There are many types of Thai sauces. Some of them are used in cooking; while, some are used as dipping sauce. And one of the very popular Thai dipping sauces is the peanut sauce. It is normally served with satay chicken or cucumber salad.
This dipping sauce has become very popular in United States as well and many people buy bottled peanut sauces from Asian stores by spending quite a few bucks. But if you want to prepare healthy and fresh peanut sauce without investing in costly jars, then you can follow this recipe to do so.
Difficulty level: Easy
Yields per recipe: 2 ½-3 cups
Time required for cooking: 10 minutes
Time required for preparation: 30-40 minutes
2 cups of peanuts, roasted
1 cup of coconut milk
2 teaspoons of fish sauce
10-12 tablespoons of dried red chilies
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
A pinch of salt
1 large + 1 small clove of garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons of dark or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1-2 small jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
4 ½-inch pieces of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 sauté pan
1 stirring spoon
1 mortar and pestle
Method of Preparation
1. Place the sauté pan on the stove and light up the flame. Set the flame on medium low and let the sauté pan heat up. Once the pan heats up, put the peanuts in it and then roast them for 2-3 minutes or until they become aromatic. Shake the pan while toasting the peanuts because that prevents them from burning. Once the peanuts turn aromatic and slightly golden brown in color, turn off the flame and set the pan aside. Next, take the jalapeño peppers and snap off their stems. Hold the top of the peppers with your fingers and slit them in half lengthwise. Then carefully scrape out the seeds and the veins from the peppers.
2. Once done, cut the peppers into small pieces and then set them aside. Next take the cloves of garlic and peel off their skin. Now take a saucepan and fill it up with water. Place the saucepan on the stove and set the flame on medium. Let the water heat up and then drop the dried red chilies into the water as soon as the water starts bubbling. Press down the chilies into the saucepan and then place a strainer on top to keep them immersed in the water. Let the chilies simmer in the water for 4-5 minutes.
3. While the chilies are simmering in the water, take the mortar and pestle and put the roasted peanuts into the mortar. Then grind the peanuts into a fine powder with the help of the pestle. You can keep the powder a bit chunky, as authentic peanut sauce is not very smooth. Once done, transfer the ground peanut into a bowl and set it aside. Next, take the garlic cloves and put them into the mortar. Pound the garlic cloves as well to convert them into a smooth paste. Once done, put the jalapeño peppers into the mortar and pound them lightly. Once done, set them aside on a plate.
4. Finally, put the ginger pieces into the mortar and pound them until you get a smooth paste. Then remove the paste from the mortar and set it aside on a separate plate. Once everything is done, remove the strainer from the saucepan and set it aside. Next, take out the chilies from the saucepan and put them into the mortar. Add a pinch of salt to the chilies and then pound them with the pestle until you get a very smooth paste. Once done, set a skillet on the stove and then light up the flame. Set the flame on medium and then put the red chili paste in it.
5. Stir and cook the red chili paste for a few seconds or until it becomes aromatic. Then add the ground peanuts to that. Stir and cook the ground peanut with the red chili paste for a few minutes and then pour the coconut milk into the saucepan. Stir the mixture to mix the ground peanut and the chili paste with the coconut milk and then let it simmer for a few minutes. Once the sauce thickens up a bit, add-in the garlic paste, ginger paste, jalapeño pepper paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, a pinch of salt, sesame oil and the brown sugar to it.
6. Then set the flame on medium and cook the sauce stirring it occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until all the seasonings dissolve in the sauce. You can add a little bit of water to the sauce if you feel it has turned very thick. Once done, serve the sauce with chicken satay or cucumber salad.