Spicy Sunflower Seed Sauce. | Nut-free, gluten-free, vegan | Recipe Renovator

I recently shared my recipe for spicy Thai-style cucumber salad, and received some queries about the sauce that was also in the photo. Here’s the delicious sauce, which is nut-free and can be made very low in sugar by using stevia instead of agave syrup, and sunflower seed butter with no added sugar. It’s reasonably low in sodium because I used just a small amount of the fish sauce (Tiparos brand) and the Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand). It clocks in at 79 mg per 2 tbsp. I don’t recommend it for migraine, Meniere’s, or low-tyramine diets because of the fermented fish sauce.

It’s certainly far lower in sugar and sodium than restaurant sauce. Serve with satay, like my pressed tofu satay, spring rolls, or over a rice bowl.

Suitable for:

vegan, paleo, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:

low-sodium or migraine diets

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Spicy Sunflower Seed Sauce. | Nut-free, gluten-free, vegan | Recipe Renovator

Spicy Thai sunflower seed sauce

Delicious on satay, spring rolls, or a rice bowl.
0 from 0 votes
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Servings 12 servings of 2 tbsp


  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp curry paste (Thai red)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk light or regular
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter no sugar added
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup use stevia equal to 4 tsp sugar for low-sugar version
  • 2 tsp fish sauce vegan or regular
  • 1 tsp lime juice (fresh) up to 3 tsp
  • hot sauce to taste


  • Heat the oil in a nonstick saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the curry paste and fry until it sizzles.
  • Turn the heat to low and add the rest of the ingredients plus 1/2 cup (115 ml) filtered water, stirring constantly with a whisk for about five minutes.
  • Add additional water if needed to get the consistency you want.
  • Serve topped with toasted sunflower seeds or chopped nuts (peanuts or cashews) and Sriracha sauce.


Per 2 tbsp serving:
  • 84 calories (79 calories with stevia instead of agave syrup)
  • 6 g fat (lower fat by using light coconut milk)
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 0 g monounsaturated fat
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 79 mg sodium
  • 10 mg potassium
  • 5 g carbohydrate (3 g without agave syrup)
  • 1 g fiber
  • 1 g sugars (0 g without agave syrup)
  • 3 g protein
  • 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus
Check the label before buying curry paste. Some brands have sugar, some do not. I avoid peanuts, so I make this sauce with sunflower seed butter or cashew butter, but the authentic version is made with natural peanut butter. My vegan fish sauce is not as salty as true Southeast Asian fish sauce.