Spicy Peanut Sauce

There’s no need to start with peanuts to make a kickass peanut sauce. A high-quality natural peanut butter works fabulously – and you can make ahead.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
1 cup water
1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili oil

In a saucepan heat canola oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and garlic and ginger, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring. Simmer sauce, stirring, until smooth and cool to room temperature. Sauce may be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. If sauce is too thick after chilling, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water until sauce reaches desired consistency.

Serve sauce with grilled poultry or meat, on noodles, as a dressing for spinach salad, or with my lettuce wrap recipe.

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