If you’re looking for an extremely moreish sauce you can whip up in just five minutes that also happens to have a variety of uses then you’re in the right place! This peanut tamarind sauce is deliciously sweet, salty, tangy and spicy and you’re going to want to smother everything in it.
This recipe came about because I was looking for something interesting to do with half a celeriac sitting in the fridge. I came across Meera Sodha’s recipe for celeriac, tofu and crispy kale gado gado in The Guardian and damn, was it good. A really great use of celeriac.
Since then I’ve been tweaking the sauce and the version I’ve arrived at is something I find myself making all the time. While it’s inspired by a gado gado sauce it can be used for much more than just a salad dressing.
What can you use peanut tamarind sauce for?
What I love most about this sauce is how versatile it is. I’m not someone who loves to eat the same meal several days in a row, so it’s great to make a sauce I can store in the fridge and use to make a different dinner each night.
So far, my tried-and-tested uses for this sauce are as a:
- Noodle sauce
- Salad dressing
- Dip for dumplings and vegetables
- Tofu/tempeh marinade or glaze
How to make peanut tamarind tofu
This recipe makes quite a loose sauce, so here’s how I recommend you use it for making deliciously sticky peanut tamarind tofu.
First, coat your tofu in some cornflour. Add about a tablespoon of oil to a non-stick frying pan over a medium/high heat and when hot add in your tofu. Fry your tofu on both sides until nice and crispy. Take a paper towel and carefully soak up any excess oil in the pan (this saves using a different pan!).
Now spoon in a few tablespoons of your sauce, which should immediately start bubbling up and reducing. Flip the tofu and stir it around so it’s getting completely coated in the sauce, adding some more tablespoons of the sauce if necessary and when it’s completely covered and lovely and sticky it’s ready!
You could also, of course, just drizzle the sauce over the tofu or even marinade it and fry or bake it. But I really recommend trying it out like this!
If you don’t have any vegetarian fish sauce in then just replace it with soy sauce. I would recommend getting a bottle of it in, though – it adds a lovely depth of flavour and you’ll make good use of it if you’re cooking any Southeast Asian food.
I use bottled tamarind sauce (the East End variety), which, aside from convenience and inexpensiveness, brings some additional sweetness and seasoning. If you’re using tamarind pulp you might want to add more sugar and some spices like cumin and fennel. Just taste and adjust, taste and adjust.
You definitely want some spice in the sauce so add in a bird’s eye chilli or other type of hot sauce if you don’t have sriracha.
How much does this recipe make?
The amount in this recipe will make enough sauce for four portions of noodles or four to five portions of sticky tofu. If you’re using it as a dumpling dip there’s enough for dozens of dumplings!
5-minute Peanut Tamarind Sauce
- 40gram peanut butter
- 2tbsp tamarind sauce
- 1tbsp soy sauce
- 2tbsp vegetarian fish sauce
- 3/4tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1tbsp sriracha
- 1tbsp lime juice
- 1clove peeled garlic
- 1cm piece ginger
- 50ml water
- Add everything to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust to taste – add more sugar for sweetness, soy sauce for saltiness, sriracha if you want it spicier, etc. This sauce is easily adjustable and the final result will vary depending on the brands of ingredients you use, so treat this as more of a guide. You'll know when it tastes perfect to you!
- Use immediately and/or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for up to a week.