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Spicy Peanut Sauce

There are two great restaurants where I have worked that each have their own unique take on a peanut sauce. At The Grit, it is a thick and sort of sweet condiment that often looked more like a peanut butter rather than a peanut sauce—and it is delicious, of course. At Real Food Daily, the sauce is thinner—more like a dressing—and mixed with cayenne and chili flakes for some kick.

The RFD sauce is the type I prefer (and have attempted to recreate here), but I like to combine it with The Grit’s serving style—as a dipping sauce for crunchy, steamed broccoli.

The result is spicy peanut broccoli that has a full broccoli flavor. Sautéing the sauce and veggie together sometimes coats the broccoli too much, masking the flavor. But by dipping, you can make sure you get the ratio just right. If “full flavored broccoli” isn’t for you, go ahead and just smother it with the sauce. It will be delicious too.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 cup water
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. red chili flakes
Salt, to taste

•In a large blender, combine all the ingredients, adding the water a little at a time to control the consistency. Season with salt to taste.

Makes about 2 cups

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  • Pinkberry says:

    That’s an ultimate sauce for me – I’m gonna make it forever 😀 Perfect with any steamed vegetables, but my personal favourite’s steameg cauliflower with green parsley.

  • a.d. says:

    I make my own version of this all the time (I add a little lemon juice) and it goes great with noodles or carrot sticks. I’m hungry now.

  • Mrs. Sound says:

    I would love to try the spiciness of this treat. Thanks for the share.

  • almost vegetarian says:

    Okay, this sauce just cries out to me. Would this be delicious with steamed broccoli? Oh yes! But also all sorts of vegetables. Like a nice vegetable wrap (pile the veg into a lettuce leaf, pour on the sauce, roll, and enjoy).

    And, even better, such an easy sauce to make.


  • Chef Krista Huerta says:

    I have made this, with pasta. It was very, very good. The only thing I recommend doing is adding a bit of olive oil to the sauce because on the noodles, the sauce becomes sticky causing the noodles to stick together. As a dip, there is no need for the olive oil.