About.com and Eating Well both offer good Thai peanut satay sauce recipes that take 15 minutes or less to prepare. Both recipes are full of complex flavor, but the About.com recipe uses dry-roasted peanuts for a rich, fresh flavor, while the Eating Well recipe uses peanut butter as its base.
To make About.com's Thai satay peanut sauce, add 1 cup of unsalted dry-roasted peanuts to the bowl of food processor with 1/3 cup of water, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Measure 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and add it to the food processor along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind paste or 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1/3 cup of coconut milk.
Process the ingredients until the sauce reaches the desired smoothness. For a looser sauce, add extra coconut milk or water. Adjust the fish or soy sauce to increase the saltiness, or add a little freshly squeezed lime juice to counter the salty flavor.
Alternatively, stir 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter together with 2 tablespoons of light coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Sweeten the sauce with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and add heat with 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Whisk the ingredients together to form a smooth sauce.