Peanut sauce has become a very popular way to top a variety of foods, from Asian and rice noodles to vegetables or chicken satay. Peanut sauce is considered a Thai food, but is really more common in Indonesian cuisine. The versions made with peanut butter are Americanized, but delicious none-the-less. The best peanut sauces are made with fresh roasted peanuts ground up with the other ingredients. You can always take a favorite easy peanut sauce recipe, such as the one below, and substitute fresh roasted peanuts for the peanut butter. Grind it all together in a blender or food processor and adjust the amounts until it tastes just the way you like it.
This recipe is an easy version that isn't cooked and is quick to throw together and toss with cold Asian or rice noodles. It makes a delicious summer meal.
Cook Chinese noodles and toss with sesame oil. Allow to cool and keep in the refrigerator.
Make the sauce:
3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1-½ tbsp. rice wine vinegar
Mongolian Fire Oil or other hot oil
3 tbps. Sesame oil
1-½ tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar (white or brown, your choice)
1 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. minced garlic (or 2 minced scallions if you don't like garlic)
Mix all the ingredients together - it takes a bit of stirring, but they will blend. Toss with the noodles and enjoy cold.
This sauce is delicious on the noodles, but also to be used as a dipping sauce for chicken satay (or sate), which is marinated chicken strips, skewered and grilled. You can also stir-fry cut-up chicken and vegetables in oil and garlic, then serve over noodles or rice with room temperature peanut sauce.
This sauce recipe is a good place to start if you like to experiment with flavors. Different hot oils will change the taste and the heat. You can try substituting red cayenne pepper. Different peanut butters, creamy or crunchy, or fresh peanuts can be used also. Create your own versions until you find your favorite.
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