Sambal kacang, satay sause, bumbu kacang or peanut sauce is a flavoring agent or enhancer that is used widely in the local cuisines of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, China and Malaysia. Peanut sauce is also used in the Middle Eastern, African and Dutch cuisine.
The far Eastern people especially Thai’s are almost fanatical about peanut sauce. They use the sauce as an accompaniment to almost anything and everything that they eat. So you can see peanut sauce being paired with French fries, bread, vegetables, spring rolls, meat noodles, tofu besides the traditional Thai dishes.
The Secret to Making the Perfect Peanut Sauce
As the name indicates, peanut sauce is prepared from peanuts. But along with peanuts, are a whole host of other ingredients, which elevates this humble sauce to exceptional heights. There are numerous recipes for peanut sauce. The ingredient which goes into making the peanut sauce is what differentiates a creamy peanut sauce from one that has a slightly crunchy texture.
Some of the main ingredients used in the preparation of peanut sauce are galangal, soy sauce, garlic, coconut milk besides a variety of local spices. As mentioned earlier, there are many variations of the humble peanut sauce. So there may be additions or subtractions in the key ingredients that go into making this rich sauce.
The Versatile Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for vegetable dishes or it can be used as a base for preparing beef or chicken satay. Peanut sauce is often paired with cold noodle salad. Peanut sauce can also be brushed on grilled tofu or chicken to give a whole new twist to the dish.
There is some conflict regarding the actual preparation of peanut sauce. Some people believe that peanut sauce should be prepared cold or without cooking the sauce. Another section believes that once the sauce mixture is ready it should be simmered on a very low heat for approximately ten minutes. Ultimately it is individual taste which decides whether the peanut sauce should be cooked or not.
Thai garlic – 2 cloves
Fresh lime juice – 2tbsp
Thai Onion Small – ½
Brown Sugar – 1heaped tbsp
Crunchy Peanut Butter – 140gms
Salted Peanuts Crushed Coarsely – 2tbsp
Curry Powder – ½ tsp
Coconut Milk – 180ml
Red Chilli Pepper Flakes – 1/2tbsp
Canned Coconut Milk – 180ml
Fresh Thai Coriander – 2tsp
1. Take a small Thai onion. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Dice the onion finely
and keep it aside.
2. Next peel two large garlic cloves. Press the garlic cloves in a garlic press or you can even crush them under the flat side of a large knife. Combine the garlic and onion in a blender to form a smooth paste.
3. To the blended garlic and onion paste, add one tablespoon of brown sugar, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice, half a teaspoon of curry powder, salt and a half teaspoon of fried and crushed red chili flakes . Also add few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves.
4. Continue blending for another thirty seconds or till the ingredients takes on an ultra smooth consistency.
5. Now add around 150 grams of peanut butter and around 180ml of canned coconut milk.
6. Continue blending. Once the peanut sauce becomes nice and smooth, transfer it to a small saucepan.
7. Cook the peanut sauce over a low heat for about ten minutes. Transfer the cooked peanut sauce into a small bowl.
8. Garnish the peanut sauce with two tablespoons of coarsely crushed peanuts.
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