Recipe: Spicy Peanut Sauce

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From Flatbreads and Flavors: A Baker's Atlas, by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid (William Morrow, 1995), p. 82

I sauteed snap peas whole, with one package of wild rice tempeh, in a little sesame oil. Then I poured the sauce over them, simmered on low heat for another minute, and served over quinoa.

Makes 1 1/4 cups of sauce


    • 1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 1 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 3 to 4 scallions, finely chopped

Note: This recipe can be doubled or tripled, but increase the garlic and scallions by a lesser proportion.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the peanut butter and warm water, and whisk until well blended and smooth. Stir in the cayenne, then stir in the vinegar and soy sauce. Stir in the garlic and scallions.

... The sauce gets thicker as it sits, much thicker if refrigerated. You may need to thin it by blending in a little warm water when you take it from the refrigerator. This is a good keeper in the refrigerator, but if you plan to make it ahead, don't add the garlic and scallions until just before you serve the sauce.

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Sara Lipka is a journalist with a local food habit. Since 2003 she has written about college students for The Chronicle of Higher Education, in Washington, D.C. Last year she lived and worked on a farm in Virginia, and this year she is starting a school garden in Maryland. More

Sara Lipka is a journalist with a local food habit. Since 2003 she has written about college students as a staff reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, in Washington, D.C. Last year she was an intern for The Farm at Sunnyside, in Washington, Virginia, and this year she is starting a vegetable garden at the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland.

Sara formerly interned at The Atlantic and has since interviewed authors about Roe v. Wade, libido, and settling. She graduated from Duke University summa cum laude in 2001, then spent a year in Chile as a Fulbright fellow, researching political theater.

An avid cook, Sara usually travels with a tiny bottle of truffle salt and keeps trying to concoct new combinations of ingredients. She has worked as a papergirl, camp counselor, umpire, and cashier at the Cosmic Cantina, in Durham, North Carolina, where she never got sick of the guacamole.
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