When you’re down and troubled…make peanut sauce

People have different ways of coping with bad situations, stress, loss, sadness, anger. Some go for a 50 mile run to get all those endorphins going. Some reach for a cake. Never understood the eating of an entire cake. Wouldn’t you get sick first? Some hide under their dining room table with a bottle of wine and their dogs. And some decide that getting in the kitchen is the only way to take their mind off their what seem to be insurmountable trials and tribulations. I happen to fall into the latter two camps. I also forgot to mention those who drown their sorrows in bourbon. That may be me as well. Yes, I know therapy could be helpful.

Being in the kitchen making something gives me the luxury of not really having to think about anything while actually doing something productive. I see it as a win-win situation. Sometimes I make something complex to really keep my mind occupied. And sometimes I concoct something relatively easy so that I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something that day.

Today that thing was peanut sauce. Tonight for dinner…I will be featuring a variety of Asian flavors. And we all know nothing says Asian flavors like peanut sauce. I’m going to toss the peanut sauce with some rice noodles and serve it with, pork shu mai,  (you could dip the shu mai in the peanut sauce if you like. so many options) bulgogi beef and a lovely plum salad. Again the intention here is limited brain activity.

Perfect Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

1/4 cup peanut butter (natural, no sugar added kind) (okay, I used the kind that most likely had some kind of sugar added and salt. I don’t follow rules very well)
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup coconut milk (lite is fine, if you prefer or substitute water)
1/4 cup water
Red chili flake to taste
Chili garlic sauce to taste or 1 clove crushed garlic

I added a bit more coconut milk, peanut butter (because I didn’t find it peanutty enough), extra lime and a couple of healthy squeezes of Sriracha

Optional:
sesame oil (I also used a bit of this)
curry paste
rice wine vinegar
fish sauce
grated ginger
shallots sauteed till brown in oil (this would be delish, but I’m feeling rather lazy)
Worcestershire sauce (Raedia’s idea) (I have no idea who Raedia is? Perhaps her boyfriend or cat?)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl, adding the water last. Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Experiment with this sauce adding a teaspoon at a time of one the optional additions and tasting as you go. Serve hot or cold, store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

This is just one of those things you want to have around. Use it to adorn noodles. As a dipping sauce for satay or spring rolls. Dip your finger in it just because you’re hungry and want some peanut butter.

This recipe is courtesy of Cooking with Amy

The image is stock. Sauce on noodles. Not just sauce. Does anyone really want to see just the sauce in a bowl? It’s kind of disgusting.

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