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Spicy Peanut Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

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 cup

Cooking Methodsauteeing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, low cholesterol, tree nut free

Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy, nutty, savory

Type of Dishdip/spread, sauces

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

 

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