I learned how to make peanut sauce at one of my first restaurant jobs, a place on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with a Thai chef. Formerly considered exotic, it is now available in the Asian section of most supermarkets—but nothing beats homemade peanut sauce.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon shredded fresh ginger (use the large holes on a box grater)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon Madras-style curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter (not natural-style)
- 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth, or use homemade stock
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk or heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc cham) or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- Chopped fresh cilantro, including stems, for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium low-heat. Add the shallots, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the shallots are golden, about 3 minutes. Add the curry powder and red pepper and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
2. Whisk in the broth, peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and simmer over low heat to blend the flavors, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, then cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days (if the chilled dip is too thick, thin with water or broth).
3. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve at room temperature.
Nutritional information is based on 14 servings.