Tanya's Peanut Sauce
A few years ago, someone on my alumni list posted her version of a pretty good peanut sauce based on a Gourmet magazine recipe. I've played around with it a lot and modified it to my liking. The downside is no peanut sauce I've tried in restaurants comes close -- they're usually way too sweet, and salty as well. Here's my recipe. I've fooled around with different ingredients quite a bit, but as long as the proportions are fairly consistent, it comes out great. I especially like ginger, and the fresher the ginger, the zippier it is!
This recipe makes enough for a pound of pasta. I also use it on braised kale, roasted potatoes, or other vegetables. For cold pasta salads made with soba noodles or rotini or elbows, I add a few cups of veggies (grated carrots, minced celery, chopped cucumber, sweet red onion, red peppers, etc.).
In a 4-cup measuring cup or jar, add:
Mix well with a fork or whisk, until the mixture becomes creamy.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I use organic PB made with peanuts and nothing else, smooth or chunky)
- 2-3 Tbsp. Bragg's aminos, tamari, or soy sauce (use less if peanut butter already has salt)
- 2 Tbsp. sweetener (maple syrup, agave, marmalade, jam, etc.)
- 2 Tbsp. acid (balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, red wine vinegar, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil (reasonably priced at Trader Joe's)
- 1-3 heaping Tbsp. grated ginger* (see note)
- 1/4 tsp. (to taste) chipotle powder
Stir to combine. It can be used right away, and it thickens when refrigerated, especially if you use lots of ginger. Keeps 3-5 days or so in the fridge.
When I make a double batch, I often freeze what I don't plan to use within a few days. It defrosts well in the fridge, but if you heat it up instead of letting it thaw, it gets a strange goopy texture.
* Ginger: I use a microplane grater to get juicy, finely grated ginger. The amount depends on the freshness of the ginger and how much you like ginger. Usually I peel at least a 1-inch segment of a robust rhizome. Peeling and grating is the most time-consuming part of the recipe, so I have substituted powdered ginger, 1 Tbsp. or more, for an almost instant peanut sauce.