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Sambal Kacang - Peanut Chili Sauce

When I was younger, my parents used to take us to this seafood place where the specialty was boiled fresh shellfish such as clams, mussels, shrimps, and crabs. This was a rather shabby looking place, but always packed to the brim, and sometimes we even had to wait for seats! The first thing you notice when walking into this place will be the tanks, filled with multitude of live shellfish, then the many huge pots of boiling broth to cook said shellfish, and finally plastic tables and chairs where the cooked shellfish are to be consumed.

Sambal Kacang - Peanut Chili Sauce
Sambal Kacang - Peanut Chili Sauce

On the tables were various dipping sauces to suit your preference, I remember a pineapple based sauce (definitely fruity, can’t remember exactly anymore), then some really hot chili sauce, and the one I love most was definitely the peanut chili sauce. I know its weird, but somehow peanut sauce and boiled shellfish seems to go really well together, or at least this one does. So, if you are a fan of simply boiled shellfish, and are looking for the perfect sauce, please give this one a try. ♥

Sambal Kacang - Peanut Chili Sauce

5.0 from 3 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 100 gram shelled peanut (Indonesian: kacang tanah kupas)
  • 3 red bird eye chilies (Indonesian: cabe rawit merah)
  • 1 red cayenne chili (Indonesian: cabe keriting merah)
  • 2 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (Indonesian: cuka)


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté peanuts until toasted and fragrant, about 5 to 8 minutes, stir frequently so the peanuts are evenly browned. Set aside.
  2. Sauté bird eye chilies, cayenne chili, and garlic until fragrant. About 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, grind the cooked peanut, chili, and garlic into a paste. Transfer to a pot.
  4. Add salt, sugar, and water into the pot, stir to mix well. Cook until the peanut sauce is boiling.
  5. Turn off heat, add the vinegar, and stir to mix well. Serve immediately or let cool, transfer to a clean jar, and store in a fridge.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Ally @ Om Nom Ally Ally @ Om Nom Ally says:

    Oh yes please! I make a really simple peanut sauce for cooking, but it's nowhere near as good as this :D Thank you for sharing, I'm going to make this ASAP.

  • JB JB says:

    How long can u keep this peanut sauce ??

    • Anita Anita says:

      It should be fresh for 2 months in the fridge.

  • Maxine Maxine says:

    Hi,could you please give me the recipe for peanut sate sauce with kecap manis?

  • Michael Cady Michael Cady says:

    Anita, apa kabar? I recently discovered your website. After visiting Indonesia 3 times in the past 3 years I have fallen in love with Indonesian food. Thankfully we have a pretty well stocked Asian market where I live (Blaine, MN). I have been searching and trying to make a good peanut sauce with mixed results so far. I will try this. This is the first peanut sauce recipe I have seen that calls for sauteing the peanuts in oil. Thank you!

  • FA FA says:

    This is great - thanks for posting. A lot of recipes for Indonesian and other Asian cuisines require you to spend hours and sometimes many miles tracking down specialist ingredients. But this is simple and can be made without me even having to venture to the shops. I love the look of your other recipes as well, and have fond memories of Indonesian food. I had a particular craving for Bubur which led me to your page. Cheers!

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