Spicy Peanut Sauce

(from Sheila Lukins, All Around the World Cookbook 294 (1994))

I've only ever used this sauce in Sesame Butterfly Noodles, but I suspect it would be good served on cheap ramen noodles (minus the "flavor" packet, and drained well) with blanched brocolli flowerettes mixed in. But you'd either have to thicken up this sauce or chill the noodle/sauce mixture for several hours before mixing in the flowerettes. (The ramen with peanut sauce idea is taken from a Molly Katzen recipe in The Enchanted Brocolli Forest.)

Some preparation tips for the ginger and garlic:

  • The ginger root is easily peeled using an ordinary spoon. Scrape the root with the edge of the bowl of the spool, and the peel comes off easily. I find this much faster than using a knife, and I don't lose as much ginger with the peel.
  • To easily peel a garlic clove, place the side of a butcher knife on top of the clove and press down on the knife, smashing the clove. The peel should now be easy to separate from the clove.
  • To mince garlic, first mince using the back (dull) side of the knife. Yes, I do mean the back side--not the flat of the knife that you used to peel the clove, not the sharp side, and not the handle. After making a few passes over the clove this way, make another pass or two using the sharp side. Try it--I think you'll like it. Of course, you can also use a garlic press, but I prefer minced garlic to pressed garlic in nearly any recipe.
  • To mince ginger, first chop into garlic clove size pieces and then mince like garlic. You can also use the pseudo-zest side of a box grater, but it's a pain to clean, and you often end up with scraped knuckles.


  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 6 T. cold water
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. minced ginger
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 6 T. smooth peanut butter
  • 3 T. peanut oil
  • 3 T. sesame oil
  • 1/2 t. hot chili oil (check the Asian foods aisle)


  1. Mix everything but the peanut butter and the oils in a food processor or blender for sixty seconds.
  2. Add the peanut butter and blend or process for another sixty seconds.
  3. Leave the motor running (at low speed if you're using a blender) and drizzle in the oils.
Makes 1 1/4 cups. Refrigerated, will keep for a couple of days.