I was never too keen on peanut sauces in the past, then I started getting into Thai and Vietnamese food while in University so evidently my peanut sauce intake grew exponentially. I had tried to make multiple batches of peanut sauces from recipes I saw online and they constantly turned out.. well.. bland. They never had that extra kick of acidity the ones in the restaurants had.
The thing with the majority of Asian sauces is that they usually contain a lot of ingredients that may be hard to come by (not everyone is able to get palm sugar and tamarind paste at their local grocery store!) So I tried to make this sauce to have the ingredients that are a bit more easy to access without looking to hard! To do this I decided to play around with the flavours and ask some lovely local Thai restaurant owners what the sauce actually consists of.
It seemed the main missing ingredients so many peanut sauce recipes were rice vinegar, coconut milk, and Thai red pepper curry paste. I’m not a huge fan of coconut milk, so I decided to omit it and add water instead (you can absolutely use coconut milk). Once I added in the other ingredients(as well as a hint of sriracha because obviously), my peanut sauce took on a whole new flavour and mirrored those in my favourite restaurants.
Use this sauce for spring rolls, summer rolls, stir fries, meat satay, noodle bowels, or just about anything! Once you start making your own, it’ll be almost be painful to eat the prepared and preserved bottles you can purchase from the grocery store. 1 cup of the sauce can be used for 2 – 3 dishes or noodle bowls (depending on how saucy you like your meals). Adding a little extra water if its a bit thick won’t alter the taste too much.
INGREDIENTS for 1 CUP OF PEANUT SAUCE & COSTS
(Prep time 5-10 minutes)
1/2 cup of All Natural unsalted creamy Peanut Butter ($0.59)
1 1/2 Tsp of Red Curry Paste ($0.13)
1 1/2 Tbs of Rice Vinegar ($0.28)
1 Tsp Soy Sauce ($0.02)
1/2 cup of water (or coconut milk if you want a sweeter taste) + 1/4 cup for preference – Free (I hope!)
1 Tbs of Honey (or 1 1/2 Tbs of brown sugar if you want a vegan recipe) – ($0.21)
1 Tsp or clove of garlic (minced) – ($0.02)
1 Tsp of ginger (minced) – ($0.01)
1 Tbs of Canola Oil – ($0.05)
1 1/2 Tsp of Lime juice or juice of a quarter of Lime ($0.05)
Sriracha to taste if you like it to be spicy! (Optional)
Crushed peanuts (Optional)
Total Cost = $1.36*
Compare that to the bland, preservative filled $5.00 peanut sauces you find in grocery stores!
*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.
Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!
Finely mince the ginger and the garlic (as fine as you can!) Pour the oil in a sauce pan or small pot and place it on the stove at medium-low heat. Throw in the minced garlic and ginger and wait for it to get aromatic. Once you begin to smell it cooking, toss in the red pepper curry paste and mix. Make sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t catch (no one wants burnt sauce).
Once the curry paste is well mixed in with the garlic and ginger, add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. Continue to stir! It should look something like this.
Once it starts to bubble, its time to throw in that peanut butter!
Stir stir stir! Now add in the half cup of water and stir some more! Within a minute, your sauce is almost ready and should look something like this!
Now for the final touches, squeeze in the lime juice and add in some sriracha if you want it to have some heat! (I highly recommend you do) Once it bubbles a little bit, you’ll notice the sauce get thicker. If you want it to be a but more runny, I advise you add in another 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer for 30 seconds before taking it off the heat.
And voila! Within 5 minutes, you have your very own homemade all purpose peanut sauce for 3 servings, and all under $1.50! You can store this sauce in an air-tight container or jar for up to 1 1/2 weeks in your fridge!
I hope you enjoy this protein packed, super simple, sauce! I’m happy to take any feedback (good or bad) or questions!
I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website.
750 g President’s Choice Just Peanuts Smooth Peanut Butter ($3.99) – $0.53/100g
400 g Cock Brand Red Curry Paste ($2.49) – $0.62/100g
355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
125 ml Realime Single Strength Lime Juice ($0.99) – $0.79/100ml