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sauteeing Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai
Coconut-Peanut Sauce Recipe-6907

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


Order grilled chicken in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand and this is what you’ll get as a barbecue sauce. Peanut butter makes it nutty and rich, while fried shallots, garlic, ginger, and chiles provide pungency. Don’t be put off by the large number of ingredients: The sauce can be prepared in less than 15 minutes.

Yield: Makes about 2 cups


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 shallots, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 to 2 Thai chiles or serrano or jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced (for a hotter sauce, leave the seeds in)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Asian fish sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1. Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan over high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, chile(s), and coriander and stir-fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

2. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and black pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and let simmer until thick and richly flavored, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Taste for seasoning, adding soy sauce and/or lime juice as necessary. Serve at room temperature. The sauce can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days. Let return to room temperature and stir to recombine before serving.


Fish sauce is a malodorous condiment made from fermented anchovies. I’ve made it optional in the peanut barbecue sauce, calling for commonplace soy sauce instead.

© 2002 Steven Raichlen

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 32 servings.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

57kcal (3%)
6mg (1%)
2mg (4%)
2mcg RAE (0%)
0mg (0%)
117mg (5%)
2g (8%)
5g (8%)
0mg (2%)

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