Grilling can be dull. I'm simply not content with the same roll call of slow cooked meats and sweet and sickly BBQ sauce that gets slathered over everything. American BBQ is good, but there's a World of other options out there. One such option is Thai! I like to spice things up when I grill, and nowhere in the World spices things up like Thailand. On my trips to the country, I loved nothing more than hunting out hawker streets or markets. I'd plonk myself down on a precarious plastic chair and gradually eat my weight in street food. So much fun.
The perfect hawker style peanut dipping sauce
South East Asian food gives life to food, and of course your taste buds. The fresh, flavour-filled food, packs a punch and comes in a mind-boggling array of choices.
One of my favourites is Satay (small skewers of marinated meats, grilled over hot coals). Satay originated in Indonesia and Malaysia, and is enjoyed all across the South East Asian region, including Thailand. The special peanut sauce, served alongside satay is also popular in Thailand and devoured by the gallon. This recipe is the Thai version of satay sauce.
Peanut dipping sauce or satay sauce?
Unlike many Indonesian and Malaysian satay sauce recipes, the Thai version doesn't feature coconut milk, and in my version the spice levels are ratcheted up to make it spicy. But spice is only ONE of the profiles that make Thai food, thai food! Sweet, sour, salt and spice profiles are used to create a perfect harmony of flavour and found in so many dishes of the region:
Sugar.(sweet) Might seem like a lot, but follow the amounts - you'll see why!
Lime juice. (sour)For an authentic hit of Thai personality, lime juice is essential.
Fish Sauce.(salt) Thai food wouldn't have the its personality without the umami saltiness of fish sauce.
Chillies. (spice) You decide how hot you want it. More chillies = more spice.
When everything marries with the peanuts we're left with a creamy, light and flavour-packed little sauce, that's definitely of Satay sauce but also uniquely Thai.
What to serve with Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce
Thai dipping sauces can be served with many dishes. Grilled meats are the most common - I like to serve it with pork, beef and chicken - a recipe for grilled skewers is coming very soon. This sauce can also be eaten with Thai rice, noodles and salad dishes to add a little kick.
My version of Thai peanut dipping sauce is a creamy, fresh and light little condiment that packs a punch of flavour and heat – a little goes a long way! It's really up to you how you spice yours, this recipe featured 8 small Thai chillies (with the seeds in) which made for quite a spicy hit, albeit not too crazy. I've been to so many Thai restaurants where the food was so spicy I literally thought I was about to die. I've been to a few where I had to call it a day after a few mouthfuls. I'm very conscious that I don't want to prepare food I can't eat (the horror). I can handle the heat, but I'm not a masochist!
You can dial the heat up or down as you like. Test a little chilli before to see how hot they are as the levels can vary. The chillies I used were like little vipers - I even had a little coughing fit testing mine! To cool things down, you can also remove the seeds to take some of the sting out if you're feeling especially nervous. However you spice it, you'll be guaranteed a delicious hit of authentic Thai flavour with every spoonful, lifting anything it comes into contact with to a wonderful South East Asian high!
More delicious Thai Recipes
I love to cook Thai food at home, mostly curries! I can't get enough of the fresh, light and heat packed dishes. Here are some of my favourite recipes:
Using a pestle & mortar or a stick blender, blend together all the ingredients until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a tbsp water at a time to loosen up a little. The texture should be rich and creamy, and stick to anything that’s dipped into it.
Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 327Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Vitamin A 121IU2%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.