I love peanut sauce and use it on meat (Satay), on salads (Gado Gado), and even in sandwiches. I’ve been making it for years, but never quite got the effect I found in authentic Thai, Malaysian or Indonesian restaurants. So I studied several of my south-east Asian cook books and came up with this amalgam … and it hits the spot. The secret is to embrace flavour. . .
Peanut Sauce (Satay Sauce)
Ingredients for spice paste
- 1 small onion or 2-6 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon grass finely chopped (about 2 stalks, white part only)
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Oleg or chilli powder or 3 dried red chillies, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander or 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander and 2 chopped coriander roots
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons galangal chopped (about 1.5 cm of galangal root)
- 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste balacan
- A little oil
- 1 - 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 water or 400 ml can of coconut milk for a richer effect - not that it needs it
- 150 grams unsweetened crunchy peanut butter or ground roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoon tamarind juice 1 or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Blend the spice paste (in a blender or mortar) including enough oil to moisten.
- Heat the oil
- Stir fry the spice paste until it turns a pale pinky brown and fragrant (5 min)
- Add water, peanut butter, sugar, tamarind juice, salt
- Stir briskly to mix in the peanuts
- Bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until it darkens (20-30 min), stirring occasionally.
- Adjust texture - simmer to thicken; add water to thin