Sambal kecang, also known as satay sauce, is a staple in Indonesian cuisine. This creamy, slightly spicy sauce is made by combining ground fried peanuts with shallots, garlic, and brown sugar. This pairs well with vegetable or tofu satay, Indonesian fried rice, and gado gado, an Indonesian vegetable dish. While you can find satay sauce in most stores, nothing beats homemade!

Sambal Kecang: Peanut Satay Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]



About 1 1/4 cup



  • 1/3 cup, plus 2 3/4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups raw peanuts (with skin)
  • 1 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce or tamari, to make it gluten-free
  • 1 3/4 cups, plus 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind water or juice of 1 lemon


  1. In a wok, heat oil and stir-fry peanuts for 4-5 minutes. Remove peanuts with slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
  2. Once the peanuts have cooled, grind in a blender or coffee grinder. Discard the oil, reserving 1 tablespoon for cooking.
  3. In a mortar, crush garlic and shallots with a pinch of salt. Fry in reserved oil for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, except for tamarind water and peanuts, and bring to a boil. Add ground peanuts and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened.
  4. Add tamarind water or lemon juice with a pinch of salt. Remove from heat.
  5. Once cool, keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to use, reheat gently.