Traditionally, nasi ulam is made with 100 different herbs, but let’s be honest, few people have the time (or pantry space!) for that.
This recipe gives the flavor, without the work. Lime, turmeric, ginger, and a variety of herbs are added to rice to transform it into a delicious side or appetizer.
Serve with chilis and cucumbers if that’s still not enough flavor for you!


This recipe is easy to make from scratch. It calls for the following ingredients:

  • Roasted peanuts
  • Palm sugar or sugar
  • Tamarind
  • Dried red chilies
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Galangal
  • Lemongrass

The method is a three-step process. First, ground the roasted peanuts. You can use store-bought Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts.

Next, prepare and blend the spice paste.

To make the spicy peanut satay sauce, heat oil and fry the spice paste, then add the ground peanuts and water.

Add tamarind juice, sugar, sweet soy sauce and salt to season the sauce.

The dipping sauce is ready when the oil and the sauce separates.


This sauce is very popular in Southeast Asia; almost every country has its peanut dipping sauce recipe.

There is Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesian versions and so on but the BEST peanut sauce is found in Malaysia.

The recipe I am sharing today is the best of all. The taste is exquisite, rich and complex!

Once you try it, you will never go back to peanut butter sauce or any recipes using peanut butter as the main ingredient.


Peanut sauce is versatile and goes well with a variety of dishes.

Other than satay dipping sauce, you can use it as a salad dressing.

It tastes great on noodles and spring rolls, for examples: Goi Cuon Vietnamese fresh spring rolls and summer rolls.

It’s equally delicious on chicken, tofu, rice cakes and a variety of Asian dishes.

You can also use it in stir fry dishes.

Authentic and spicy peanut sauce with amazing rich taste. This homemade peanut sauce recipe goes well with chicken satay. This is the best peanut satay sauce you will find online!
PREP TIME15 minutes
COOK TIME10 minutes
TOTAL TIME25 minutes


  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • 1 heaping 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)


  • 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 at the bottom
  • 1/2 inch galangal, peeled


  1. Crush the peanuts with mortar and pestle or use a food processor to ground the peanuts. Set aside.                                          
    Ground peanut for peanut sauce.
  2. 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.           
    Tamarind juice for peanut sauce.
  3. 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.                                                                      
    Peanut sauce ingredients
  4. In a sauce pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the spice paste.                                                                                                 
    Peanut sauce spice paste
  5. Add the remaining two strips of lemongrass to the spice paste. Cook the spice paste until it becomes aromatic and smell spicy.                                                                                                        
    Making peanut sauce in a sauce pan.
  6. Add the ground peanuts, water, tamarind juice, salt, sugar, coriander powder and sweet soy sauce. Stir to combine well.
  7. 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.                                                                            
    Peanut sauce in a saucepan.
  8. Let cool at room temperature and serve the peanut sauce with satay.                                                                                                
    Peanut sauce with chicken satay.