Asian peanut sauce

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jbryan
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2006/06/27 00:37:01 (permalink)

Asian peanut sauce

I have searched, asked, bought many ingredents trying to get a peanut sauce that is close to as good as a local Vietnamiese restauraunt in town. They use it as a salad roll dip. I guess that I dont know much about basic asian ingredients to figure one out myself. I have tried. I want one that is better than the bottled stuff that you can buy. I hope to use it as a salad dressing for now, but it is a really versitile sauce. Anyone have a good recipe that sounds like what I am looking for?

Mucho appricianado
#1

11 Replies Related Threads

    LindaW
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 08:47:35 (permalink)
    I made one this weekend..but can't give you measurements...as I just kept playing till it tasted right...but I used reduced fat skippy chunky...a bit of toasted sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic chili sauce...and then thinned it with a little bit of warm water...we used it as a dipping sauce for grilled pork and shrimp...you could add fish sauce if you wanted to to add some salt, grated ginger, green onions....
    #2
    jbryan
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 09:19:41 (permalink)
    That sounds really good. Keep em coming!!
    #3
    Ashphalt
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 09:43:25 (permalink)
    I think I may need to try experimenting again. At one time I was trying to re-create the peanut salad dressing at a Thai place (called Thai Place) we used to go to for a cheap lunch. I gave up, but that was before the internet and Roadfood.com.

    What I've found while looking for recipes is that there seems to be a wide spectrum of what passes for Thai or Viet peanut sauces, and some Viet restaurants use something that seems more Thai, maybe because its more known to American diners. I'm guessing that the differences in recipes have something to do with the purpose (i.e. salad, dipping sauce, main dish etc.) and maybe regional custom and ingredients. Some recipes are largely based on lime juice and fish sauce, some have coconut milk, I've even seen some that call for meat products.

    It would be great to see what others have come up with. Meanwhile, maybe I'll start with the sauce from my westernized peanut noodle recipe (if I recall it's pretty similar to Linda's, but with fish sauce instead of soy and a touch of sugar) and work from there.
    #4
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 10:29:36 (permalink)


    I used to work at the Farmer's Markets in Marin County and at the Embarcadero in S.F. I sold a peanut cilantro sauce for a caterer that I worked for. It was very popular. My sales pitch was that it went well with everything that was available at the market.

    I won't give that recipe as I have done my own experimenting and changed the recipe, but theirs and mine has a serious amount of cilantro in it resulting in a very green sauce.

    I like both suggestions from LindaW and Ashphalt and to be honest, I too cannot remember what the proportions of what to add. I make mine with coconut milk, creamy peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice.....hey, what the other folks are adding. It's just that I add a lot of cilantro. This sauce is great on (grilled) chicken and pork, to stir-fried with noodles. it's pretty versatile.

    One thing to consider about this and other Asian sauces is to stimulate all four of the taste buds on the tongue. Sweet, salty, hot and sour.

    mark
    #5
    Ashphalt
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 11:06:49 (permalink)
    Mark, nice ideas. I agree with you regarding the four tastes, thanks for summing it up.

    I don't generally put cilantro in my noodle sauce but the noodles are always garnished with it. Come to think of it, that salad we liked was garnished with cilantro and bean sprouts. Obviously a taste pairing here.
    #6
    zataar
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 15:24:57 (permalink)
    I've been making this sauce for years. It's very easy and good.

    Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

    Heat 1 TBL. vegetable or peanut oil in a saucepan. Add:
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1 small shallot, finely chopped (optional)
    2 tsp. chili sauce with garlic or sambal oelek or to taste.
    1 Tbl. tomato paste.
    Saute until fragrant, a minute or so, don’t let garlic burn

    Add:
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1 tsp. palm sugar or brown sugar
    1 tsp. white vinegar
    2 TBL. smooth peanut butter
    4 TBL. hoisin

    simmer, stirring until smooth for 4 or 5 minutes.

    Taste for seasonings. The sauce should be slightly sweet and slightly saltly and as spicy as you like it. If it’s too sweet, add a few drops more vinegar. Add a little salt if needed. Top with crushed unsalted roasted peanuts to serve. The sauce keeps 4 to 5 days refrigerated.
    #7
    jbryan
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 16:48:57 (permalink)
    Zataar, that sounds very good. I have seen some recipes with hoisen sauce in it. I really like the coconut milk idea. I'll work on them this weekend.
    #8
    lleechef
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/27 23:07:21 (permalink)
    My ingredient list is pretty much the same:

    coconut milk
    fish sauce
    sambal
    lime juice
    rice vinegar
    cilantro
    peanut butter
    hoisin

    I just mix all together in a bowl and serve with satay.
    #9
    V960
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/06/28 09:34:48 (permalink)
    I agree w/ the rest but would add that I use three crab fish sauce.Not as salty but just as stinky as the rest. It has three red crabs on the label.
    #10
    doggydaddy
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/07/02 08:58:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashphalt

    Mark, nice ideas. I agree with you regarding the four tastes, thanks for summing it up.

    I don't generally put cilantro in my noodle sauce but the noodles are always garnished with it. Come to think of it, that salad we liked was garnished with cilantro and bean sprouts. Obviously a taste pairing here.


    Thanks. What is funny is since I posted that, I have rediscovered COOKS ILLUSTRATED magazine. It is like CONSUMER REPORTS of cooking as they do not have any advertising and report straight up on techniques, equipment and much more.
    There is some kind of synchronicity happening here. A couple of days ago, I saw it on the magazine racks at the supermarket. I read an article about their ketchup taste test. Interesting. When I came home, there was a sample copy in my mailbox.

    Yesterday, I tried to find the issue that I had previously read. It wasn't there, but they had a Summer Grilling edition out. Like many of us, I think that I know all that I need about BBQ-ing. But they had articles about what I was cooking for dinner, Beef ribs and grilled sweet corn. The articles were spot-on.

    But the main point that I am getting to is that they also have a recipe for peanut sauce using most of the basic ingredients that we are using here. And yes, they said that the sauce should affect all four flavor senses....

    mark
    #11
    Jennie
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    RE: Asian peanut sauce 2006/07/03 09:53:30 (permalink)
    Zataar, your sauce sounds fabulous. I plan to try it out this week. In fact, I might do an A/B test with my hubby and see which he likes best.

    My Malaysian cookbook (Walden, 1998) has the following:

    Satay Sauce

    3 oz toasted peanuts
    1 fresh red chile, cored, seeded and chopped
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    4 tablespoons red curry paste
    Scant 1 3/4 C coconut milk
    Squeeze of lime juice
    2 tablespoons of light brown sugar

    Put peanuts, chile, and garlic in a blender (their photo shows a food processor). Mix together, then add curry paste, 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk and a squeeze of lime juice. Mix to blend evenly.

    Pour mixture into a saucepan. Stir in remaining coconut milk and the sugar Bring to a boil, stirring, then boil for two minutes.

    Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if sauce becomes too thick.



    My Thai cookbook, on the other hand (Real Thai, McDermott 1992) has:

    Spicy Peanut Sauce

    1/2 C coconut milk
    2 tablespoons red curry paste
    1/2 cup chunky-style peanut butter
    1/2 cup chicken stock
    3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
    2 tablespoons tamarind liquid or freshly squeezed lime juice
    1 tablespoon fish sauce
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Warm the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, heat the milk until it reaches a gentle boil and tiny beads of oil glisten on the surface, about 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir occasionally until it dissolves itno the coconut milk and releases its fragrance, about 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, the chicken stock, and sugar and cook gently until the sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with tamarind (or lime juice), fish sauce, and salt. Taste and adjust for a pleasing balance of sweet, sour, and salty. Cool to room temperature.

    Okay, maybe an A/B/C test, then. lol Guess I'm cutting up meat to skewer today.

    Jennie
    #12
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