Husband and I usually go out to Thai food when we go out to eat, because I have a limited diet and there are usually a few good salad choices there for me. But we also get salad rolls, which usually come with peanut sauce. Our new fave Thai place (Soi 9 on W. Burnside, for you Portlanders...) gave us an extra dish of peanut sauce once when they saw we were yumming it up with our rolls! "Do you want more peanut sauce?," the waitress asked. Ha! Ha! "Do we want more peanut sauce," we said--they must not know us very well! Um, YES! Always more peanut sauce!
So I was inspired to make it at home, and Googled some recipes a little, a while back. I combined my faves using what I had at home, and took sort of the easy route because I didn't want to open a can of coconut milk, etc. I ended up with a basic concoction that I now make almost ever week and eat with fresh cucumbers or put on veggie stir-fry.
The past couple of weeks, I've brought the ingredients over to my parents' house and then my friend's house to make the sauce for them because it was a fun addition to our meals. My friend and her husband loved it, and my mom told me they'd really been enjoying my peanut sauce, and then my dad, who's not a cook at all, asked me this week for the recipe! Yep, it's pretty good.
I don't share too many recipes on here, mostly because I'm into my routine and have a limited diet myself, but thought you might like to try this delicious sauce that is so easy and versatile!
I cook with the same attitude I have for sewing, except with less structure. I don't use recipes, and even when I do, I don't really measure, exactly. I just add a little till it looks or tastes good. So I can't exactly share the recipe with you, but I can show you what I put in and how I make the sauce! (The only instruction is, add everything, stir.)
So here goes...
I buy peanut butter in the bulk section of a great local grocery chain we have here in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. I have a bit of a peanut butter addiction, so I only buy enough for the sauce every week! That way, also, I can make the sauce in the container, and it'll have a lid and everything--no dishes to dirty and I maximize all of the peanut butter-ey goodness. (I know I should bring glass jars to the store so they can weigh them and I can refill, but I'm not sure the store I go to does that. I tried it once with honey and they were confused. Maybe someday.)
But I'll show you how in a bowl because it's prettier. So here's your recipe, in pictures and a list of ingredients.
- Peanut butter. I honestly don't know how much. I think it's more than a cup.
- Agave nectar. I guess if I had to say how much, it's about 1.5 tablespoons. But it all depends how sweet you like it.
- Red chili flakes. If you like it spicier, add more.
- Powdered ginger. Use finely chopped fresh if you feel like cutting it up! I don't, though.
- Garlic powder. Again, use fresh if you feel like it.
- Lime juice. I juice the whole lime.
- Fish sauce. This stuff is weird, but it's essential to that awesome, addictively delicious Thai flavor! It's sold at Asian grocery stores and maybe some other specialty stores. By itself it smells really gross, but trust me, it's just the salty savoriness your sauce needs! Again, uh, like 1.5 tablespoons maybe? (It's not vegan, obviously, but I'm only mostly vegan and make exceptions for a little bit of fishiness. You can leave it out if you're vegan.)
- Soy sauce. Dunno how much, so play around. I usually do about 2 tablespoons, I think, but you can't really taste the soy sauce-ey-ness of it, actually, which is probably a good thing.
- I add water. Seriously, like a lot of water. If you want it runnier, add more water or other liquid (play around with amounts of soy sauce, lime juice, etc.), and if you want it thicker, stop with just half a cup or so of water.
I tasted mine and it needed a little something extra, so I added some more soy sauce, powdered ginger, and garlic powder. Then I added more water!
My favorite way to eat it is as a dip with cucumber slices!