My Kitchen From Scratch

Kuah Kacang (Spicy Peanut Sauce)

Posted on: July 26, 2010

Kuah Kacang (Spicy Peanut Sauce)

The perfect sate ayam (chicken satay) has to be complemented with the best kuah kacang. Nevermind the cucumbers, onions, or even the ketupat; they are secondary to the sauce in my opinion. While a well seasoned and perfectly grilled satay can be enjoyed as it is, a little peanut sauce brings a little kick but never over powers the satay and at the same time, brings some texture to the overall mouth feel. The basic ingredients for the sauce are simple – sambal chilli sauce, coconut milk, and crushed peanuts. Mix them together and you’ve got a creamy and peanuty sauce for your satay.


  • 200g / .5 lb dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp sambal tumis (pre-sauteed chilli paste)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped


  1. Sweat shallots with a little olive oil until soft.
  2. Add sambal tumis and fry for 30 seconds to combine.
  3. Add coconut milk and mix them together. Simmer until the consistency of your preference. I like it a little thick and chunky but some people might prefer it to be a little more saucy.
  4. Serve in a small individual bowls and top your kuah kacang with a dollop of sambal tumis. Just dip your satay into the peanut sauce and dig in.

(recipe adapted from Kuah Kacang Untuk Sate Niaga by Shahril Nizam)

Final Notes:

  1. As far as I know, sambal tumis is a paste made from fresh red chillis, shallots, garlic, tamarind juice, belacan (fermented shrimp) and sauteed with a little oil. It has a loose paste consistency and it’s convenient to use them for stir frys. Please check out my recipe for sambal tumis. If you can’t find them in the grocery, sambal oelek might work as a substitute but it’s a lot more watery and the flavor would be slightly different I imagine.

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8 Responses to "Kuah Kacang (Spicy Peanut Sauce)"

[…] Kuah Kacang (Spicy Peanut Sauce) Kumato […]

Yummm!!! In Java, the dipping sauce tends to be on the sweet side. Without taking chili pepper into account, Javanese have a very sweet tooth.

Yes Alan, I agree! Many Indonesians like dipping their sate in sweet soy sauce, which I absolutely love.

Oh yeah, their kuah kacang is still rather sweet. I think I like the Malay ones better.

Hi Kwokmun,this is the easiest satay sauce recipe i came across so far so it is definitely a must try for me.I would have never thought of using sambal tumis in the peanut sauce other than in fried rice and nasi lemak.Being so far away from Singapore,where i am from originally,i am always looking easy recipes for these type of local dishes.Thanks for sharing:)

Hi Petit, I am glad you stopped by my blog. I am always trying to find the easiest recipe for local dishes without compromising the flavors. Let me know when you try it out or if there is something with the sauce you would improve. =)

Hi Kwokmun, this is my first trial of doing kuah kacang. So, I just googled for ‘vegetarian kuah kacang recipe’, as I am a vegetarian. I just cliced a few an opened them in a few tabs. The first was yours! Noticing that your recipe is very easy and practical at the same time, I decided that I am trying this one. Thanks! =)

Hi Shack, let me know how it goes! I find this recipe to be very close to what I had in Malaysia.

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