Recipe: Piquant Cilantro Peanut Sauce

July 21st, 2013 - filed under: The Food » Recipes


A few years back I posted a recipe for The Tahini Sauce That Done Stoled My Heart, and since then I’ve referenced that sauce probably a hundred times. I love that sauce.

But, despite my undying tahini adoration, I must admit that sometimes I just get a hankering for something different. Which is how this peanut sauce entered the picture.

Game over.

What can I say about this ridiculously delicious concoction? It’s smooth and rich and tangy and bright, with just a little bit of heat and boatloads of umami. It. Is. So. Good.

Like, stand over the blender meticulously scraping-then-licking up every last drip, kinda good.


Just like my dear tahini dip, this recipe is wildly malleable. Feel free to play with proportions or substitutions – I pretty much always do. But the basic outline looks like this:

3/4 cup peanut butter (almond butter stands in very well here)
2/3 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup cilantro, loosely packed
1 whole roasted Anaheim chili, seeded and skinned (or 1/2 can green chiles, or a few teaspoons red chili flakes, or whatever you have around to add a bit of kick)
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce or shoyu or Braggs)
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4-6 cloves garlic


Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. This sauce is delectable straight from the blender, but it’s even better after a few hours, once the flavors have had some time to mingle. Of course, it’s rare that it lasts that long . . .


I use this sauce on everything, from cold soba noodles or kelp noodles to stir frys and scrambles, as a dipping sauce for spring rolls like you saw up at the top of this post, and as a dressing that makes the most cravable salads ever. It’s perfect with raw veggies for an afternoon snack, but I like it very best of all as the star of a simple macrobiotic bowl. That’s easy, unpretentious eating, which is exactly what I love the most.


Beans/Green/Grains Bowl with chickpeas, steamed kale, brown rice, and sautéed tempeh topped with Piquant Cilantro Peanut Sauce and my godfather’s homemade purple sauerkraut. AKA, perfection.


  • veganinbrighton

    Yum, that sauce sounds so delicious and I could really do with a summer roll right now!

  • coconutandberries

    I’m a big fan of tahini and peanut sauces and this one sounds especially tasty. So useful to have a jar on hand for perking up anything and everything :)

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    I’m currently putting a cashew butter-tahini-maple-chili sauce on everything, and it tastes just as good hot as it does cold. Can’t wait to try this out – it will give me a way to use up some cilantro!

  • Rachel from The Vegan Mishmash

    Mmmm…now I’m really craving spring rolls and peanut sauce. I think I’m going to have to try this one out. :-)

  • Kelly Meurer

    It’s so good. I just made it! I also just rubbed my eye after cutting the hot pepper! My eye is burning! Why did I do that!

  • Christy Milford

    I LOVE peanut sauce. I’ve just never seemed to be able to get it right- but this list of ingredients seems perfect. Thanks!

  • Katrina Donovan Fleming

    I actually had a question about the tahini sauce. I tried making it the other day in my Vitamix and it was thicker than chunky peanut butter. I ended up having to add well over a cup of water to get it somewhat pourable. What brand of tahini do you use? I’m thinking that may have been where I went wrong. Yours looks very liquidy and delectable as opposed to mine, which ultimately ended up looking like funky Cool-whip. :) I really want to get it right as I love love love tahini!

  • escime

    This sounds absolutely delicious! I have never found a salad dressing that has truly stolen my heart but this could be the one! Thanks for sharing!

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  • Reese

    I’m going to try this with lime juice instead of the vinegar…..I can’t wait!!!

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