Peanut Sauce Master Recipe

I no longer use a recipe when I make peanut sauce.  At one point, if a peanut sauce recipe crossed my path I simply had to try it.  I had dozens of them.  Spicy.  Tangy.  Citrusy.  Gingery.  Jerk-spiced.  ThaiSzechuan.  Southern.  And on and on and on.  I've made enough variants over the years than now I can wing it pretty good these days.  There are so many different directions to take it and I just flow with whatever culinary vibe I'm feeling.  "A little of this, a splash of that, sprinkle of this..."

There are a few primary components that I always include and then endless bonus flavors to keep things interesting.  
Peanut butter
Tamari/soy sauce/liquid amino acids
Rice vinegar/white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar/lime juice/lemon juice
Water/milk/coconut milk

Optional Add-ins:
ginger (fresh or powdered)
garlic (fresh or powdered)
fresh basil
fresh cilantro
fresh chives
sesame oil
hot sauce/chili sauce
crushed red pepper flakes
brown sugar/honey/sugar
hoisin sauce
tamarind paste
five-spice powder
curry powder
MSG granules
...basically any herb or spice blend you love!
The peanut butter, it goes without saying, is the most critical ingredient.  The kind of peanut butter might influence the rest of the sauce ingredients, too.  For example, with a standard peanut butter I rarely add much sugar and reduce the amount of soy sauce since sugar and salt are included in standard peanut butter.  More often, I am using the all natural peanut butters though, which are just ground up peanuts.  With those a pinch of sugar might be just the ticket to make those taste buds sing in harmony.  

Along with the peanut butter I add a salty liquid, a tangy liquid, and then enough water or milk to create the creamy, saucy consistency I'm looking for.  I don't measure anything anymore.  I just eyeball it.  Then I whisk in the bonus flavors depending on if I'm going for a mega-spicy Szechuan thing or a tart peanut-curry sauce with lime or tamarind, etc.  I give it a taste and adjust anything as needed.  It is so easy.  It's just stirring!  Then I just toss the sauce with stir-fried veggies, noodles, rice, roast vegetables, fried tofu, etc., etc.
All photos are of a peanut sauce noodle stir-fry with tofu that Matt whipped up while on our recent megavacation.
We don't eat peanut sauce as much as we used to when I first learned of them (and fell in love).  I couldn't get enough peanut sauce back then.  I think I was missing cheese, which had been a pretty important staple of my pre-vegan diet.  I was so very smitten with the way peanut sauce is rich, indulgent, and satisfying.  Like cheese but not, if you follow me.  Peanut stir-fry, or roast veg with peanut sauce, etc. was on the menu pretty much every week.  Sometimes a couple times a week!  I earned a reputation for showing up at potlucks with peanut butter macaroni casserole (which, by the way, mac + peanut sauce = awesome).  Peanut sauces will always be a household (and camping!) favorite for me though.  Creamy and satisfying, simple yet decadent.  And versatile!  


  1. Hi Beth,
    ...I totally agree about the peanut sauce...I love it on salads I need to get some ramen noodles...haha...
    ~Have a lovely day!

    1. know, I don't think I've tried it on salads!! That seems like a serious oversight!


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