Recipe For Peanut Sauce | Sambal Kacang

I have an addiction to reality TV. This started off with Survivor and has moved on to Top Chef, Master Chef, Iron Chef, Chopped and The Restaurant. I love watching the challenges and the different ingredients the chefs are given to use. When Masterchef Australia was aired Dave and I were glued to our seats, getting to know the people and the judges. The show was so popular in South Africa that we did not have to wait too long for season two. I think that everyone watching was convinced that the finals would be decided between Marion and Jonathan. When I met Jonathan we were about halfway through the show – which had ended 6 months before – and I asked him not to tell me who had won. This meant staying off his webpage and twitter profile so that the ending would be a surprise. I did however know that he had met Jamie Oliver. It was a surprise when he went out, but the biggest surprise came when Marion went out over a ‘satay’ sauce. This is her heritage and forte and after watching this episode I decided to make a ‘satay’ sauce.

I turned to my Curry recipe book and could not find satay sauce in the index . I did however  find peanut sauce and turned to read why this is called Sambal Kacang. Sambal kacang is a very popular sauce served with all kinds of satay in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is also the sauce for various cooked vegetable salads called gado-gado, which are claimed by Indonesians and Malaysians as among their national dishes.

So, it is the sauce that goes with satay, and not a satay sauce. Either way I wanted to make this but my obstacle was finding shrimp paste! Even though it was an optional ingredient, I wanted to include it. I could not find it at any shop in Somerset West – the largest city in the Helderberg Basin so I drove to Green Point – 65km away to get some from Giovanni’s. This Italian delicatessen is a treasure trove of fantastic ingredients. If you are ever in the area do drop in for an espresso, and to get some lovely deli ingredients to take home with you.

Sambal Kacang Peanut Sauce
Sambal Kacang

Peanut Sauce | Sambal Kacang

Author: Adapted from Curry page 171

Ingredients

  • 120 mls canola oil
  • 225 g raw peanuts
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 4 shallots chopped
  • thin slice of shrimp paste
  • salt to taste
  • 2.5 mls chilli powder
  • 2.5 mls brown sugar – I used fructose
  • 15 mls dark soy sauce
  • 30 mls lemon juice

Instructions

  • heat the oil in a wok and fry the peanuts over a moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring frequently
  • with a slotted spoon transfer them to a colander lined with kitchen paper
  • leave them to cool and then grind them in a spice blender to make a fine powder
  • remove and set aside
  • pour off all but one tablespoon of the oil from the wok
  • put the garlic, shallots, shrimp paste and a little salt into a blender and blend to make a smooth paste
  • heat the oil in the wok and then add the paste and fry for 1 minute
  • add the chilli powder, sugar, soy sauce and 600mls water and bring to the boil
  • add the ground peanuts and stir to mix
  • lower the heat and leave the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to the thickness you want
  • add the lemon juice and add more salt if needed

Notes

you can store this in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for 2 months.
thaw completely before reheating and add water if it needs thinning out

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

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32 thoughts on “Recipe For Peanut Sauce | Sambal Kacang

  1. Lovely – only ever seem to order this in restaurants when I am out (in London) and have never thought to make it. It looks pretty straightforward and I bet it tasted amazing!

  2. I love seeing the chefs going against each other on TV. They have such creative ideas when faced with unusual ingredients and such a short time frame to work their wonders. Nice to know that your sambal sauce can be frozen.I would never have thought of that. I will be using your recipe soon.

  3. I like your version of the smbal/peanut sauce. I was taught how to make it in Thailand, and I really must dig the recipe out and make both yours and mine. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I love a good peanut sauce and this looks fantastic! I think it would be delicious over anything… but my family would love this over grilled chicken.

  5. I Love watching Restaurant Impossible. It’s just wonderful, and like you, I love to see how they overcome any problem with a solution. And this peanut sauce looks delish! I love peanut sauce, but don’t know why I’ve never made it before. Thanks for this recipe 🙂

  6. My favourite cooking reality must surely be Masterchef Oz, I really miss it. That said I’m holding thumbs our local version will be good as well. Saw your apple stuff for Woolies, very nice 🙂

    1. thanks Ruth – I have a few more of the recipes to showcase here that Woolies did not use. I too am hoping the SA version will be good 🙂

  7. Interesting. Your dedication to tracking down shrimp paste is to be admired! I make peanut sauce with fish sauce and orange juice but I’m going to have to try shrimp paste. I bet that gives more depth of flavor. I like my recipe but it’s not quite there, the shrimp paste might just take it to the right place!

    1. the shrimp paste makes quite a difference! I don’t mind travelling to find ingredients if they are worth having for other recipes as well 🙂

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