Before I begin, a quick note about an update to a very popular post on my blog. Several of you have asked for a quick visual on how I shape my bread dough into loaves in the comments of my step-by-step whole wheat bread post (the simple technique has changed a little over the years since the original post). I added a quick, 2-minute video to the very end of that bread making post in case you are interested. Because the video wasn’t preplanned, please bear with my little sidekick (and the quirky editing – I had to cut out the part where she threw a tantrum when I wouldn’t give her one of the bread pans).
If you’re the type that often digs into the condiments at a Thai restaurant with a spoon (are you looking at me?), you are going to love, super love, this recipe.
It’s not fancy, it doesn’t call for a million unpronounceable ingredients, but it is simple, fast and totally delicious.
Think of it as the cheater’s way to make a really great Thai peanut sauce. I’ve been whipping this up for weeks now and keeping it in my refrigerator in a mason jar. I pull it out when we feel like our fresh veggies need a little dipping action or when I want a more-than-PB&J-lunch or for a quick dinner (grilled chicken, rice or noodles and drizzled peanut sauce). As the saying goes: the options are endless.
Lately, for lunch, I take my friend, Lesli’s advice (she’s the one who sent me the recipe), and sauté up some cabbage, onions and maybe some chicken sausage with a bunch of other vegetables thrown in, like peppers and broccoli and kale, and drizzle it all with this peanut sauce. Lunch heaven, baby.
Keep in mind this is a Thai-style version of peanut sauce which can be different in flavor from peanut sauces in Chinese or other cuisines. It’s sweeter (even though I cut the sugar down considerably from the original) and creamier and perfect for, say, a Thai chicken satay dish which usually requires a little peanut sauce for dipping.
Because I tend to skim instead of reading in-depth (it’s a bad habit), the first time I made this, I didn’t cook it at all – I just blended everything up. I’m not sure how I came to the conclusion that the recipe said that (since it clearly did not), but I made the peanut sauce this quick, blender way a good two or three times before glancing back at Lesli’s email and realizing that actually, it calls for the sauce to be simmered. Oops. The only reason I’m telling you this is to emphasize that the sauce is fantastic simmered and thickened (the flavors blend magically), but hey, if you’re like me and choose to just blend everything up and cut the prep time from a whopping five minutes down to a measly two, well, you’ll always be welcome in my house.
Add the curry paste according to how flavorful/spicy you want the sauce. Brands differ in heat - I often use the Thai Kitchen brand because I can easily find it in my grocery store and I use the full 4 tablespoons but I don't mind a touch of spiciness.
It's really important to use natural unsweetened peanut butter here. I've tried it using your every day creamy peanut butter (like Skippy or Jif) and the texture and flavor is overly sweet and just weird. You really want that natural peanut flavor to come through.
The recipe says to simmer the ingredients and that definitely deepens the flavor and thickens the sauce but as I mentioned in the post above, several times, I've skipped the stove step and just blended everything up and it's tasty, tasty.
- 1 (13- or 14-ounce can) coconut milk, light or regular
- 3-4 tablespoons red curry paste (see note above)
- 1 cup natural unsweetened creamy peanut butter (see note above)
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar or honey
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- Whisk together all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often so it doesn't scorch, for 2-3 minutes.
- Let the sauce cool slightly. Transfer it to a container or jar, cover, and keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe sent to me by my culinary fiend of a friend, Lesli (originally from SheSimmers)