Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easy Thai Peanut Sauce

I love peanut sauce. Love, love, love it. I like it on shrimp, salads, noodles, spring rolls, pretty much anything. So when Matt suggested we try making our own, I was game.

I looked at a few different peanut sauce recipes I found online, and ended up making my own little version. This recipe couldn't be easier. You literally just throw everything into the food processor and blend away until it's smooth.

I always have these ingredients in my pantry since we like to cook with Asian flavors on occasion; if you don't have things like fish sauce, though, just play around with what you do have - anything with ground up peanuts has to be good. (I will say though, that the fish sauce and rice wine vinegar add a really nice flavor here...they last for quite a while in the fridge and can be used in lots of different dishes, so I think they're worth keeping on hand.)

This sauce is sweet and a little spicy, and very versatile! It's not too thick, so it can be used as as a dip for veggies, chicken, seafood or spring rolls, or as a sauce for rice or noodles, like we had tonight.

Before I made the sauce, I just cooked some rice noodles, a bag of frozen Asian veggies and a couple servings of my ginger-garlic tofu. Then I tossed everything together with the sauce and heated it all through in a pan on the stove. It all came together in less than a half hour.

On the side, I served a few extra chopped peanuts for added crunch, and lime wedges to squeeze over the top of the noodles. We really enjoyed this and I'll definitely be making the sauce again!

Thai Style Peanut Sauce

Makes about 1 cup, or enough to coat two 2-oz. servings of pasta

1 cup salted, dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup water
3 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. tamari (soy sauce will also work)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (to make vegetarian, substitute soy sauce)
Juice of one lime
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (add less if desired)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. light coconut milk

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Toss with rice noodles or rice, or use as a dipping sauce for chicken, shrimp, beef, vegetables or spring rolls.

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