~ "Would You Like Spicy Peanut Sauce With That?"~
If you are a lover of Asian food, you know that having the right condiment or dipping sauce to go with the right dish is very important. If you are a lover of Asian food, you, like me, probably have a nice collection of Asian sauces in your pantry or refrigerator. I have at least ten. That being said, when I'm going to the time and trouble to prep Asian fare, I don't mind taking an extra few minutes to prepare a special condiment or dipping sauce to go with it. Peanut sauce is one of them and it could not be easier to make!
A bit about peanut sauce: This sauce is widely used in the cuisines of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Africa. The main ingredients are roasted peanuts or peanut butter (crunchy or smooth), coconut milk, soy sauce and palm sugar. Pulverized spices (red chile peppers, coriander, cumin, garlic, galangal and /or lemongrass, are almost always added. You can easily purchase your favorite brand, but, when you see how easy this is to make, I don't know why you would. My recipe, which came from my Thai girlfriend Kanya, contains one small can of Thai-style red curry paste, which provides all of the above named pulverized spices.
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 4-ounce can Thai-style red curry paste
1 13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (briefly stirred after opening the can)
6 tablespoons chunky-style peanut butter
2 tablespoons firmly-packed palm sugar or brown sugar
Continue to cook gently, stirring almost constantly, until the curry paste is bubbling rapidly and is very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
~ Step 3. Place in a food storage container (or two) and cool, uncovered, until sauce is at room temperature.
Cover tightly and store indefinitely in the refrigerator.
Reheat gently in the microwave, stirring occasionally, just prior to serving.
Special Equipment List: 1-quart saucepan; food storage container w/tight-fitting lid; spoon
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)