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.
- 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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Nutritional information is based on 24 servings and includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt.