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Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

Vietnamese peanut sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls, stir-fries, chicken satay, and more. It’s easy to customize with gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free options.

You’ll find this sauce served at Vietnamese restaurants with fresh spring rolls (also called salad rolls, summer rolls, or gỏi cuốn). The chewiness of the soaked rice paper pairs nicely with the crunchy vegetables and creamy sauce.

The main difference between Vietnamese peanut sauce and the peanut sauce used in Thai cuisine is the addition of hoisin sauce. The hoisin gives the sauce a rich, umami flavor.

Ingredients

This versatile sauce is made with only a handful of ingredients. Here’s what’s inside:

  • Fresh garlic – cooked in a little bit of oil first to add more flavor to the sauce.
  • Hoisin sauce – is a mixture of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and other flavorful ingredients for a very concentrated sauce. Make my 5-minute gluten-free hoisin sauce if needed. 
  • Natural peanut butter – you can use creamy peanut butter or crunchy peanut butter depending on preference. Just make sure whatever kind you use that it’s runny and not dry from the bottom of the jar. The only ingredients should be peanuts and salt.
  • Water – this helps thin out the sauce while also mellowing out the flavor of the hoisin peanut sauce.
  • Sriracha sauce – or any chili sauce to balance out the flavors. 
  • Chopped peanuts – for serving, only needed if using smooth peanut butter.

See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients

How to Make Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

Step 1. Heat the avocado oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring often.

Step 2. Add the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and water. Whisk to combine and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Then remove from the heat and stir in the sriracha. Add the chopped peanuts just before serving.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this Vietnamese peanut sauce using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • Make it soy-free – use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. You’ll also need to add a little salt.
  • Make it gluten-free – use homemade gluten-free hoisin sauce and low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
  • Make it nut-free – use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead and you may want to add a splash of maple syrup or a little brown sugar since these aren’t as sweet as peanut butter.
  • Add-ins – rice vinegar or fresh lime juice for extra tanginess, fish sauce for more umami flavor, chicken broth instead of water for more flavor, lite coconut milk to make it creamier, chopped fresh herbs such as green onion or cilantro, etc.

How to Use

Use Vietnamese peanut sauce as a satay sauce for chicken, as a dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls or crisp vegetables, in stir fry, lettuce wraps, noodles, or as a salad dressing.

How to Store

Store leftover peanut sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. When ready to serve, bring it to room temperature for the best texture.

Top Tip

You can change the thickness of the sauce by using more or less water. If you prefer a thicker sauce, only use 1/2 cup water. If you like it a little thinner, use 3/4 cup. You can add more if needed, but start there.

More Asian-Inspired Condiments

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

5 from 1 vote
A small ramekin of homemade Vietnamese peanut sauce with chopped peanuts on top with a spoon in it next to a bowl of chopped peanuts.
Vietnamese peanut sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls, stir-fries, chicken satay, and more. It's easy to customize with gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free options.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced or grated
  • 6 tablespoons gluten-free hoisin sauce or storebought
  • 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • ½ – ¾ cup water see notes
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • chopped peanuts optional, for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the avocado oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring often.
  • Add the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and water. Whisk to combine and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Then remove from the heat and stir in the sriracha. Add the chopped peanuts just before serving.

Notes

You can change the thickness of the sauce by using more or less water. If you prefer a thicker sauce, only use 1/2 cup water. If you like it a little thinner, use 3/4 cup. You can add more if needed, but start there.
Keeps for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations
Make it soy-free – use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. You’ll also need to add a little salt.
Make it gluten-free – use homemade gluten-free hoisin sauce and low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
Make it nut-free – use tahini or sunflower seed butter instead and you may want to add a splash of maple syrup or a little brown sugar since these aren’t as sweet as peanut butter.
Add-ins – rice vinegar or fresh lime juice for extra tanginess, fish sauce for more umami flavor, chicken broth instead of water for more flavor, lite coconut milk to make it creamier, chopped fresh herbs such as green onion or cilantro, etc.

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