Last post I mentioned I'd share my recipe for fresh spring rolls with two dipping sauces. This post is all about one of those sauces. I chose to write about this before the spring rolls because you can keep the sauce for a few days and the flavour improves after all the ingredients settle together. If you're like me though, you'll probably want to eat it straightaway because it's delectable.
This is a simple, traditional Thai recipe from an old cookbook Mum gave to me containing recipes direct from market stalls in the streets of various Thai cities.
Thai Sweet Chilli and Peanut Sauce:
1 long red chilli
1 pinch salt
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tbs dry roasted peanuts, ground or chopped finely
OR 1 heaped Tbs of SUPER crunchy peanut butter
Pound the chillies and salt together, then add the garlic and grind to a thick paste (I could not find my mortar and pestle since moving house so I used the blunt end of a rolling pin). Add the paste to a small saucepan, pour in the vinegar and sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally until thick.
Set aside to cool, before adding the chopped peanuts. I used super crunchy peanut butter because I forgot the peanuts!! Never fear, it added a smooth, creamy quality to the sauce.
The flavour of this sauce is sweet, with a hint of heat from the chilli, and the texture is smooth, with crunchy peanut pieces.
Best served at room temperature or slightly warm, this is a delicious sauce that you can use for grilled pork, prawn or chicken skewers, crunchy prawn cakes, and fresh spring rolls.
Variation: I work with a Thai-Australian girl, who had a recipe for a cucumber sauce that her mother makes. Replace part of the sugar with a tsp of tamarind paste (you don't want it too sweet), and instead of adding peanuts at the end, stir freshly diced cucumber into the cool mixture. It's an absolute treat!
ขอให้เจริญอาหาร! (kŏr hâi jà-rern aa-hăan!)