I like to make a big batch of this nutty, sweet, gingery sauce to use in lots of ways throughout the week – as the dressing for a rice bowl, as a sauce for baked tofu, as a dip for carrot and cucumber sticks, a marinade for grilled chicken, and more.
It does require a little slicing and dicing and the use of a food processor but it’s really pretty easy, especially if you are in the habit of washing your Cuisinart in the dishwasher.
I use garlic – not too much since I don’t enjoy the feeling of being a firebreathing dragon after eating a garlic-laced meal.
I add plenty of ginger – peel it and dice it unless your food processor is magical and can somehow transform something so tough and fibrous into smooth and creamy without some initial assistance.
Then comes a bunch of miso paste. I’ve been using this mellow, white miso but that doesn’t mean you have to if you prefer a different kind.
Follow this with peanut butter, some soy sauce, a little toasted sesame oil, a little chili paste or sriracha, some rice mirin and a little bit of brown sugar though you may want to skip that if you use a peanut butter that has sugar added to it, and a few grinds of white pepper.
As the ingredients spin in the food processor, I add some hot water to thin the sauce and help make it creamy and smooth.
Once you have adjusted the ingredients to your taste, transfer it to a glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid and put it in the fridge, it should keep for at least a week if not two or more but chances are you’ll eat it all much more quickly.
If you want to take this in more of a Thai direction, add coconut milk, up the chili paste a bit and add some fish sauce. The fish sauce is stinky but adds an incredible, salty, rich flavor.
Gingery Miso Peanut Sauce
Makes a little more than 2 cups
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1/2 cup natural (the kind that separates into solids and oil), unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup white miso paste
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice mirin (if you don't have this on hand, substitute either fresh lime juice or apple cider vinegar)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili paste (I like Thai Kitchen's roasted red chili paste because it’s not very hot and has a nice complex, salty flavor)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup hot water to thin the sauce
A few grinds of white pepper
1. Place all the ingredients except for the water in the bowl of your food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes, pouring the water in through the tube, until it reaches a consistency you like.
2. Turn it off, remove the top and taste it then adjust the flavors, as needed. You may want it saltier, sweeter, spicier, etc. Once you're happy with it, store in the refrigerator in a glass container with an airtight lid. Make ahead of time if possible, the flavors only improve with time.
Related post on The Garden of Eating: Miso-sesame roasted broccoli and sweet potato rice bowl