Made with pantry staples like peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger, creamy peanut dipping sauce has so many uses. It’s great for dipping vegetables or spring rolls, serving over noodles, or dipping your favorite grilled meats like chicken satay.
I love peanut dipping sauce so much that I’m devoting an entire post to this versatile condiment today. For years, I’ve used this Thai peanut sauce whenever I had a craving for peanut sauce. That recipe uses coconut milk and Thai curry paste and works well with any type of Thai food. The recipe you see here can be used in even more ways. It utilizes a few Asian pantry staples, but no coconut milk and no curry paste, giving it a flavor that fits right in with many recipes. Check out the list below for some ideas. It also makes a smaller batch, perfect for serving four to six people.
There are so many ways to use peanut sauce, but here are just a few.
Use peanut sauce as:
- Dipping sauce for dumplings and potstickers
- Dressing for Asian-style noodles
- Dip for raw vegetables and rice crackers
- Salad dressing (like in Thai Chopped Chicken Salad)
- Satay dipping sauce
- Finishing sauce for cooked protein (chicken, fish, pork, or beef)
- Sauce for a stir-fry
- Sauce for summer rolls, fresh spring rolls, or fried spring rolls
- Base for a Thai-style curry
- Topping for rice bowls and poke bowls
How to make it
- In a small saucepan, heat peanut butter and water, whisking constantly, until melted and smooth.
- Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, hot sauce, and ginger.
- Taste and adjust - some people like their peanut sauce more savory and some like it more sweet.
- Let cool slightly and enjoy!
Ingredients for peanut dipping sauce
- Creamy Peanut Butter - I use classic creamy, smooth peanut butter like JIF here. It adds some salt and sweetness and results in a rich, creamy sauce. However, any type of peanut butter will work. If you use a natural peanut butter, you may want to add a bit more soy sauce or sweetener at the end.
- Soy Sauce - Use Tamari for a gluten-free version. I’ve also used coconut aminos with great results.
- Rice Vinegar - If you don’t keep rice vinegar in your pantry, try this with white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or fresh lime juice.
- Brown Sugar - Any sweetener will work. Feel free to use honey, maple syrup, or agave.
- Toasted Sesame Oil - This is usually a dark brown color and adds great toasty flavor. Regular sesame oil works well too but doesn’t have the same toasty flavor.
- Hot Sauce - I love Sriracha or Chili-Garlic Sauce, but red pepper flakes or any hot sauce will work. Feel free to skip it for a less spicy sauce.
- Fresh Ginger - I really think this is the “magic” ingredient. Fresh ginger is not strictly necessary, but it gives the sauce a more interesting, tangy flavor.
Peanut sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Let it come to room temperature or reheat it briefly in the microwave before serving.
Let the sauce cool completely and then pour into a freezer-safe bag or container. (If using a bag, gently press out as much air as possible.) Freeze for up to 6 months.
Yes. Any type of peanut butter will work. If you use a natural peanut butter, you may want to add a bit more soy sauce or sweetener at the end.
- All Clad Saucepan (3 quart) - A good quality saucepan will help the ingredients to heat evenly.
Creamy Peanut Dipping Sauce
- ½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- ⅓ cup Water (see note)
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Rice Vinegar (sub lime juice)
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (sub sweetener of choice like honey, maple syrup, or agave)
- 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha or Chili-Garlic Sauce (optional)
- ½ teaspoon grated Fresh Ginger
- Heat peanut butter and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted and evenly combined.
- Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, Sriracha, and ginger.
- Taste sauce and add more sweetener or hot sauce, to taste.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
- Peanut sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. Bring it to room temperature before serving.