Peanut Sauce

I love peanuts. Peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies. Roasted peanuts. Spicy peanuts. There is something about the flavor of peanuts that is very appealing to me and I am so very grateful I do not suffer from peanut allergies.
That said, I don’t eat many peanuts anymore because I mostly eat almonds. Almond butter, roasted almonds, etc. So, it is always a special treat when I decide to make peanut sauce for something like peanut noodles or Gado Gado, a traditional Indonesian vegetable salad covered in peanut sauce. Yum. That always brings me back to one of my favorite places on earth: Indonesia- the inspiration for this sauce.
So, here’s your warning: This isn’t really a quick sauce to prepare. You need to follow through with a few steps, but it is well worth the time and effort, I promise.
Step 1: Thinly slice 4 cloves of garlic and fry them with 3-5 dried Thai chilies (I always go with 5) in a couple tablespoons of peanut oil until the garlic is golden and toasted and the chilies are a little puffed.

Step 2: Remove these from the heat and oil to stop them from cooking. Let them cool on some paper towels while prepping the rest of the sauce.
In my kitchen, I have a step 3: Make peanut butter. I put 2 cups of peanuts in the Vita-Mix and make fresh peanut butter in about one minute’s time. If you don’t own a Vita-Mix yet, make sure you are using real peanut butter. Basically, that means please, please, please only use peanut butter if the the ingredients read: Peanuts. Or, Peanuts and Salt.
Step 4: In a bowl or large Pyrex measuring cup, add approximately 1 cup of peanut butter. Everything in this recipe is approximate, so you can play with the flavors and add more of something or less according to your tastes.
Next, add:
  • 5 TB soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup warm water (it is easier to mix with warm water rather than cold)
Mix this well.
Step 5: Grind your garlic and chilies in your mortar and pestle.

I have a special attachment to my mortar and pestle because I bought it in Indonesia.
Add the garlic and chilies to your sauce and mix well.
I made a big bowl of peanut noodles with this sauce. Too bad I didn’t double the recipe and store some in the fridge for a week or so. Next time.
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