Sha Cha (also known as Satay) Sauce is a unique flavor used in Chinese and other Asian dishes. A mix of dried shrimp, peanut butter and sugar, it adds a “meaty” (Unami), slightly sweet flavor to dishes.
Luckily you don’t have to dry the shrimp yourself. Sha Cha powder is made from dried shrimp and is available at Asian markets or online. Search for “dried shrimp powder” so you don’t end up getting sound-a-like products like vegan supplements or face powder!
Use it as a sauce for noodles, to add flavor to soups, as a stir-fry seasoning or to marinate meat. You’ll also see it called for as an ingredient in Asian recipes.
- 100 g dried shrimp/Sha Cha powder
- Vegetable oil
- 200 g peanut butter
- 15 g sugar
- 100 g milk
- Heat the oil on low in a wok or frying pan.
- Add the peanut butter, letting it melt into the oil.
- Add the dried shrimp powder and combine well.
- Pour in the milk, stirring to combine with the other ingredients.
- Add the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the mixture turns red (see photo).
- Turn heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. The finished sauce will have an oily, grainy, paste like texture.
- Remove from heat and cool before transferring to a jar. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.
There are several versions of this sauce including a spicier one with shallots, garlic and chilies. If you want to try some of these flavors, add them before the sugar.
You can find ready made Sha Cha/Satay Sauces in stores but you can’t beat this home-made, fresh version.
Now that you have made this sauce, try it on some chicken with our quick Sha Cha Chicken recipe here.