August 12, 2007

Peanut Dipping Sauce

I got a hankering for some peanut dipping sauce, and thanks to the CSA I have a fridge full of veggies just waiting to be munched, so I thought I'd make some sauce and dip the veggies.

I took this to the pool where we met some friends. The sauce was definitely a hit. (I caught my friend dipping her finger in. As she then confessed to me, this is the kind of sauce that you just want to eat straight.) ;-)

I found the original recipe here but modified the ingredients to fit what I had on hand. (I'll post the original recipe here and explain my substitutions at the end.)

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne -- or to taste
1/3 cup water

Blend the snot out of the above ingredients. [OK, so this part has been paraphrased a bit.]

The sauce may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes about 1 cup.

I didn't have lime juice, so I dumped in 1/3 cup limeade and 3 T lemon juice instead of the lime juice and water.

I recently threw my cayenne pepper out. (I had gotten a huge thing of the stuff at the warehouse where Rob used to live in SF. It was outdated then and had been nabbed by a dumpster along with several other cases of stuff. I figured that if it was outdated then, and that was 12 years ago, that it was probably time to toss the stuff.) So I substituted some ground black pepper. My friend said some sweet cayenne would have been good so I'm gonna check the co-op out and see if they have any. (I didn't know cayenne could be sweet!)

I don't like soy sauce because it's full of sugar and preservatives and non-soy crap. So I 2 T of Bragg's Liquid Aminos. We affectionately call it "The Spray" because we originally got it in a spray bottle, though now I buy the mega-sized version. The kids LOVE it.


  1. need to try .. I mean I will give to my wife recipe

  2. I am acquiring a taste for peanut butter late in life! and will try this recipe which sounds yummy. By the way, nice to see this lovely picture of you now.

  3. The addition of lime is making my mouth water. Since they love peanut butter, maybe it'll get my kids to try raw veggies.

  4. Very nice.

    The basics of the sauce reminds me of the concept of balance between six contrasting flavors. I can't find a good reference for it, so I guess this would have to do: says, "In Chinese cuisine the familiar concept of yin-yang is often brought to bear, the mixing of opposites to achieve balance. [...] there are six different tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, hot/pungent."

    The sauce seems to combine all six: sugar for sweet, lime for sour, soy sauce for salty, garlic for bitter (sorta), and cayenne for hot. So, any substitution along those flavor groups should work.

    My mom made her own version using mirin for sweet, Chinese red sauce for hot, and some other herbs for bitter. I didn't pay much attention to exactly what she used since I don't have the same ingredients in my kitchen, but hers was basically the same concept of six balanced flavors on a watered-down peanut butter base as well.

  5. what is mirin?

    i used honey instead of sugar. i forgot to include that as a substitution. i believe i wondered at the time how maple syrup would taste.

    yeah, i like the balanced idea. it fits.

  6. It's a sweet Japanese rice wine with very low alcohol content that's used for cooking. You have to be careful when shopping for it, though; unscrupulous companies will bottle corn syrup with some random vinegar or what not and call it mirin (or "mirin-flavored seasoning" and other euphemisms). The fake stuff doesn't have the same flavor, but if so many companies are doing it and getting away with it, I guess there are enough consumers who can't taste the difference -- or actually prefer corn syrup. I think mirin is an acquired taste.

    i believe i wondered at the time how maple syrup would taste. Mmm... That sounds good.

  7. From the ingredients alone this so doesn't sound appetizing, but peanut butter always conquers all, so I'm in for giving it a whirl.

  8. you're high in the head man. this stuff could make cardboard taste like the food of the gods. it rocks on every plane in the universe.

    make it and tell me it isn't so.

  9. Peanut butter has that ability all on its own.


  10. This looks so great. I think this would be great after a day of grilling splashed on some chicken and maybe even with some grilled veggies. Has anyone tried this with anything other than veggies.


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