I have been wanting to make a peanut sauce and dressing for a while now. I made my first batch yesterday and wow- nasty. I quickly found out it was, I purchased some Mae Ploy which the recipe called for at the Vietnamese market, maybe it was the brand or variety I used, but oh my goodness my finished product was umm...nasty! I think it is the first thing I have ever made that even I would not eat. Scary. This made me a little more skeptical of ingredients I am not all that familiar with, so I then decided if I did not like the ingredient outside of the sauce- it would not go in it.
I started over by mixing the ingredients I knew would work- peanut butter, light soy, dark sesame oil, and a little red curry paste. That was my base and from there I added the rest of the ingredients a little at a time until I had the right combination. I liked my finished product and my goal now is to learn more about Asian ingredients.
The Vietnamese market I shop at has a wonderful selection of sauces and noodles, the problem is the language barrier- I don't speak Vietnamese and the proprietor does not speak very much English. He has led me to some good finds though, Three Crab brand fish sauce and Kikoman Special Soy Sauce which to my surprise were both light and not as salty as others I've had. Slowly I'll figure it out- my likes and dislikes. Mae Ploy is definetely in the dislike column at the moment, but I will make an effort to find out more about it. (The Three Crab fish sauce is very good- I highly recommend it).
I made the peanut sauce for a Noodle dish I've been craving, I will post about it over the next few days. The sauce got better the next day as the flavors started to come together. Adjust the heat to taste with the curry paste, but take note- it tasted spicier the following day after the flavors came together. The peanut sauce would be great as a salad dressing or dipping sauce also.
1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup mild soy sauce
1/3 cup Kecap Manis (medium sweet soy sauce)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food precessor and blend until smooth.
Store covered in the refrigerator.