This peanut sauce recipe is one I've memorized to handle ordinary dinner emergencies. It's mild and kid-friendly. (I serve the spicy sauces at the table for parents!) It also works just as well with other nut butters for those who can't have peanuts for one reason or another.
Once you have it made, you can take dinner in so many different directions--from steamed vegetables to chicken skewers. Make a batch as a dip for your next party for spring rolls, grilled shrimp skewers or roasted sweet potato wedges.
Scoop the coconut cream from the top of the can into a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook just until they become fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the peanut butter and whisk until it is melted and smooth. Add the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, and brown sugar and whisk to blend. If using the sambal oelek, add the amount that suits your taste.
Allow the sauce to simmer and taste for a balance of acidity and sweetness. I find a pinch of salt pulls all the flavors together.
This recipe makes 2 cups peanut sauce. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.