Thai Peanut Satay Sauce Recipe (Nam Jim Satay)

A thai peanut satay sauce is the perfect accompaniment for chicken, pork, beef and even fish. Especially great at barbecues, i can see major brownie points being scored if you turn up carrying this dish!

I often wondered how the missus made this, and naively assumed it came out of a jar or was watered up from a packet. Wrong!! I really should have known better by now. It turns out she doesn’t take short cuts. There are no easy cheats like using peanut butter, more’s the pity. Instead there is elbow grease and some finicky, time consuming preperation but the results are good and i guess this satay recipe is about as close to authentic as it probably comes.

I have had this numerous times in Thailand, but i remain unconvinced that satay is a dish that originates in Thailand. I believe it may originate in Indonesia, but it seems to have caught on with vigour so who am i to argue. This is my wife’s thai peanut satay recipe or “nam jim satay” as she calls it.


Coconut Cream 2 cups
Peanuts 1/2 cup
Red Curry Paste 1/4 cup
Sugar 1/4 cup
Tamarind Sauce 1/4 cup
Salt 1 1/2 tsp





Preparation 15 – 20mins.

Dry fry peanuts on a medium heat until they begin to change colour.

Once they have browned off the skins become brittle. Remove the skins from the peanut by hand (time consuming).

After skinning, grind the peanuts into a rough powder using a mortar and pestle (only if you want to get right into the spirit of it and go fully authentic back-woods style, personally i think this is what coffee grinders are made for). Don’t be to concerned with consistancy, the satay sauce turns out more interesting if the texture is mixed.





Cooking (roughly 12mins, but your only heating through really)

  1. Put the coconut cream in a pan on a medium heat and heat through for 5 minutes until simmering, stir regularly.
  2. Add the red curry paste to the coconut cream and stir in until the coconut cream goes pink with no lumps.
  3. Add sugar, tamarind sauce, salt and peanut to the mix one after the other and stir in thoroughly on a medium heat for a further 10 minutes with the mix simmering.
  4. After 10 minutes serve in a small dish (should be able to keep in a fridge for 3-5 days if required)

(if you cant find tamarind sauce ready prepared you can buy solid tamarind pulp in your local supermarket, soak a reasonable amount in half a cup of water, mash the tamarind pulp into the water and a dark brown sauce will be produced. Sieve off the pulp and use the liquid as your tamarind sauce.)