Vegan Satay Sauce Recipe

Vegans Foods - Vegan Satay Sauce

Servings: 15

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 Hour

What is Vegan Satay Sauce?

Vegan satay sauce is delicious and can be enjoyed as a dip, dressing, or noodle sauce. Peanut satay sauce is famous in Malaysia, especially during the festive season, and is eaten with satay made from beef or chicken. 

Alternatively, if you’re plant-based, you can enjoy it with deep-fried tofu, tempeh, or any vegan satay. I usually make Malaysian ‘rojak’ with our satay sauce which is noodles mixed with the sauce, tofu, and some vegetables.

My version of the vegan satay sauce is quite spicy. But, you can adjust the ratio of ingredients to your liking. Add more red onions and fewer dried chilies if you prefer it to be less spicy.

I usually make satay sauce in big batches to store in the freezer as I do with my delicious Vegan Sambal Sauce. It lasts for months, but because we love it so much, it only lasts us a few days. It is THAT good!

I hope you enjoy my recipe and happy cooking!

Ingredients (for about 15 portions)

  • 2.5 cups of raw peanuts (unroasted and unsalted)
  • 15-20 dried chilies (any variety)
  • 1 big red onion
  • 4 shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 inches ginger
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 4 tbsp palm sugar (alternatives: brown or muscovado sugar)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 inches galangal (optional)
  • 2 inches turmeric (optional)
vegan_peanut_sauce-raw ingredients labelled clearly

Steps to Make it

Prepare the Peanuts

First of all, let’s prepare the peanuts. To do this we need to fry the peanuts in a pot with the cup of oil on low heat until it turns dark brown and crispy. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Once done, drain the oil off and save for use later on.


Make Ground Peanuts

Let the peanuts cool, and then blend in a spice grinder or food processor. I prefer the peanut sauce to have a nice crunchy texture.

I grind it until it turns into a coarse powder as shown here.


Prepare the Dried Chilli

Next, let’s make the dried chilli paste. Cut the dried chilies into small pieces using a pair of scissors. This will help with removing the seeds in the next step which will reduce the spice level.

Cook the Dried Chilli

Bring to the boil in water and let simmer for 10 minutes or until they get soft. You will see that the seeds settle to the bottom of the pot; all you have to do is take the chilli out and discard the seeds.

Blend the Chilli

Next add the chilli and some water to your blender. Blend to a smooth paste and set aside for now.


Blend the Spices

Next, chop the red onion, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, and turmeric roughly and blend to a smooth paste. 

I prefer to blend the chilli separately so I can adjust the amount of chilli paste added when I mix them together later on.

Final Cooking

Now that all the ingredients are prepared, let’s do the final cooking! In a pot, add 1 cup of oil (drained from frying the peanuts in Step 1). I know it seems like a lot, but you need to use a generous amount of oil to properly cook the spices and chilli. You can easily scoop the excess oil out later on. 


Cook the Blended Spices and Chilli

When the oil is hot, add the blended spices, then add your chilli paste one tablespoon at a time until you are satisfied with the heat level.

Wait for the Oil to Separate

Cook on medium heat and stir occasionally until the oil separates. Malaysians call this separation of the oil from the chilli paste ‘pecah minyak’. This is how you know it is cooked thoroughly and should take about 15 mins on medium heat to achieve.


Add the Ground Peanuts

Then, add the ground peanuts and stir well. Let it cook on medium heat for another 15 minutes or until the oil separates again.

Add the Palm Sugar

Next, add palm sugar and salt to taste. Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your liking!


Add Tamarind Paste

Lastly, add tamarind paste to taste. Again, feel free to adjust the tanginess.


Our Favourite Malaysian Rojak with Vegan Satay Sauce
Our Favourite Malaysian Rojak with Vegan Satay Sauce


  • For less heat, add more onions and fewer chilies, or use fresh chilies.
  • I used Kashmiri Chilli but you can use any variety that you prefer.
  • Blend chilies and other ingredients separately so that you can taste and adjust the amount of chilli in the pot.
  • Scoop the oil out of the sauce when it is done. I like to keep it in a small container and use it in stir fry. 
  • Fresh Galangal is often hard to find even in Asian stores if not in Asia, so you can omit it from the recipe. Don’t let it stop you from making this yummy sauce! Another option is to use Galangal Paste which is much easier to find in supermarkets.
4.6 5 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 months ago

Amazing recipe! Thank you for sharing. Please post more recipes soon!!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x