Vietnamese Peanut Sauce


Vietnamese Peanut Sauce (or nước chấm, in Vietnamese) is a flavorful mixture of ingredients that is perfect for making salad dressings and dipping sauces. I love adding it to summer rolls or any kind of noodles. I’m not sure where to start with this one. Where do I start? I mean, could you believe me if I told you that there was an actual recipe for a Vietnamese peanut sauce recipe? And that the creator of this recipe is none other than Anthony Bourdain?

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

Prep Time10 minutes

Total Time10 minutes


  • ▢1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ▢2/3 cup water, divided in half
  • ▢2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • ▢1 splash fish sauce, optional
  • ▢1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ▢1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  • Using a measuring cup, measure the 1/2 cup peanut butter and place into a mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup (half of the total water) into the bowl and carefully whisk a little bit. (It will look curdled).
  • Add two tablespoons hoisin sauce (I used Tan Tan Foods hoisin sauce) and fish sauce, if using. Whisk together until well blended.
  • Add the remaining 1/3 cup of water and whisk together. It will be nice and smooth and creamy. If not, add a little bit more water (this will depend on how creamy or thick your peanut butter is to begin with).
  • Add minced garlic and the teaspoon of sugar and whisk again.
  • Serve immediately with spring rolls or store in a fridge in a sealed container for about a week. (Makes about 1 cup and 2+ Tablespoons of peanut sauce.)


Just a little note about creamy peanut butters, some are thicker than others, towards the end, you might need to add a little more water to thin out the sauce a little bit. You will be able to tell by the thickness & creaminess of your peanut butter.

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

Vietnamese peanut sauce is the perfect dipping sauce to go with fresh summer rolls. It also doubles as a sauce for noodles, satay, or even as a salad dressing.

Low angle shot of a bowl of vietnamese peanut sauce with fresh rolls in the background.

Peanut sauce is, hands down, my favorite dipping sauce or sauce for noodles. I have a recipe for a Thai Peanut Sauce that contains coconut milk and simmers on the stove.

This Vietnamese Peanut Sauce, though, is easier than the Thai one. It requires only 6 common, easy-to-find ingredients that are simply stirred together. There is no cooking at all!

I’ve got the perfect recipe for vegan summer rolls to go with this easy 6 ingredient peanut sauce, too.

Low angle shot of a bowl of Vietnamese Peanut Sauce.


This recipe for Vietnamese Peanut Sauce uses just 6 everyday ingredients. You probably have these ingredients in your pantry. If not, they’re easy to find at the supermarket or grocery store. 

  • Creamy peanut butter (preferably no-sugar-added peanut butter)
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha or chile paste
  • Sesame oil


To make this easy peanut sauce, simply whisk the ingredients together to combine well. Serve it at room temperature as a dipping sauce, or toss it with hot, just-cooked noodles.

Add a bit of water and/or lime or lemon juice to thin it out and toss it with salad.


This recipe makes the perfect Vietnamese Peanut Dipping Sauce to go with Vietnamese Summer Rolls.

It also pairs beautifully with Thai Chicken Satay and makes a great sauce for noodles.

Add a little lime juice and water to thin it a bit and then use it as a savory salad dressing.

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce For Spring Rolls

This sauce tastes amazing and lucky for you, it’s dead simple to make.

Ingredients in Vietnamese peanut sauce

If you regularly cook Asian food at home, you likely have everything you need to make this sauce in your pantry already. Maybe the roasted peanuts are the wildcard here, but I happened to have a Costco size bag of this I’ve been working through for the past few months now.

Here are the ingredients we’re going to need:

  • A neutral cooking oil – such as vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Hoisin sauce – it’s interesting this recipe is more commonly called peanut dipping sauce, but in this specific recipe the hoisin is double the ratio of the peanut.
  • Peanut butter – you can use chunky peanut butter too but using the smooth one makes it dissolve in the sauce a bit easier.
  • Sambal chile paste – This is optional and you can add as much as you like. This is the traditional chile sauce used back in Vietnam for dipping fresh spring rolls.
  • Sriracha – This is not the traditional way to add spicyness to sauce but it works too if its all you have, since it has very similar ingredients like vinegar, chiles and garlic.
  • Roasted, crushed peanuts – this adds extra texture, and visual appeal to the sauce. It is called peanut dipping sauce after all.

What about adding fish sauce to season this? If you want to use a full-on fish sauce dipping sauce, this is also a traditional option from Vietnam served with these rolls. However, using bottled fish sauce to season this hoisin-peanut butter-based sauce is not the traditional Vietnamese way.

How to adjust this recipe to match your taste

The ratio of hoisin to peanut butter is the crucial element in this recipe. This is my preferred ratio for flavor and the thickness of the sauce–the way it coats the rolls is perfect to me. However, there are many other tasty ways to do it and you can adjust it to find one you may like better!

Hoisin sauce is very strong, so if you’re going to increase the ratio, be careful and taste as you go.

I’ve seen in other recipes that many people like using a really high ratio of peanut butter. It’s almost like you’re dipping rolls into straight peanut butter. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE peanut butter so this can work too if that’s your fancy. This just means you will have to add a lot more water to dilute this when cooking since peanut butter is so thick.

How to store this dipping sauce

Since we’re boiling this sauce, it is ‘clean’ and will keep in the fridge for about a week. Just make sure you always use clean utensils (ones you haven’t eaten with or touched other foods with) when scooping some out so your main container of sauce keeps longer without spoiling.

This sauce will thicken after you fridge it, so make sure to microwave your scooped-out portion a bit to warm and loosen the sauce before serving.


An easy Vietnamese peanut sauce that’s versatile & ready in under 5 minutes! Made with smooth, creamy peanut butter, coconut milk & fresh lime juice. Perfect for dipping spring rolls!

Vietnamese peanut sauce with crushed peanuts in a glass bowl

This Vietnamese peanut sauce is smooth, creamy and perfect as a spring roll or summer roll dipping sauce! It’s made with smooth peanut butter, lite coconut milk, hoisin sauce, and freshly squeezed lime juice.

If you love the peanut sauce that’s served at Vietnamese restaurants, you’ll love this recipe. It’s exactly the same flavors you get at the restaurant and you can make it at home in under 5 minutes.

Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce next to a plate of fresh spring rolls


You’ll love this recipe because it’s a perfect balance of flavors and it’s super versatile!

  • Rich and creamy flavors from the peanut butter and coconut milk
  • It has a touch of sweetness from brown sugar and coconut milk
  • Just the right amount of acidity and brightness from the lime juice
  • It’s a simple recipe that’s ready in under 5 minutes!


ingredients for Vietnamese peanut sauce
  • Peanut butter – I used creamy, all natural peanut butter but you can use any you have on hand.
    • Note: if your peanut butter has added sugar, you may not need to add more. I recommend tasting first before adding additional sugar.
  • Coconut milk – I used lite coconut milk but you can use other varieties of coconut milk.
    • Note: Full fat coconut milk will make the sauce thicker so you may need to thin it out with water. If you don’t have coconut milk, feel free to substitute with water.
  • Lime juice – I recommend using freshly squeezed lime juice. For juicy limes, look for ones that are soft with a thin peel.


Set aside the chopped peanuts. Mix all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl then garnish with chopped peanuts.

Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce dripping off a spoon

If you like a little spice, add a tablespoon of chili garlic sauce on top. It cuts through the richness of the peanut butter and adds a little bit of heat.

Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce with red chili sauce and crushed peanuts


Vietnamese peanut sauce next to a plate of fresh summer rolls

This is excellent for dipping spring rolls or summer rolls!

You can also serve it with the follow dishes:

  • satay
  • crispy, fried tofu
  • buddha bowls
  • dip for fresh vegetable platter

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

Rich and creamy Vietnamese peanut sauce with the right balance of sweet and savory. A great dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls and many other dishes!

Course: Appetizers and Side dishes

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Keyword: easy, quick

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 102kcal


  • ▢olive oil
  • ▢1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ▢2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • ▢1/4 cup peanut butter
  • ▢1/2 cup coconut milk
  • ▢1/4-1/3 cup water
  • ▢1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • ▢1¼ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ▢roasted peanuts (for toppings)


  • Add olive oil just enough to coat the bottom of a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant.
  • Add hoisin sauce to the saucepan. Stir for about 10 seconds until the sauce looks thinner. Then add peanut butter, give everything a quick stir.
  • Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Once the sauce starts to simmer, add 1/4-1/3 cup of water to adjust consistency to your likings (you can also add more coconut milk instead of water).
  • Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a very gentle simmer and avoid boiling the sauce. Add salt and soy sauce, taste and adjust to your likings. Transfer to a clean bowl to let it cool down.
  • The sauce can be served once it is no longer hot, or you can refrigeratate and serve it the next day after warming it in the microwave or on the stove.


This recipe yields slightly over 1 cup of sauce. It is enough to serve with 16 spring rolls, which can serve 4-8 people.

Don’t make the sauce too thick right out of the saucepan because it will continue to thicken when cooling down. You can watch the video in the post to see the consistency I prefer.

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