Peanut Sauce

white bowl filled with peanut sauce and a green vegetable dipping into it

This recipe is from Good and Cheap.

Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

This is the peanut sauce I make when I have decided to do it properly. I LOVE peanut sauce so I often make a cheaty version with just peanut butter, sriracha and a little brown sugar and soy sauce. It does the trick for my mid-afternoon or late-night hanger needs. But this is the proper version and the addition of the garlic, shallot and fresh chiles really does make it that much better and really only adds 10 minutes of cooking and clean up so not a bad trade. This is beautiful as a dip, but I love it on noodles, especially cold Asian Noodles with cucumber or as a glaze for chicken or beef and vegetables in a stir fry. Make it and you’ll use it, guaranteed.


white bowl filled with peanut sauce and a green vegetable dipping into it
Peanut Sauce
Print Recipe
A spicy, sweet, aromatic and of course peanutty peanut sauce that comes together quickly, keeps well and will up your dinner and snack game all week.
Servings
1 cup
Servings
1 cup
white bowl filled with peanut sauce and a green vegetable dipping into it
Peanut Sauce
Print Recipe
A spicy, sweet, aromatic and of course peanutty peanut sauce that comes together quickly, keeps well and will up your dinner and snack game all week.
Servings
1 cup
Servings
1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeño or chile pepper finely chopped (or 2 Tbsp chile paste like sambal oelek)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot (or equivalent amount of onion), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 -1 cup coconut milk (or water)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Splash the vegetable oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Once it’s warm, add the chili, garlic, and shallot and sauté until everything’s translucent. Add the turmeric (if using), coconut milk or water, and chile paste if using instead of fresh chile.
  2. Let it come just to a boil, then turn the heat down. Add the peanut butter and soy sauce and stir to combine. It should thicken quite a bit. If the oil is separating from the sauce a bit (this can happen from the oil in the coconut milk and the peanut butter, but it's easy to fix!), add water a few drops at a time and whisk until it comes smoothly back together. Once it’s all combined, taste it and add whatever you think it needs—but think about the salt and spice in particular.

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Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

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Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

Sign up for my newsletter!