February 22, 2009

Spicy Peanut Sauce

2/3 cup pork broth, at room temperature
1/4 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts (see note)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 green onion, green parts only, chopped
additional lightly salted roasted peanuts, chopped


Note: I made this using my very powerful VitaMix with is able to turn nuts into a smooth paste. If using a regular blender, substitute about 3 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter for the 1/4 cup peanuts.

In a mixer, pulse the peanuts, garlic and oil until smooth. Add the broth, fish sauce and garlic sauce, pulsing after each addition. Pulse until very smooth. If using a VitaMix, continue mix on high until the mixture is hot-steam will come out of the top when you remove the lid- about 1-2 minutes. If using a less powerful blender, pour the sauce into a small sauce pan to heat through. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the green onion and chopped peanuts.

I used it on steamed Chinese eggplant, but I think it has potential as a (slightly thin) dipping sauce and I bet it would be great drizzled over green salads. Many possibilities for this one.

Yield: a little more than 1 cup

My thoughts:
Oh my is this a great sauce. It is rare that I am so taken aback about how good it tastes. I am not normally a big peanut or even, sauce fan but yum. So worth whipping up today. Or right this very second. It was actually just something I threw together for a quick dinner side dish but was so taken with it, I just had to write down what I did and share it with all of you. It is just so lovely and fresh tasting. Much more special than the simple ingredients list would lead you to believe. The peanuts are perfectly balanced by the spice so you don't get that "watered down peanut butter" effect that a lot of peanut sauces seem to give. My VitaMix (this sounds like a commercial, but seriously...) got it so smooth that I could not believe that it was made with whole peanuts. AND it heated it up in like 2 minutes. Freakishly good and easy. I think it would be just as good made in a regular blender (not a food processor, you want it to be smooth) but I'd skip straight to using prepared peanut butter. A little bit of coarsely chopped peanuts is fine but you don't want a thick or gloppy sauce. Anyway, while it was divine tossed with some steamed eggplant and roasted garlic, I am already plotting other ways to use up the leftovers.

It is also easy to vegan-ize, just use vegetable broth, leave out the fish paste and maybe add a dash of soy sauce or tamari instead.