If I were a real writer, I'd write an ode to peanut sauce. It's an immediate flavor booster and makes any lackluster combination of foods look fancy and taste special. Cleaning out the veggie box in the fridge? Add peanut sauce and you have a great lunch salad. Baking fish for dinner? Pair it with greens and drizzle peanut sauce over the top and you're basically at a restaurant. Want to put a spin on the typical veggies-and-ranch platter for a party? Peanut sauce is the answer.
This version contains Thai red curry paste, and it was an ah-ha! moment for me. Something about the combination of flavors in the paste made it more authentic tasting than any version I'd thrown together before. For our family of spice-averse kiddos the Thai Kitchen red curry paste is a good balance of flavor without too much spice, but my pre-kids self loved it with Mae Ploy curry paste. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients! Once you've gathered them, the sauce is just a few whirls away from done.
As written, the sauce is pretty thick and good for spooning over fish or chicken in a rice bowl or as a dip for fresh veggies. If you'd like it as a sauce for satay chicken or tofu skewers, add some coconut milk to thin it out and sweeten it a bit. When I want it as a salad dressing, I add a dash more rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. Make it as written, and then make it your own by balancing out the sweet/salty/sour flavors. Let me know how you use it or alter the recipe in the comments!
Thai Peanut Sauce
- ½ small shallot, roughly chopped
- 3 inches lemongrass stalk, sliced into rounds
- 1 medium lime, zested then juiced
- 2 teaspoon red curry paste
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon water
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times and then use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Process again until smooth.
Linda Buckland says
Fabulous - so tasty. Didn't have any red curry paste so used mild curry paste and gochuang- inauthentic but good. And could not face squishing peanut butter into a cup measure (though I do have a set!) so used a big dollop. As we're veggie we had it over tofu dusted with cornstarch and shallow fried, stir fry veg and noodles. Mmm-mmm.
You really can't go wrong riffing on the peanut sauce, I'm glad you found some substitutions that worked. I hear you about the measuring cup with peanut butter. I have this nifty squeegee measuring contraption for peanut butter that I use often, but the old dollop method works well too!