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a jar of Vietnamese sate sauce
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Vietnamese Sate Sauce (Sốt Sa tế)

Vietnamese Sate Sauce (Sot Sa te) is a spicy red sauce which is an excellent addition to many dishes, especially for grilling and stir-frying.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: sa tế, sate sauce
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 1668kcal
Author: Sophie


  • Food chopper


  • 4-5 medium or large lemongrass stalks, white and very light green parts only, roughly chopped (60g/2oz, or 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped dried shrimps, optional (15g/0.5oz)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped shallots (25g/0.9oz)
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic (10g/0.4oz)
  • 2 teaspoons roughly chopped galangal, optional (10-15g/0.4-0.5oz)
  • 3 small or medium bird's-eye chilis, seeds removed
  • 6 red banana peppers, or any non/mildly spicy red peppers, seeds removed (120g/4oz)
  • 3/4 cup neutral-flavored cooking oil (180ml)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (to taste)


  • Place lemongrass and dried shrimps (if using) in a food chopper (or small food processor) and process into quite fine pieces. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    chopped lemongrass and dried shrimp
  • Place shallots, garlic, galangal and both types of chilis in the food chopper (or food processor) and also process into quite fine pieces. Be careful not to process into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    chopped chilis, garlic and shallot
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a pot. Then add the processed lemongrass and dried shrimps. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lemongrass has reduced in volume and taken on just a bit of color.
    cook lemongrass and dried shrimp in oil
  • Add the processed shallots, garlic, galangal and chilis to the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients have softened, the sauce looks red and you can smell it. You may need slightly reduce the heat if needed.
    cook chilis and aromatics in oil
  • Add salt, sugar and soy sauce and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes to let all flavors combined and the sauce has a very rich color. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Transfer the sauce to a bowl or container and let it cool completely. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it can last for weeks.


The galangal and dried shrimps are optional. You can replace the galangal with just a bit more of the other aromatics (lemongrass, shallot, garlic). Replace the dried shrimps with more sugar to taste.


Calories: 1668kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 169g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 48g | Monounsaturated Fat: 106g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3026mg | Potassium: 1169mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 2679IU | Vitamin C: 414mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 5mg