Seasonal Flavors: Peanut Sauce–Hot or Not

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Thai food is popular, as it deserves to be, and Charlottesville has several fine establishments.  I’m still working on my currys, but for now, I’d rather spend the money to go out to dinner and let the experts cook for me. However, I do have a peanut sauce recipe that I use when I want to pan fry some vegetables and/or tofu, and/or chicken for a quick supper. Making this peanut sauce is not really quick—there are so many ingredients and all are necessary for the delicious result. But once you have made it—and it stores well in the refrigerator—the rest of the meal takes no time at all.

I sauté the meat if I’m using it, or the tofu, then add sliced carrots, a slivered onion, two sliced sweet peppers, two thinly sliced cloves of garlic and when they have cooked, I serve with this peanut sauce.

Note: I love it hot—probably hotter than you or anyone you know does. So when it is complete and before adding the pepper flakes, I divide it in half: one half for the civilians and the other for the iron stomach (that would be me).

I’ve also used it on rice, or any other combo of sautéed vegetables. I hope you enjoy it!

Peanut Sauce—Hot, or Not

Assemble the following ingredients and combine in a small food processor or blender:

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup catsup
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup tamari sauce
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 T peanut oil
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 4 tsp bottled ground ginger
  • Crushed red pepper—see instructions below.

After blending thoroughly, decide how hot to make it.  The recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of peanut sauce.  For mild seasoning add ½ tsp crushed red pepper.

To make it as hot as Denise likes it, add ¼ cup of crushed red pepper. I’m not kidding.

I’ll let you decide where you fall on this spectrum.

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