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Indonesian Peanut Dressing

Updated February 23, 2016
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Published by Harvard Common Press

This is one of my all-time favorite dressings. Rich with the flavor of coconut, peanuts, and spicy chiles, when tossed with greens, vegetables, or meats, it’s substantial enough to make a great main dish. Sambal oelek is a fresh red chile sauce from Indonesia and is available in Asian markets and most supermarkets.

Cooking Methodsauteeing

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, high fiber, kosher, lactose-free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian

Taste and Texturecreamy, hot & spicy, nutty, savory, sweet, tangy

Type of Dishdressing, sauces

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter, preferably natural
  • ¼ cup well-stirred unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek, chili garlic sauce, or hot pepper sauce
  • ½ teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • Salt

Instructions

In a medium-size saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes.

Off the heat, add the peanut butter, coconut milk, brown sugar, sambal oelek, and ginger and whisk until pasty. Gradually whisk in the water and simmer over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Let cool, then whisk in the lime juice and peanuts and season with salt. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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