In another life time I spent a lot of Saturday evenings with friends renting movies, and bringing home take out Chinese food. I was a good girl, we didn’t do “going out to bars and things”. There were probably about twenty Chinese takeouts in the town, but there was only one we would order from.
We never knew it by it’s business name, it was always known as “Peter’s”. Peter owned it. It was so good that every year he shut for a month over the summer to go home to Hong Kong. He could shut down for a month every year and still make a fortune.
That month was a long one for us addicts…
He made a satay sauce that was so good it was illegal. I always had the same thing; extra hot vegetable satay with no mushrooms. He knew all his “regulars” by voice and by order. He never asked for a name or phone number when taking a phone order. He didn’t need to. It was almost an honour to be allowed to buy his food.
And it was so hot that I would cry eating it. Oh that was so good.
Then he sold the store, but not the recipes. It kept the same name, “The China Palace”, which we only discovered by looking at the hoarding and realising it hadn’t changed.
I have been searching for years for that recipe. Or something close to it.
I know I say this a lot, but this is the simplest thing in the world to make. It really is. It is also really good. It isn’t quite there as far as being Peter’s sauce, but then his is being remembered with a huge portion of nostalgia.
I made the sauce this morning while listening to the janitor telling Allan that our water heater is dead, and will not revive and therefore we will not have hot water for at least another week.
We are already on day three of having no hot water. Three days it took to pronounce it dead. At least it won’t suffer my dread fear of “being buried while still alive”. I really think the Victorians had something with the bells…
But this is about satay sauce so less of the death drama.
Though I do have to say that three days of having water on the stove simmering at all times so we can wash dishes, hands, bodies, anything is getting (c)old fast!
As with all things I sort of adapt this recipe. For a start I use peanut butter while we are here. Also, I don’t have a food processor… pause for shock… so I stick it all in a jam jar and shake the heck out of it. I could use the immersion blender, but shaking it is fun.
I also just make a third of the amount, which is how I fit it all into a jam jar. 🙂
And shaking it like crazy helps burn off some of the calories I consume when I eat the sauce, so I can feel self righteous about the whole thing.
I didn’t take pictures of just the sauce… it is brown and sort of liquidy/solid looking…
However, I used it to make satay vegetables to go with egg fried rice and stirfried chicken for Allan, which I took lots of pictures of.
• 3 cups salted Spanish or roasted peanuts with skins (750 mL) – I use peanut butter instead at times
• 1 1/2 cups water (325 mL)
• 1/2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek ground chili paste (2.5 mL) – here I use dried chilli flakes and some oil
• 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (15 mL)
• 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (20 mL)
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt (5 mL)
• 1/3 cup Demerra or dark brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (30 mL)
Place peanuts in food processor on high until completely ground.
Toss all other ingredients in processor starting with water.
Blend until smooth.
(Or if you are using peanut butter as I was yesterday, throw it all into a jar and screw the top on tightly before shaking as hard and long as you can.) 🙂