Ginger Peanut Sauce

One of the people Steve and I have gotten to know here used to work in the Peace Corps. She introduced me to this recipe for Ginger Peanut Sauce, which she got from a Peace Corps cookbook. (As an aside, on the recipe Karen gave me, it’s called Hot Spicy Peanut Sauce, but I’d say it’s more gingery than spicy, so I changed the name.) I fell in love with its fusion of flavors, from tangy tomatoes and ginger, to nutty peanut butter, savory soy sauce, and sweet honey. I thought I would share it since it is is also really simple to make, and is a hearty vegetarian dish that, I think, is a perfect pair with brown rice.

First off, the ingredients:
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½ cup raw peanuts
¼ cup oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
1 hot pepper, minced
5 medium tomatoes, chopped (I think Roma tomatoes are the best for this dish)
1½ tsp. salt
½ cup peanut butter
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. honey or sugar

The first thing I almost always do when cooking is to prep all the ingredients, or at least the ones that need chopping. That way when I’m cooking, I have everything easily accessible and ready to throw into the pot.
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(Make sure to mince the ginger as small as possible, unless you like getting that burst of flavor from biting down on a piece of ginger in your sauce.)
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Also, I’m not sure how easy it is to find raw peanuts like this in the US. I’ll have to look into that when we return. Here they have huge sacks of them in the market and they sell them by weight. I think people buy them and roast their own. A lot of younger men also walk around town selling them, roasted, as snacks. Since I bought them in the local market, I had to sort through the raw peanuts to make sure there weren’t any rocks or bad peanuts.
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Anyway, in a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
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Add the peanuts and boil for 5 minutes.
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Drain and set aside.
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Heat oil in another pot and sauté the onions until they are translucent (about 2 minutes).
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Add garlic, ginger, and hot pepper, and sauté for another 30 seconds or so.
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Add tomatoes and salt, and cook on medium until the tomatoes have broken down into a sauce. Stir occasionally to keep things from sticking.
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Add the peanuts and peanut butter and stir well to combine.
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Lower the heat and add 1 cup of water, soy sauce, and honey. Then cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add more water if the sauce gets too thick.
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Serve with brown rice and any kind of vinegar or lime-based salad. Enjoy!
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