This lime-ginger cashew sauce is super rich and creamy and cooks in just 7 minutes. The sauce is sweet, a little bit spicy and fresh with the addition of lime juice and coconut milk. It’s perfect as a dipping sauce for chicken kebabs or as a sauce for spaghetti squash, fish and tofu.
This sauce would also be great on my grain-free spring rolls or my traditional spring roll recipe. Be sure to check out more of my easy gluten-free sauces including my soy-free 3 ingredient stir fry sauce.
Cashew Sauce Ingredients
Fresh Ginger takes an extra minute to prepare but is so much better than the powdered stuff. Here is a quick tutorial on how to grate fresh ginger.
Cashew Butter – I have used cashew butter because of the naturally sweet flavor it gives to this sauce. Unfortunately it can be quite expensive and not okay for those with nut allergies. Sunflower butter and peanut butter are good substitutes. I do recommend using unsweetened ones so that you can better control the sweet level.
Light Coconut Milk – Use the canned stuff and light is better than full fat coconut milk. The cashew butter needs to be thinned out to be a pourable sauce and the light works much better for this.
Rice vinegar and fresh lime juice add fresh tart flavors and balance the rich cashew butter. I highly recommend using fresh squeezed lime juice as the bottled stuff just doesn’t taste the same.
Gluten-free soy sauce or tamari gives it a hint of Asian flavor and also works well with the rich sweet cashew butter.
Toasted sesame oil is a wonderfully flavorful and aromatic ingredient that is used in Asian cuisines. Be sure to use a toasted oil as the non-toasted ones have little to no flavor.
Finally, a sweet ingredient enhances the sweet cashew and balances the salty soy sauce. I love coconut palm sugar but brown sugar, honey or agave will work too.
- Kid Friendly – Add a little extra sweetener and less chili flakes to make it more kid-friendly. Adding a small pinch of chili flakes will not make it spicy for sensitive taste buds. It acts as a flavor enhancer to wake up all the other flavors in the sauce.
- Heat Lovers – Add extra chili flakes and use chili oil in place of the sesame oil.
- Nut Allergies – Use sunflower butter for those with nut allergies.
- Budget Friendly – Cashew butter is so yummy in this sauce but can be very expensive. If you’re on a budget, peanut butter is a good alternative to the cashew butter.
- Complete Meal – Use this sauce to make a one-bowl meal. Layer noodles or spaghetti squash, lime-ginger cashew sauce, chicken, tofu, edamame or garbanzo beans and top with chopped cilantro.
7 Minute Lime-Ginger Cashew Sauce
- ¼ cup cashew butter other nut or seed butters can be used
- ⅓ c light coconut milk
- ⅓ c warm water
- ¼ c lime juice
- 4 tsp low sodium gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
- 2 cloves garlic grated on a microplane
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger grated on a microplane
- 3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar or sweetener of your choice
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- ¼ tsp. red chili flakes more or less according to you preference for heat
- Grate the ginger. The best way to handle fresh ginger is to peel it with the edge of a spoon. The spoon can get into the folds of the ginger more easily. Then grate it with a microplane and store the unused portion in the freezer in a zip top bag. Even when frozen, it is easily grated. See my tutorial video on how to work with fresh ginger.
- Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir with a wire whisk over low heat. It will be watery when the cashew butter first melts but will thicken as it heats up. As soon as it thickens remove from the heat.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon or 2 of water to thin it to sauce consistency.
- Taste. Adjust the flavors to your preference. Too sweet? Add a tsp of vinegar. Too mild? Add more chili flakes. Bland? Add a tsp of soy sauce/tamari.