DINING HALL CREATIONS #5: Versatile Peanut Sauce
Few people think to feature peanut butter as a centrepiece of a meal, but it is amazing how easily the humble nut can add so much richness and flavour to all kinds of savoury foods. Western Africa has the peanut stew, southeast Asia boosts the spicy peanut dip to accompany fresh spring rolls, and as for me, I have a self-concocted version of this under-appreciated legume. A fusion of East and West gives the pasta with peanut butter sauce.
The simple peanut sauce, which can be made with less than three ingredients and, if you practice enough, in less than three minutes doubles as a pasta sauce or a dip for veggies and other dippable foodstuffs. Below is the dining-hall-friendly recipe, customized for the dining hall trapped student:
Makes approx. ¼ a cup of sauce, enough for 1/3 a cup of pasta depending on your preferences.
- 2 heaping serving scoopfuls of chunky peanut butter
- 1 dining-hall sized spoonful of soy sauce
- 1/3 cup pasta
- Hot water as needed
- Sriracha sauce (if you like it hot)
- Random items from the salad bar that go well with peanutty goodness (e.g. diced egg, chicken breast meat, cucumbers, etc.)
- Grab a large salad bowl and throw in the peanut butter, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce (if desired).
- Add the hot water little by little, all the while mixing with a spoon until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. If you prefer a very thin sauce, more soy sauce might need to be added. Just play around with the amounts till it tastes right!
- Add the pasta and any other desired ingredients and toss to coat.
– Winnie Zhuang