Spicy Peanut Sauce Recipe

Photographs: Joshua Bousel

Peanut butter plus meat used to be a non-starter for me—separately, they were fine, but for some reason my mind decided that combined, I couldn't touch it. My turnaround from this aversion can be clearly pinpointed to when I made beef satay and an accompanying peanut sauce at home. That sauce was pretty good, but since then I've found that when I turn up the heat level of peanut sauce, it goes from decent to irresistible.

I'm not talking about heat just for heat's sake; I like combinations of different types of hot spices and sauces to build complexity. In this recipe, this takes the form of Thai red curry paste, Sriracha, and red pepper flakes, which are mixed with a peanut butter base along with palm sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and lime juice.

It's a no-cook, quick sauce to put together that has an amazing amount of flavor. I really love the layers of spice that develop after a brief sweetness on first taste, which retain a good balance with the peanut butter. While eating this peanut sauce with a plate of chicken satay, it was hard for me to even fathom a time when I wouldn't have wanted the two together.

Recipe Facts



Active: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serves: 12 servings

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  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup hot water

  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste

  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar or light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter and hot water.

  2. Stir in curry paste, sugar, Sriracha, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, and scallions. Season with salt to taste. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
81 Calories
5g Fat
7g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 305mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 105mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)