How to Make Peanut Satay Sauce

By Francis Keaveney

Start to Finish: 15 minutes Servings: 4 Difficulty Level: Beginner

Satay or sate
credit: szefei/iStock/Getty Images
Serve peanut satay sauce with rice or chicken skewers.

Satay sauce or peanut sauce is popular in Indonesian cuisine and several variations exist globally. The main ingredient is peanuts, for which peanut butter is commonly used as a substitute. You may also use unroasted peanuts, if you prefer to prepare the recipe from scratch. Coconut milk, soy sauce and a variety of herbs and spices enhance the flavor of satay sauce, which is usually served with chicken skewers.


  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated or chopped
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


Warm the sesame oil in a saucepan or wok over a medium heat for about 1 minute.

Add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic to the saucepan; cook for 2 minutes until tender.

Add the peanut butter to the saucepan. Stir frequently for another minute.

Add the coconut milk to taste and a splash of soy sauce. Mix in the ingredients and bring to a boil.

Turn the cooker down to a simmer and stir occasionally for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with chicken skewers or rice.


Make a smooth peanut satay sauce. You can put all the ingredients, apart from the coconut milk, in a food processor for a smooth-textured sauce. Blend for about 30 seconds and transfer the blended sauce into a saucepan; then add coconut milk to taste and serve.

Make your own peanut butter. Blend 500 grams of roasted nuts, 1 teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add more oil or peanuts until you get your desired consistency, such as smooth or crunchy peanut butter.

For unroasted nuts, unshell them and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place them on a baking pan; roast the nuts for about 20 minutes. Bring them out of the oven and let them cool at room temperature.


You can try a different nut. Use cashews instead of peanuts to vary the taste.

You can make the sauce without coconut milk. Try adding 1 tablespoon of tamarind paste and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to replace the coconut milk