First off: I didn’t take pictures of my peanut sauce because, well…its peanut sauce. Its lumpy and muddy brown and isn’t really all that appealing to look at. Instead, I graced you all with an awesome peanut illustration (which trumps all my photographic abilities anyway).
And while peanut sauce may not be terribly pretty to look at, it is terribly good to eat. I would gladly drown my veggies, tofu, noodles, french fries, or you-name-it in peanut sauce. When confronted with my new dietary restrictions, I knew right away that peanut sauce would be my saving grace.
For a sauce with so much density and complexity, this recipe sure is easy to make. I’ve made simple variations before – with just peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, and ginger – but after perusing a few recipes online, it seemed that three key components were lacking from my peanut sauce: garlic, coconut milk, and hot sauce. Specifically, Sriacha hot sauce (aka Rooster Sauce).
I whipped up a batch of this peanut sauce for girls night – we were making vegetable and soba noodle stir fry – and it turned out really well. Just the right amounts of salt, sugar, and spice. It was creamy, but not too heavy. We all happily devoured our peanut stir fry, and it left us wondering why we don’t make our own peanut sauce more often. I don’t know why I haven’t before, but I plan on making it a lot more now! And, the best thing about this sauce is that its fool-proof and there are no right quantities of any ingredient. Just make it however your tastebuds like it. I’ll post the recipe for how my tastebuds like it!
Spicy Peanut Sauce
(All of these measurements are my best guesses, and can be changed according to your preference)
1/4 – 1/2 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 – 1/2 cup Coconut Milk (I bought these baby cans of coconut milk from Thai Kitchen that seem to be just the right amount)
2 Tbl Water
2 Tbl Brown Sugar
2 Tbl Soy Sauce
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
The juice from 1/2 of a Lime
Sriacha Sauce to taste (I put quite a bit in, probably 2 Tablespoons or more, but I like things spicy)
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger (Or grated fresh ginger, I just didn’t have any on hand).
Sautee crushed garlic in sesame (or peanut) oil in a small saucepan over med-low heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, coconut milk, water, brown sugar and soy sauce. After the garlic has cooked for a couple of minutes, turn the heat down to low and add in the peanut mixture. Add in ginger and hot sauce. Bring the sauce to a low simmer (it will bubble a bit, and get thicker). Depending on your preference, you can add more water if you think the sauce is too thick. Take off the heat and let cool slightly before tossing with noodles, vegetables, etc. Can be served hot or cold.