Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Peanut Sauce / Dressing

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.

Peanut Sauce

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.


  1. Hooray -- you have discovered Three Crabs, which is the only brand I will use. One thing about it -- it will not keep forever, so when the bottle gets low, if it's been sitting in your pantry for a while, toss it out and buy a fresh bottle.

  2. Very good to Know Lydia. Thank you!

  3. I really enjoy peanut sauces and this one looks and sounds good.

  4. Now would you recommend a natural peanut butter that comes w/ the oil separated, or do you prefer a generic brand like Jif? What do you use? And what exactly would you use the Three Crab Fish Sauce in? Excited to try this one! I have been on the lookout for a tasty peanut sauce. My roomate brought home some Pad Thai leftovers with a peanut sauce twist that she concocted herself, and i didn't have the heart to tell her - it was awful! :)

  5. Anonymous:
    I like organic peanut butter, but don't care for the type with the oil on the top. I like it smooth and when the oil is at the top it's hard to get it that way.
    As for the three crabs fish sauce, Pad Thai would be an excellent use or just about any other Asian sauce as well. I make a soy based dipping sauce for egg rolls which is what I mostly use it for.


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