Use this robust peanut sauce as a dipping sauce for satay or as a dressing for a warm salad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tablespoon)
12 chiles de arbol or chiles Japones, softened in hot water, dried, seeded, and minced
1 Tablespoon minced galangal or ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers and green parts removed, minced (1/4 cup)
2 shallots, minced (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon red miso
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup tamarind juice
Pound the salt and garlic in a mortar with a pestle into a fine paste. Add the chiles and pound to a puree. One at a time, add the galangal or ginger, lemongrass, shallots, and red miso, in sequence, adding each one only after the previous ingredient has been completely pureed and incorporated into the paste. Transfer to a bowl or to a glass jar with a right-fitting lid. Refrigerated, the seasoning paste will keep for a month.
Or, if using a blender, add all the above ingredients plus the vegetable oil and puree.
Saute the chile paste in the oil (or the chile paste-oil mixture) in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it exudes a pleasant aroma, about 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat and add the sugar, peanut butter, coconut cream, and tamarind juice. Stir to mix, and heat until the mixture boils and thickens, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and let cool before serving. Stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator, the sauce will keep for a couple of weeks. If it congeals and thickens, dilute with 2 to 3 tablespoons water and cook over low heat in a saucepan, stirring until smooth.
Yield: 1 cup