Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup neutral flavor oil
2-3 garlic cloves finely minced (I usually use 1 or 2 more)
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated.
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 cup peanut butter (I prefer natural peanut butter, I think it gives a more peanutty flavor)
1/2 soy sauce (reduced sodium soy sauce is just fine)
1 Tablespoon hot asian mustard (if you prefer less heat you can reduce the amount)
1/3 cup rice vinegar (if you don't have any rice vinegar, white vinegar is fine)
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
1-2 cups water
In a heavy bottom saucepan over medium low, heat the oil and add the ginger and the garlic to the oil and saute' for a little while to open the flavors, but not long enough for the garlic to brown.
Stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce and vinegar, stirring constantly until smooth and well blended. Stir in the vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes. It may look like the mixture is separated, but keep stirring. Depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce to be, add in the water 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
This sauce will keep in the refrigerator 7-10 days. To serve after being refrigerated, warm in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat. If the sauce is going to be used in within 24 hours, you may omit the onion powder and use 4-5 finely chopped scallions instead.
The scallions may be added along with the garlic and grated ginger. You may also sub 1 fresh jalapeno' pepper that has been seeded, the membranes removed and minced fine for the red pepper flakes.
Use the sauce as a dip for chicken, beef or shrimp skewers. A sauce for noodles, a dressing for pasta salad. The possibilities are endless.