The main ingredient is a roasted peanut-based paste such as peanut butter, which together with soy sauce gives it a nutty and salty taste. Several different recipes for making peanut sauces exist, resulting in a variety of flavours. A typical recipe usually contains peanut butter , coconut milk, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and spices . Other ingredients may also contain chillies, milk, fried onions, sesame seed, olive oil or peanut.
In Indonesian cuisine, the sauce originally was meant as a sauce for satay, but it is also used in many other Indonesian dishes like , , Gado-gado, otak-otak, ketoprak, and Keredok.
In Chinese cooking, the sauce is often used on grilled meat. Other uses include hot pot and Dan dan noodles.
In the Netherlands, peanut sauce has become a common Dutch side dish and is usually eaten with meat or . Peanut sauce is also eaten with a baguette, bread, cucumber or potatoes.
In Singapore, peanut sauce is not only used as dipping sauce for satay. It is also eaten with rice vermicelli known as Satay bee hoon.