If you have eaten at the farm more than once, the odds are good that you have had The Peanut Sauce. We lean heavily on this all-purpose, easy to make condiment in all seasons. We gave out hundreds of copies of the recipe on stir-fry packs over the summer, but it was my sister who made me realize just what a staple it was in our kitchen. Having just joined a weekly farmshare in her town in Oregon last spring, she often texted us for advice or vegetable identification. After perhaps the fourth exchange, she called us out on our peanut sauce dependence: “Wait, no matter what vegetable I ask you how to serve, you say we can always stir-fry it and toss it with The Peanut Sauce!” Guilty as charged, and not sorry at all. It works!
In the summer The Peanut Sauce goes onto many stir-fry combinations, complete with the seasonal cilantro addition. In winter it elevates an onion, a bag of frozen boc choi, and some cooked noodles into, well, a super bowl. In any season, you can slather it onto a tortilla to roll up around whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand, for a saucy veggie wrap. We've been long overdue to post it to our website, for the weeks when we run out of the printed recipes at market.
The Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 Tbsp cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2 tsp red chili flakes, or a dash of powdered cayenne pepper
Place the peanut butter in a bowl, add the hot water, and stir until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, and adjust spices to taste. Use immediately or store covered in refrigerator.
Additions and adjustments:
-If you have cilantro on hand, add 3-4 Tbsp, finely chopped. But don’t ever let a lack of cilantro stop you from making the sauce!
-One of the parent recipes calls for 1 Tbsp of sugar, which we usually leave out, but you should include if you are sweeter than we are. 1 tsp of honey can be substituted instead, and it does help balance the vinegar tang.
-To serve chilled as a dip for fresh veggies, add a little more water, as the sauce will get stiffer as it cools.
-Try doubling the recipe to see if you can have some left over. Never works for us, we seem to use up whatever quantity we make within that meal.
-Pro-tip: if you are comfortable eyeballing quantities, make this sauce by mixing the ingredients right in the jar when you get down to about 1/2 cup of peanut butter left. You'll save a dirty dish, and if you have more restraint than us (see previous tip), any leftover sauce is already in a sealable jar to store in the fridge for later.