Sunday, April 27, 2008

Peanut Sauce

This is one of those sauces that is a cinch to put together and only takes a few minutes on the stove. I have loved it ever since I dipped my first skewer of Chicken Satay into a bowlful at one of the first Thai restaurants I ever frequented in Austin back in the early eighties. The restaurant was called Satay, and it's still there.

All I knew about Thailand at the time was from The King and I, and that wasn't much. I didn't even know that it was a Thai restaurant. As far as I remember, I just assumed it was Chinese and I was a little puzzled that I didn't recognize more of the dishes. But I do remember that it was mighty tasty, especially that peanut sauce that started off the meal.

But the chicken on the skewer part of the appetizer really didn't do much for me. So much as I loved the sauce, it kind of stayed at the back of my mind and since there weren't that many Thai restaurants in Austin, I rarely had the opportunity to even think about it, let alone order it.

Chicago has a large Thai population (but not the largest as I previously thought - that's L.A.) and a lot of Thai restaurants. You can't throw a bottle of Sriracha without hitting one. So after I moved here I ate a lot of Thai food - it's cheap, fast, and holds up to delivery well. And I rediscovered peanut sauce. So I began looking for recipes.

And found quite a few. But I didn't have any thoughts about how to serve it since I didn't really want Chicken Satay and spring rolls were way too ambitious for me. So again, it just stayed at the back of my mind, until I would run across another recipe and think about it for a minute or two, and then it would go right back behind all the other recipes I wanted to try.

So I don't know exactly what made me finally decide to whip up a batch. Maybe it's the fish sauce I bought at the Asian market down the street (that has since closed, alas). Maybe it's the whole wheat linguini I bought on impulse.

Whatever the reason, I am glad I did. This stuff is really, really good. And really, really easy. I found a lot of recipes with many variations, so you can pretty much wing it, as far as I can tell. I've made it a couple of times now and it's been thick and delicious every time. It is delicious with pasta as a side dish, and if you add grilled chicken it becomes a hearty main dish (almost like Chicken Satay, but when it's not on skewers I like it much better, for some reason).
Home Cookin Chapter: Sauces
PEANUT SAUCE
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (to taste)
1 clove crushed garlic

Place ingredients in small saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until it thickens.

Serve over whole wheat pasta.

Servings: 4

very loosely adapted from several recipes found online

Exported from Home Cookin 5.5 (www.mountain-software.com)

2 comments:

Jina Knits! said...

I love peanut sauce an I like anything with it. Though I have to say that nothing is better than peanut noodle regardless the types of noodle. I can eat just that all day long.

dejamo said...

Yep, I think that's my favorite way to eat it too. It was really good with the linguini.

Thanks for stopping by, Jina!

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