- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
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This hot and spicy peanut sauce is probably the one most associated with Indonesian cuisine. Widely popular, there are many variations of this sambal and a variety of uses. It’s used as a dip for satays, as a basis for unusual curries, as a dressing for gado gado, as an elaborate mixed vegetable salad, and as a sauce for cooked vegetables. Sambal kacang also makes a great dipping sauce for an appetizer of crisp garden vegetables. It’s traditionally prepared by pounding the peanuts into a paste before using, but we’ve simplified the recipe by substituting commercial peanut butter.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably peanut
- 3 shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup peanut butter, either crunchy or smooth
- 3 tablespoons lime juice, preferably fresh
- 1 tablespoon crushed dried piquin chiles; or substitute Sambal Oelek
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil, and when hot, add the shallots, garlic, and ginger and sauté until the shallots are soft and transparent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.
Serve the sambal warm or at room temperature. Do not refrigerate, or the peanut butter will congeal and the flavors will not blend.
© 2005 Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach
Note from Cookstr's Editors
Nutritional information is based on 16 servings and does not include Sambal Oelek. For nutritional information on Sambal Oelek, please follow the link above.