Monday, May 19, 2008

The Best Spicy Peanut Sauce Ever

One day last week I awoke from dreaming of a dish of whole wheat noodles mixed with bean sprouts and other vegetables, dressed in a spicy peanut sauce and topped with shrimp.

Really.

So I worked this weekend to create just the right combination. And it all starts with the peanut sauce.

This is a versatile, thin sauce with a slow heat; you control how much liquid you add to reach your desired consistency. (This sauce does thicken on standing.) I liked it thin, because it dressed the noodles very well without becoming sticky.

I combined cooked & cooled whole wheat noodles with julienned snow peas and some sprouts (I bought a sprout blend) and dressed with the peanut sauce; the shrimp on top was marinated in the peanut sauce, as well. I finished it with chopped cucumber for a cooling crunch, and a sprig of cilantro for garnish. Delicious!




The Best Spicy Peanut Sauce Ever

drizzle canola oil for frying
2 green onions (white and green parts), finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh or frozen ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I use a "creamy" natural peanut butter that isn't actually completely creamy, so there is a bit of nutty texture)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce (optional; available at asian groceries--I get mine at Walmart)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I used brown sugar substitute)
hot water or lite coconut milk to thin to desired consistency (I used 1 cup hot water)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
squeeze fresh lime juice (just a squirt from a lime wedge)

In a saucepan set over a medium flame, fry green onions and ginger in oil for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to low and stir in peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha hot sauce and brown sugar. Be careful not to scorch the peanut butter. Add hot water or coconut milk a little at a time while stirring gently to reach desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil and lime juice.

Edited Note: Since first publishing this sauce recipe, I've discovered that I can combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and just whisk--then set over a low flame, covered, and simmer for 10 minutes for perfect results. No need for any additional steps! You've got to love that!


Other Uses for this Sauce:

- chicken, pork or tofu satay (made thicker)
- chicken wings
- mixed with a little rice wine vinegar it would make a fantastic salad dressing
- any cooked meat served over steamed white or brown rice


Sauce Variation Ideas:

- omit the hot sauce for a sweeter taste
- use lite coconut milk instead of water for more of a thai taste
- don't have sriracha hot sauce? try any curry paste you have on hand, or use some cayenne pepper to taste
- try using real maple syrup instead of brown sugar


3 comments:

marye said...

WOW! I may never buy this stuff premade again..it sounds great!

Amanda said...

Thanks, Marye!

I've never even seen bottled pb sauce! But this is so easy to throw together--it took maybe 10 minutes.

It took me a bit longer to lick the pan clean after it cooled. :)

Mary said...

What a fantastic looking meal! It looks so healthy and delicious!

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