

Spoon scooping pure, natural peanut butter from jar

I’m a firm believer that Chicken Satay skewers should be tasty enough to eat on their own and the peanut sauce just takes it over the top. So I like to marinade the chicken to make it extra tasty.

Chicken Satay Marinade

Here’s what you need for the Thai Chicken Satay Marinade:

  • Chicken pieces – chicken thighs yield the juiciest chicken skewers but breast or tenderloin are fine
  • Red curry paste – see above for my recommended brand Maesri
  • Curry powder – any is fine here
  • Coconut milk
  • Salt and sugar

It’s best to marinade for at least 3 hours but even 20 minutes is long enough.

How to make Thai chicken satay skewers

Cooking the Chicken Skewers

Chicken satay is a summertime favourite to cook on the BBQ. But I usually cook it on the stove for convenience.

For a really authentic Thai experience, cook the Chicken Satay over charcoal like it’s done in Thailand!


Coconut milk, peanut butter, and red curry paste are the main ingredients in this delectable, quick, and easy homemade Thai peanut satay sauce recipe, which requires no cooking. It goes well with noodles, appetizers, salads, and chicken satay.

If you’ve never tried Thai peanut satay sauce, it is creamy, has a peanut flavor, and is balanced in terms of sweetness, savory, and sourness.

This easy 5-minute Thai peanut sauce recipe uses peanut butter and coconut milk to make the sauce creamier; red curry paste, soy sauce (or fish sauce) for the spice and savoriness; honey to sweeten it; and rice vinegar (or lime juice) for the tart element.

It can be used as a salad dressing, dipping sauce, drizzled on noodles, a dipping sauce for appetizers such as spring rolls, and it is definitely a must-have for any type of Thai chicken satay or grilled skewered meat.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Peanut Butter – I use unsweetened natural peanut butter for this recipe. You use honey (or sugar) in this recipe to control the amount of sugar to balance the sweet and savory flavors.
  • Coconut Cream – I like to use coconut cream for this recipe because it has a lot more flavor. Alternatively, you can also use coconut milk as well but try to find thick coconut milk that has a high-fat content if possible.
  • Red Thai Curry Paste – Curry paste is a very important part of flavoring this sauce. There is no substitution and you should not omit it. Red curry paste will make this sauce mildly spicy. You can also use yellow curry paste as well which is less spicy.
  • Honey – I use honey as the sweetener for this sauce because I find it mixes into the sauce more easily but you can use sugar or maple syrup as well. If you use maple syrup, you will need to add a bit more than what is called in the recipe.
  • Fish Sauce – We will be using fish sauce to give the sauce umami and savoriness, if you have soy sauce you can use that instead.
  • Rice Vinegar – I like to use rice vinegar to balance out the flavors of this sauce but you can also use lime juice as well.
  • Water – Depending on how thin you like your peanut sauce, we will be using water to thin it out. Add it 1 tablespoon at a time to get it to the consistency you like.
  • Optional Ingredients (Crushed Roasted Peanuts, Sesame Oil, Chili Oil) – These ingredients add a bit more flavor and texture but are completely optional to use.

How to Make Satay Sauce

  1. Mix the peanut butter and the red Thai curry paste until they are combined.
  2. Add in the honey, fish sauce (or soy sauce), and rice vinegar (or lime juice) and mix well.
  3. Add the coconut cream (or coconut milk) and mix well until everything is smooth.
  4. Add water until it’s the consistency you like
  5. Do a taste test. If you like it more sour, sweet, or salty, adjust it with rice vinegar, honey, or fish sauce.
  6. Enjoy!

If You Want To Make It From Scratch

I also have a homemade Thai peanut sauce if you want to take on a challenge. This recipe calls for roasting your own peanuts to create homemade “peanut butter,” which is then seasoned with aromatics like lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, and tamarind.

There is undoubtedly a lot more work involved, but doing things slowly is undoubtedly an option.

Because of the aromatics, homemade peanut sauce tends to be a little chunkier, so if you want a smoother peanut sauce, stick with this recipe.

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