Posting this recipe feels a little like cheating. Partly because I didn’t follow the recipe exactly (only adding those things which I had in my pantry), and partly because it was so easy. And then even being so easy, I also failed to follow the directions exactly. And it still came out pretty well. So yeah – totally cheating.
Also – it’s peanut sauce. Like most Americans, I came out of the womb craving the taste of peanut butter (though interestingly, now as an adult, I don’t like peanut butter sandwiches – go figure). Combine the creamy sweet taste of peanut sauce (made of peanut butter) with one of my other basic favorites, pasta (duh), and you’ve got a total winner. As in, damn, this is the most delicious thing and I would honestly sit here continually eating it until I exploded if I had slightly less willpower.
And just to be clear – there are things that I will start eating because I think they sound delicious, and will actually disgust me before I have finished halfway. That’s how my dinner last night at the baseball game was. I had an actually soggy cheeseburger (ew!) and these bacon-cheddar-ranch fries which sounded like a good idea, and were definitely better than the burger, but also grossed me out before I was halfway done. I would have been better off getting a plain grilled chicken sandwich and regular fries. Ugh.
But the point is – this sauce is light. It is versatile too, which means that it’s more than just a sauce for noodles. Put it on grilled meat. Make summer rolls (my fave – of course). Put it in sandwiches, wraps, or use it as a salad dressing. So many options. And if you have to do what I did, and leave out a few ingredients, do it. Just taste as you go and make sure it’s how you want it to taste, and chances are you’ll still get something yummy.
Yield: about 3/4 cup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey [I did not use this]
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger [I did not use this]
1 clove garlic, grated [Amazingly, I didn’t use this]
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sambal or Asian chili-garlic paste
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 to 3 tablespoons water for thinning the sauce (optional)
Place the lime juice, tamari or soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, and chile-garlic paste together in a 2-cup glass jar, seal, and shake to combine. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the peanut butter, olive oil, and sesame oil. Seal the jar and shake vigorously for 30 seconds until the sauce comes together, or whisk until combined. Serve as a dipping sauce.
To optionally thin the sauce, pour in 2 tablespoons of water, replace the lid and shake until incorporated, or whisk until combined. Add more water 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached for coating noodles.
Note: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Let sit at room temperature before using.
My favorite way to serve? As seen above – on thin whole wheat spaghetti, generously garnished with sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions!