As a fledgling vegetarian in the 1980’s, I remember spending a lot of time in the kitchen making peanut sauce. The Moosewood Cookbook recipe involved stirring the peanut butter mixture for an age while it cooked. Thank goodness Deborah Madison devised this speedy no cook recipe for an equally delicious sauce.
I prefer using cashew paste (or grinding whatever nuts I have on hand), as it’s naturally sweeter and more nutritious. But peanut butter is a still an option. This recipe does require a balance between salty and sweet but as you only need about a tablespoon of the sauce per serve, the health-giving goodness of the nuts wins out over the little bit of sugar.
This is a versatile sauce that can be used to top steamed vegetables, tofu or grilled chicken. As a dip it works well with crudités or tofu balls/burgers.
Quick nut sauce
(Adapted from Deborah Madison Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)
½ cup cashew paste or preferred nut or peanut butter
1-2 tab rice vinegar (can substitute with other vinegars)
1 tab tamari
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp brown or palm sugar
Herbs if desired eg 1-2 tsp ginger juice (by squeezing juice out of grated ginger), a dash of chili oil or finely chopped chili or a handful of chopped coriander leaves.
The sauce can be made by hand with lots of stirring or more quickly in a food processor. Process the nut paste, vinegar, tamari, garlic and sugar together until smooth. Slowly add the warm water a tablespoon at a time until you have the desired consistency. About half a cup of water works well for a sauce. If you’d like extra flavour, stir through your desired herbs. My favourite combination is ginger with a little bit of chili. Taste for flavour balance, adding more tamari, vinegar or sugar as needed.
This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian.