Simple Satay Sauce – without peanut butter

Yup you read that right. It’s not that I have anything against peanut butter – each to their own I say. I rarely eat it these days, but will confess that I’m partial to peanut butter on toast with a bit of Marmite on top. What you haven’t tried this classic combo? No?! My friends you haven’t lived!

You can make a proper peanut-satay sauce without using peanut butter. How? Use raw peanuts instead. It really is that simple.

This was one of the quick fire recipes we picked up the last time we visited Bangkok, all too long ago now, from the gorgeous May Kaidee.  She used it as a dip for vegetarian spring rolls (the uncooked type), and who am I to disagree with that great pairing. But you could use it for any type of satay you fancy.

A word about the peanuts – use raw peanuts and gently roast them either in the oven on a tray or in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Don’t use oil it’s not necessary, you just need to keep them moving in the pan, or if in the oven a couple of shuffles around so the whole peanut takes on a golden colour and doesn’t burn.

If you want a chunky type of sauce roughly chop the peanuts, for a smoother sauce grind them in an electric grinder or bash them in a pestle and mortar. I prefer some substance to mine so they are left a bit chunky. For a thinner, runnier sauce add more water or coconut milk.

Simple Peanut Satay Sauce – Mai Kaidee

  • 1 tbls spoon of vegetable oil in a wok
  • 3 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • A tsp of chilli paste or a red chilli finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tbls of coconut milk
  • 3 – 4 tbls of water
  • Approx 150g ground (chopped) roasted peanuts
  • 2 tsp sugar (palm if you have it)
  • 1 tbls soy sauce or seasoning sauce
  • 1 tbls lime juice

Method ~

  • Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan
  • Add the tomatoes and give them a stir
  • Now add the chilli paste, the coconut milk, water, peanuts, sugar, soy sauce and lime juice.
  • Cook these on a gentle heat and stir so it doesn’t stick. The sauce should start to thicken, if you need to add a bit more coconut milk and water do so a bit at a time.
  • It should take about 15 minutes to cook and the sauce should be nice and thick, but if you want a runnier sauce add more water/coconut milk.
  • Check for seasonings and leave to cool.

The Spring Rolls are a perfect summer appetiser or lunch. Light and tasty, full of goodies and surprisingly filling. Oh and the fact that the Rice Papers were several years out of date had zero impact, I’m not talking last century out of date, just a couple of years 🙂 Shows you how long it is since we made these beauties. But what reminded to make them was the most stunning photos on Chez Chloe’s blog – outrageously delicious looking Prawn Spring Rolls – go on over and drool. And now I’m reminded, I’m hooked again.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls ~

  • Spring Roll Pastry / Rice Papers
  • Sesame seeds roasted
  • Chopped lettuce leaves
  • Any combination of raw vegetables finely sliced – Carrot, Bean Sprouts, Green Beans, Radishes, Courgettes
  • Optional – cooked noodles
  • Optional – some chopped mint, coriander or chives

Method ~

  • Place a spring roll sheet (that has been soaked in hot water and then left to dry on a damp tea towel for a few minutes) on a plate
  • Scatter some roasted sesame seeds
  • Now place some lettuce, carrots, bean sprouts and whatever else you fancy towards one end. You don’t need much just a few pinches of each vegetable and a scatter of some herbs.
  • Roll the Spring Roll Paper over once and then fold or tuck in the sides. this is when you work out whether or not you have over-filled your Roll, if you have take some of the stuffing out and start rolling again.
  • It’s a little fiddly, not majorly so, just a bit.

To eat, serve on a plate with some of the peanut-satay sauce. Munch and Crunch!

And the photos? You are looking at the future contents of Vegetarian Spring Rolls – lettuce, cucumbers and beans. Hopefully!


  • Claire, I think I might love you. For the last twenty years, I’ve kept quiet about my dark secret of enjoying (adoring!) peanut butter and vegemite together. Now I know I’m not the only one! 🙂

    Your satay sauce sounds most fine..and authentic too! 🙂

    • I’m in great company then! I must admit it’s not the sort of thing i’d have very often or much of, but when the need hits, it’s spot on.
      I think more of us should come out of the peanut butter-marmit closet 🙂

  • just our kind of food claire, but we use rice paper to wrap it in …. and no have never tasted peanut butter and marmite … a new taste treat awaits!

    • it’s not for the faint hearted – the peanut and marmite combo that is! I can see me making more of the Spring Rolls this summer with the picking from the garden. YUM!

  • I´m with you on the peanut butter and marmite too! Love these recipes as I also like satay but often find it too peanut buttery (if you know what I mean). And I bought some rice papers recently but didn´t really know what to do with them…now I do! Love all the photos of the seedlings and sprouts, most impressive.

    • Soul Sister! That’s 3 of us in the peanut butter marmite club 🙂
      I know exactly what you mean too peanut buttery – and knowing your skills in the kitchen you will soon Chica this recipe to suit your own tastes. And happy to help on the Spring Rolls 🙂 I find them very moreish

  • I’ve never heard of putting tomatoes in satay sauce, Claire, but the spring rolls sound good. Hmm — maybe I need some spring roll wrappers to use the abundance of spring greens around here.

  • How exciting your plants… Thank you dear Claire, and your recipe is so nice too. Have a nice weekend, love, nia

  • I love all the little growing things! They look so happy! I love peanut butter toast…and I’ve never had Marmite. It would be really fun for me to try the combo. I love a good satay sauce and this sounds a little different. I agree with Sharyn, I’ve never seen tomatoes included. I think that would be delicious…and another good use of the tomatoes I’m hoping will not be a disappointment 🙂 Debra

    • Aahh the Marmite issue! It’s not for the faint hearted – you love it or loathe it, no in betweens!
      It’s interesting what you and Sharyn say about the tomatoes as this is the only peanut sauce I’ve made. I see I’m going to have to check out others 🙂 Hope you have a bright sunny week Debra

    • Taking it to another level – peanut butter and cheese! And now I’m wondering what that would be like with a dab of Marmite 😉

  • that satay sauce sounds good! I often make one using peanut butter and chile sauce and soy etc from the cupboard but will certainly try this.

    More about marmite here:
    Apparently the Marmite factory in New Zealand had to close following the earthquake and now there is a shortage of the product, which is different, apparently, to the UK version. Thicker and stronger, I believe.

    “An announcement by New Zealand’s leading manufacturer of the black sandwich spread, Marmite, has sparked “marmageddon” fears among Kiwis.”

    • Hi and thanks for popping in, I like the idea of adding some chilli sauce, there’s always room for more chillies 🙂

      I heard about the Marmite rush on celi’s blog, who’d have thought we’d have Marmageddon 🙂 Too funny but at the same time for ue marmite lovers it’s serious business !

  • Your satay sauce sounds heavenly! On the odd occasion here and there I thoroughly enjoy a slice of toast with peanut butter any golden syrup – scrumity!
    🙂 Mandy

  • We like the peanut sauce recipe- we will try this pretty soon as we have an event coming up and we will make satay. Great garden / seedling photos, as always…

  • The satay sauce sounds delectable! Using raw peanuts instead of peanut butter is an appealing change to the sometimes overly sticky sauce I’m used to. Your recipes are always wonderful, full of vibrant flavor but never too rich or too complicated.

    • I think that’s why I like this recipe Deb, peanut butter is “sticky” and rich. This wasy you get to make it exactly how you like it. And thank you for the lovely compliments, so kind !

  • Peanut butter is my favorite food group! Even though you took it out you retained the flavor with peanuts. For me, spring rolls are perfect any time.

    • Spring rolls are fabulous aren’t they – so adaptable, a few prawns here, some noodles there – perfect for using somall amounts in the fridge! Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

  • Wonderful ode to peanut butter and satay. This is one of our family favorites. Peanuts are close to the hearts of we Southerners. When I was a little girl living in West Tennessee my uncles called them “goober peas”. Whatever one calls them, they are so delicious.

  • Do you grow your own peanuts? I just found out that I can grow them where I live and was thinking about it for next year’s garden.

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