Thai Peanut Dip

Thanks to Tom and Sandy

December 2012, NYE - Last week at Diane and Keith's annual bash was a truly excellent vegetable dip; a peanut base with savory elements and a dash of heat. Set against cool celery stalks I couldn't get enough. While lingering at the buffet table, trying to be nonchalant about my interest in this dip, Tom steps up for a bite and tells me they brought it! A day later they shared the recipe.

Last night I served it to the San Carlos New Year's Eve Club. At first the dip sat on a side table looking like some tired old bean concoction - I guess I need to work on the presentation. Once the crowd found it was peanut-y the rush was on. Several asked for the recipe, so here it is.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes plus time to cool down. Best made ahead.
Yield: 2 cups

A. vegetable oil 1 teaspoon  
shallots 1 tablespoon (about half of one) Minced finely.
garlic 1 clove Minced finely.
  red pepper flakes, dried 1 teaspoon  

In a small saucepan over medium heat sauté the shallots in the vegetable oil until transparent. Don't brown them.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Do not let the garlic brown.

Reduce heat to medium low.

B. sesame oil 0.75 teaspoon  
shredded dried coconut 2 tablespoons  
lemon juice 0.25 cup  
  soy sauce 0.25 cup  
  water 0.75 cup  
  peanut butter, smooth 6 ounces Best to use a "natural" kind that is nothing but peanuts.

Add these ingredients. Stir constantly for 4 minutes. You might use a whisk to break up the peanut butter.

C. brown sugar 2 tablespoons  

Add the brown sugar, increase heat to a slow simmer.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Periodically stir the mix and add water if necessary. You want to end up a little looser than the consistency of a chip dip.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Refrigerate until cold. This can be made several days ahead.

If you store it overnight in the refrigerator, place plastic wrap on the surface of the dip to prevent a skin from forming.


Remove from refrigerator and stir with a spoon. For vegetable dip serve with short lengths of cold celery.

For a sauce, mix in warm water until you reach the desired consistency, and toss with whole wheat pasta.