To be honest, I never planned on writing up a recipe for this. Recently, I've been so excited about using sheets of rice paper to wrap up veggies, tofu and noodles for these beautiful Vietnamese summer rolls that I sort of forgot how delicious an accompanying peanut dipping sauce can really be.

I became aware of others' appreciation of this sauce after one night I had a few friends over for dinner. I'd made two different sauces, as one of my guests was coeliac, so soy sauce was a no-go. Admittedly, I was kinda baffled to have new gluten-associated watchwords on food labels (I'm used to looking out for, and then groaning at, things like milk being (often unnecesarily!) added to packaged foods), so I found the gluten-free sauce a challenge.

After much fiddling around, though, I realised that I really should have just used tamari. Tamari is soy sauce's gluten-free cousin. Normally, soy sauce is made by fermenting a mixture of steamed soybeans and roasted wheat with a bacterial mould. Tamari forgoes the wheat, so it lacks the sweetness and fruity esters of normal soy sauce, but has a richer, more true flavour due to the higher concentration of soy beans. In my experience it doesn't taste too different, so it will absolutely work for the purposes of this recipe.

Anyway, by the end of the evening both bowls of sauce were completely empty. As I had hoped, my friends liked the sauce with the Vietnamese summer rolls - so much that they proceeded to add it to the main dish (which was a curry - I wouldn't recommend this combo, but each to their own!)

To serve, this sauce goes perfectly with summer rolls as mentioned above but also just with anything you've got going as a snack! Carrot and celery sticks, crackers, fried tofu - anything remotely dippable, even apple, banana and pear.

Peanut Dipping Sauce

Serves 2-4 Hands-on time:
10 mins
Hands-off time:
0 mins


⅓ cup + 1 tbsp smooth unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce (I use this brand [UK]) (use tamari if gluten-free)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 garlic-clove-sized piece ginger, peeled
1 lime, juice of
1 tbsp maple syrup
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
7 tbsp water


  1. Put all the ingredients in a smoothie maker and blitz to a smooth, runny sauce. If you're using a food processor, use a garlic crusher for the garlic and ginger, or grate it in using a microplane grater.
  2. Transfer to a small bowl and serve immediately, or refrigerate to serve at a later date.