Friday, June 19, 2009

Mmmm...Peanut Sauce!

Who doesn't love peanut sauce? (You don't?! Okay, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. Unless you have a peanut allergy. Then I forgive you.) That creamy, spicy, delicious sauce that you can put on virtually anything. Put a plate of tofu and vegetables in front of a meat-loving guy and he'll probably think you're crazy - put a plate of tofu and vegetables covered in peanut sauce and it's a whole different story. Of course you could also use the sauce over chicken or you know meat of any kind, but that's aside from the point!

So I'm sure many of you already have your own go-to peanut sauce recipe, but this is the one I turn to for a quick, healthy, and frankly just delicious dinner. Put on a pot of rice, stir fry some meat or vegetables and make this peanut sauce - you've got dinner.

First mince 4 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup red onion, and grate 2 tbsp ginger.

You can substitute regular onions, just saute them a little longer so they loose their bite. Or you can leave out the onions all together, just stir vigorously to keep the ginger & garlic from burning.

Tip: I peel and freeze chunks of fresh ginger that way I always have fresh ginger on hand plus it is remarkably easier to grate frozen ginger (trust me: try it!).

Heat 1 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil) over medium heat. Add the minced onion, garlic, and grated ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring occasionally to keep the garlic from burning.

Add 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) and deglaze pan for 1 minute.

Add 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, and 1 tbsp fish sauce (or extra soy sauce for vegetarians). Bring to a boil.

Add 1/3 cup peanut butter & whisk gently to combine. The peanut butter will gently melt into the sauce. A personal warning, if you get too excited whisking the peanut butter before its really melted into the sauce, you will end up with splatters all over your stove...not that I would do that on a regular basis or anything.

Now add hot sauce to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add more water to thin it out. Too thin? Add more peanut butter. You've got the hang of it now.

Now enjoy on top of something like this (with meat or tofu added). And pretend there is a nice plated after picture here.

Peanut Sauce

1 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup minced red onion (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce (or extra soy sauce for vegetarians)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup peanut butter
Hot chili sauce (Sriracha, etc.), to taste

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add red onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring (to avoid burning the garlic) until onion is softened. Add rice vinegar & deglaze the pan for 1 minute. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and water. Bring to a boil. Add peanut butter & whisk gently to combine. Add hot chili sauce to taste (I usually add ~1 tbsp). If the sauce is to thick it can be thinned with additional water at this point. Serve over stir fry or soba noodles.

Mmmmm mmmm!


  1. I am such a nut for peanut sauce! Can't get enough of the stuff! :P

  2. Yum, sounds great, will try this version next time I make gado gado.

  3. wow love it! This sauce sounds SO versatile, and I can eat it by itself!

  4. I love peanut sauce! This looks like a great recipe! I'll be trying it soon!

  5. A nicely made peanut sauce tastes great with freshly steamed vegetables.

  6. Hi Sarah, I made this sauce for 25 people last week and got rave reviews. That is, they work in the WY heat all day and think any food is good, but for this one they gave a standing ovation. Keep up the good work!

  7. i love peanut sauce and yours looks great! thanks for the recipe.

  8. i agree! peanut sauce works everywhere, love it! such a crowd pleaser, thanks!