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TIP OF THE DAY: Spicy Peanut Sauce Marinade & Sauce

If you like sesame noodles or satay with peanut sauce, here’s another delicious use for it: in a marinade.

Marinating beef, chicken, lamb, pork or tofu in a peanut sauce-based marinade adds dimensions of flavor.

Just create a marinade from chicken or other stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, oil, ginger, chili flakes and garlic (see the recipe below). You can also add sherry and honey.

And certainly, serve a side of peanut sauce for dipping. See the recipe below.

WHAT IS “SATAY SAUCE?”

Satay is actually the grilled meat with which the spicy peanut sauce is served. The sauce is based on ground roasted peanuts; peanut butter can be substituted.

Spicy peanut sauce is popular in the cuisines of some African countries, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The term for the sauce in Indonesia is bumbu kacang; elsewhere it is called pecel or sambal kacang.

 

Grilled pork skewers, marinated in peanut
sauce marinade and served with a side
of peanut dipping sauce (not shown). Photo courtesy National Pork Board.

 
Peanuts were introduced to Southeast Asia in the 16th century by Portuguese and Spanish merchants. The peanuts came from Mexico, and thrived in the tropical climate.

They soon were turned into a sauce in Indonesian cuisine and other countries followed. Indonesian peanut sauces are considered to be the most sophisticated (layered with ingredients).

 


Grilled chicken breasts marinated in peanut
sauce and served with more sauce on the
side. Photo courtesy Swanson’s.
 

RECIPE: PEANUT MARINADE

This recipe is courtesy Swanson, maker of both conventional and low-sodium broth and stock.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons soy sauce†
  • 1/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or pepper flakes
  • 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 cup Swanson chicken broth or chicken stock†
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE marinade. Stir 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, the oil, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup lime juice, half the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili flakes in a shallow, nonmetallic dish or a gallon-size resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

    2. LIGHTLY OIL the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill the chicken for 15 minutes or until cooked through, turning the chicken over once halfway through the grilling time.

    3. MAKE the sauce. Stir together the remaining brown sugar, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cayenne pepper, coconut milk and ginger root in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thickened. Stir in the broth and heavy cream.

    4. SPRINKLE the chicken with cilantro and serve the sauce with the chicken.

    RECIPE: SPICY PEANUT SAUCE

    Here’s an alternative recipe for spicy peanut sauce. The sauce can be made a day ahead of time, and will keep 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

    Ingredients For 1-1/4 Cups

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth†
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce†
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste*
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ADD all ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
     
    *You can use low-sodium ingredients because the other ingredients add more than enough flavor. But if you have full-sodium products on hand, feel free to use them.

    †Find red curry paste in the Asian products section of your market.

      




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