A mildly spicy homemade peanut sauce based on the ingredients of a favorite store brand, but healthier and easily made at home! Head over to the Quick Healthy Recipes page for more great ideas.
Spicy peanut sauce is pretty much a staple around our house, mostly for how it makes a meal easy: make some noodles or rice (or use lettuce wraps), stir-fry some veggies, pour the sauce over everything and dinner's ready. Quick and flavorful - it's a very good thing (um...do you think that's trademarked?).
Peanut sauce is one of those items where the store-bought product doesn't necessarily have a lot of junk-type ingredients in it, it's just really expensive! Even in Asian markets, it is not cheap.
After trying several recipes and being disappointed (some were just like putting straight peanut butter on your noodles!), I stood in the aisle of the store and wrote down the ingredients of the brand we liked in the order listed, then came home and fiddled with amounts until it passed the taste test.
And pass, it did! This is SO good and we really like being able to adjust it to the spice level we like. It takes just minutes to make, too. I'm so happy to have this recipe to add to our other pantry basic recipes.
How to make Spicy Peanut Sauce
Here are the simple ingredients you'll need to make this recipe: soy sauce, peanut butter, honey or brown sugar, rice vinegar AND apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, garlic, and Sriracha sauce - the ingredient that adds the spiciness to the peanut sauce.
You'll need to use grates fresh ginger for the best flavor. I used to be afraid of fresh ginger - do you peel it? Where do you keep it? How do you prepare it? Besides, it looked weird. So I would mostly use powdered ginger (I know...).
But this Microplane grater (which I love, love, love) has changed my ginger ways. It's simple to just keep a knob in the freezer, cut off a chunk when needed, peel it and grate it frozen. I've found the key to easy grating is to do it while the knob is still mostly frozen, it doesn't grate as nicely if it's thawed.
Measure all the ingredients in a blender. You don't actually need a blender, it just makes it really quick and smooth - if you don't have a blender, you can use a food processor or a whisk.
Adding the Sriracha sauce at the end to taste for spiciness. I like to use about a couple teaspoons, but to be honest, I usually just squirt some in the blender, since we like it spicy.
Whirl it all up for a few seconds and voila! Spicy peanut sauce for your pantry and quick meals like stir fries, lettuce wraps and noodle salads. I hope you like this as much as we do!
Click the arrow for the printable peanut sauce recipe + more pantry staple recipes you can try!
Homemade Spicy Peanut Sauce (a Pantry Basic)
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup peanut butter feel free to add more if you like a really peanutty sauce...
- 1/4 cup honey brown sugar or coconut/palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- Sriracha chili sauce to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and whirl until mixed.
- Pour into a glass jar and keep in the refrigerator.*
Note: this recipe was originally published in 2009 and remains one of our most-pinned recipes. It's been updated with all new photos.
More homemade pantry basics recipes you might like:
Homemade Vinaigrette Salad Dressings 4 Ways
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Hi Jami. I just wanted to say I’ve been making your peanut sauce for years! Maybe even a decade already, sheesh. This review is a bit overdo.
I’ve tried a couple of other recipes, but I always return to my favorite. Truly the best!
Oh, gosh, Laura, thank you so much for taking the time to review it now - it's even better with your years of use as a testimony! 😀
Linda Carson says
I just made this. You rock! The frozen ginger tip is priceless. Here's a hack you might want to try with this recipe if you hate washing your blender as much as I do. A standard size canning jar screws right into the blender blade thing. Dump all the ingredients into the canning jar (leaving the garlic cloves whole since the blades will mince them), screw the blade thing onto the jar and whirl, replace the blade thing with a leftover mayo or peanut butter jar lid (both fit on a standard canning jar). No fuss, no muss. Thanks again for the great recipe.
I'm so glad you like this recipe, Linda - and thanks for that tip, it sounds perfectly easy!
How long can you store your sauce in the fridge?
I've never tested it, but it's never gone bad and I'm sure it's been in the fridge for a couple months, Dani. Hope that helps some!
Jami @An Oregon Cottage says
Carmela- Sure! That's one of the reasons it's great to make your own condiments- you can tailor them to your own liking. 🙂
We love Sriracha and it's slightly Asian taste goes well with the peanut sauce, but try whatever you have to make it spicy and see what you like- even cayenne pepper would work, I would think.
Jami, Is there a way to make this without soy sauce? Soy is something I like to avoid but it's in everything asian.
Well, it's a main ingredient, so I don't know. 🙂 You'd have to experiment - do you have something you normally substitute? I only get an organic brand of soy that doesn't have preservatives and junk in it, but I understand your concern. The one thing my niece uses on Asian food when she's here is sweet chili sauce, since it doesn't have soy. It is loaded with sugar though...sigh.
I used raw coconut aminos which is soy free. It worked great!
Fantastic to know this, Rachel - thanks!
Yes, I make my satay sauce without soy sauce
I used vegan Penang and massaman curry paste, tamarind , coconut milk , sea salt and palm sugar and kaffir lime leaf. Hope this help for people are allergies with wheat. Adds more flavour, use less curry paste less spicy
Carol L says
Victoria: I've never heard of most of those ingredients: Where can I get them? I have seen red curry paste in the market...I HAVE heard of kaffir lime leaf, but have no idea where to get any. (not sure if if is a real lime leaf like peppermint leaf?) But thanks for the idea of homemade satay sauce!
Can regular hot sauce be substituted for th angry chicken kind?
Kitchy Mama says
Thanks for this recipe...i've been looking for a homemade version of peanut sauce.