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Thai Peanut Curry Sauce

March 31, 2009

Well, I just have to say it.  This weekend you didn’t get any recipes because I ran the Georgia Marathon and I was too busy being nervous and eating pasta to cook.  No, really, I’m not trying to brag, I’m just telling you why I didn’t post…well, maybe I’m bragging a bit.  There’s been no one new to tell it to this morning.

Last night I was back on the cooking bandwagon and made a recipe that caught my eye on Blazing Hot Wok last week.  It’s a peanut curry sauce you drizzle over brown rice and steamed or stir-fried vegetables.  That sounded like a good way to rebound from the marathon (oops, said it again) and it seems like a very versatile sauce…you could also use it over meat and noodles…there are lots of possibilities.  Plus, it will store on its own for at least a week.  I bet you could even freeze it.

Something else worth noting…I’ve always bought Thai Kitchen brand curry pastes in the tiny jars because that’s what’s readily available.  However, I have noticed that just a teaspoon of the stuff is pretty darn spicy in curry sauce, whereas recipes often call for several tablespoons of curry paste.  That got me thinking that most curry pastes aren’t as hot as Thai Kitchen .  The DeKalb Farmer’s Market recently started carrying Bright brand curry pastes, which come in bigger tubs.  I bought one of those and, sure enough, the heat isn’t nearly as strong, and, since you use more of the paste, the curry sauce has a much more vibrant color.  All this to say: know your curry paste.  If you use Thai Kitchen, start with 1/2 teaspoon of paste and work your way up from there to your desired heat level.  If you use another brand with less heat, start with a tablespoon.  The recipe makes about 1 1/4 c of sauce, or enough for 4 servings when drizzled over a rice and vegetable bowl.


1 14 oz can coconut milk (lite or regular), refrigerated for at least an hour or put in the freezer for 20-30 minutes

1 T smooth peanut butter

1 heaping Tablespoon, or more to taste, of red or panang curry paste

1 T palm or brown sugar, or more to taste

1 T fish sauce, or more to taste

1 T freshly squeezed lime juice or tamarind concentrate, or more to taste


Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid cream at the top of the can…you should get 2-3 tablespoons of cream.  Place in a wok, skillet or saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the curry paste and peanut butter.  Stir to combine and keep stirring over high heat until the oil starts to separate out of the mixture and the paste becomes pretty thick…almost as thick as peanut butter.  Be careful not to burn the sauce and lower the  heat if necessary.  When the mixture has reached the right thickness, add the coconut milk and whisk or stir until smooth.  Add the sugar, fish sauce and lime or tamarind juice and stir to combine.  Taste and add more of each ingredient until you have a balance you like.  Bring mixture to a boil and cook until it has reached the consistency of a nice curry sauce…about 5 minutes of boiling.

Serve drizzled over rice, noodles, stir fried vegetables and meat or tofu.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    December 16, 2009 12:58 am

    Ok, so I made this tonight and it was delicious. I could’ve (and might have) eaten it by the spoonful. I used all-natural crunchy peanut butter, but the nuts didn’t bother me. What did bother me, however, was the disappointing sauteed veggies I served it with. I know I ask the dumbest questions, but can you please post a step-by-step, stirfry-for-dummies recipe? I seem to be incapable of making a yummy one.

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