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A picture of Red Thai Curry Sauce

Red Thai Curry Sauce


This simple Thai Curry Sauce is extremely versatile. Serve it with rice, noodles, meat, veggies, or as a base for soups, marinades, and more.


  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup crushed peanuts
  • up to ½ cup water or broth
  • extra crushed peanuts and scallions for topping


  1. Pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan over high heat. When the coconut milk reaches a gentle simmer, add the peanut butter, curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and garlic. Whisk and keep on high heat for 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  2. Add the peanuts and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. When the sauce coats the back of a spoon, add small amounts of broth or water and whisk to adjust consistency depending on how you will use it and how thick you want it. If the sauce separates, just whisk vigorously to smooth it out again.
  3. Serve over rice, noodles, chicken, fish, vegetables, or any other way that sounds good to you! Top with crushed peanuts and scallions.


More time simmering = thicker, creamier, more flavorful sauce. If you want a thinner sauce, I would simmer for less time and plan to add a bit of additional liquid. I’ve noticed that when I add the crushed peanuts, the consistency really thickens quite a bit, so you could omit the peanut butter and/or peanuts to also adjust to your desired consistency.

Last note: I know the fish sauce might take some convincing, but it is fairly easy to find at any grocery store and REALLY WORTH IT. Don’t worry – it does not make the sauce taste like fish; it just makes it saltier and adds lots of deep flavor. Don’t leave it out!

Except if you are vegetarian or vegan, then you can try swapping in soy sauce, miso, and/or hoison for the fish sauce.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: red thai curry sauce, thai curry sauce, red curry sauce