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This peanut sauce is seriously delicious.
It’s easy to fall for such sweet-salty-spicy-creamy goodness whether it’s paired with chicken, noodles or serving as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or satay.
I’ve made various versions of peanut sauce for years (for a long time this peanut sauce, with a generous dose of sesame oil and without coconut milk, was my go-to). I wasn’t sure I needed another one in my repertoire.
But, oh my, this particular version is something special. And honestly, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of making it this way before.
It’s rich with coconut milk, savory with soy sauce and garlic, sweet from a sprinkle of brown sugar, and spicy from sambal oelek. It gets a burst of acidity from freshly squeezed lime juice.
But the thing that separates this peanut sauce from the pack is the generous handful of basil that gets blended in.
It means this sauce is flecked with green and has a noticeable hit of aromatic basil flavor in every bite.
It’s definitely a lick-every-last-drop off the spoon kind of sauce.
You can use pretty much any basil variety you like here. Thai basil would be a natural fit, and its distinctive anise notes would work beautifully here.
But Genovese or any sweet Italian varietals are also lovely in this. (Even less common purple or lemon or lime or cinnamon basil varieties would be nice.)
Use whatever is fresh and abundant where you are.
While peanut butter is plenty creamy on its own, this sauce gets an extra dose of creamy richness from coconut milk, which serves as the primary liquid here.
It loosens the peanut butter into a lush, velvety consistency while imparting a subtle coconut flavor that plays nicely with the garlic and basil.
I like using sambal oelek to bring the heat in this. It’s similar to sriracha, and you could certainly use that if you like, but sambal oelek doesn’t have sugar and using it allows you to fine tune the sweetness and spice levels to your liking.
This comes together in a couple of minutes. It’s basically a dump everything in and blend job.
Then give it a taste. Tweak if you want to. And go ahead and lick the spoon.
Serve this one on chicken (it would be great as a swap in this chicken with garlicky cashew sauce), on roasted or grilled vegetables (it would be great as a dressing on this grilled cabbage salad), on noodles, or use it as a dipping sauce for egg rolls, satay, or fresh vegetables.
Or really, anywhere you like.
You’ll thank yourself for making this one.
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, well stirred
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
- a big handful of basil leaves, about a cup
- Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce (or tamari) and brown sugar to a jar or blender. Add the basil leaves and press them down to make them fit. Blend with a stick blender (or regular blender) until smooth.
This keeps in the refrigerator for about a 1 week. Let warm to room temperature if using as a dipping sauce.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 207mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 2g Protein: 3g