malaysian peanut sauce

from somewhere online, adapted by nori

While this does not attempt to replace Moosewood's beloved Gado-Gado, it is nonetheless an excellent peanut sauce, the sauce of choice in Lodge Deux of Spring 2001. Whether you prefer it crunchy or non; one part sauce to three rice or more of a rice soup (ahem, marTin), the leftovers are sure not to last very long. I found it online and made a few semi-significant adaptations after failing utterly with the whole chiles, garlic and onion flakes. My new version, I think, is much better.

  • 1/3 C oil
  • 1 t dried garlic flakes -- bullshit, just use 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 T dried onion flakes -- again bullshit, just use half an onion or so, or maybe the whole thing
  • 4 dried red chiles
  • 1 t shrimp paste (optional) -- I've never tried it with this, because Laurel's forbidden me, citing my nominal vegetarianism, but I have a feeling it would add a lot. This or tamarind.
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 T dark soy sauce
  • 1 C (crunchy) peanut butter (smooth works, too)
  • 1 1/2 T brown sugar
  • coconut milk or water to thin to desired consistency -- actually, don't use this. I did once, and it's okay, but much much better without, and actually makes it kind of thicker.
  • lots of hot flakes, spicy sauces, and ground red pepper -- this is never spicy enough!
Yield: 1 cup

Heat oil to moderate in a small wok or pan.

You're supposed to fry the garlic and onion flakes in the oil in "a fine wire strainer, or until golden." This is bullshit. Just fry the whole chiles for about 40 seconds until puffed and crisp. DO NOT LET THEM BURN. Remove. Drain on paper towels. Let cool. They want you to discard the chile seeds, but I like it with them in. [NOTE: If you really don't want to bother with this, just sauté lots of hot flakes and spicy spices in the oil for a minute or so.] After you take the chiles out, sauté the onion and garlic (not flakes) in the oil for a while, until the onions begin to be translucent. Don't let the garlic burn.

Fry shrimp paste (or omit, if your puritan vegetarian roommate makes you, or you can't find any -- it's not going to suffer much for the omission) in oil remaining in pan, crushing with the back of a spoon.

Add lime juice (mmmm) (which you have on hand to make the mixed drinks you are sipping while you cook) and soy sauce.

Remove from heat, and add peanut butter and sugar. Stir to blend well.

Cool. Crumble garlic flakes, onion flakes, and chiles into small pieces and add to mixture. Combine well.

Serve over rice and hot, even though the original recipe wanted you to serve "at room temperature." Again I say, bullshit.

Put away the yummy leftovers, and then a couple days later, add a line to your .project file saying, Who the fuck ate all my fucking peanut sauce?!

The paragraph below is bullshit:
Advance preparation: Prepare 1 week in advance. Store in a tightly covered glass container in refrigerator. If sauce is too thick, add coconut milk or water to the desired consistency.