- 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 large stalk of fresh lemongrass, bottom third of the tender white inner bulb only, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (see Note)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons smooth or chunky peanut butter
- In a mini food processor, combine the chopped onion, chopped garlic and lemongrass, and process to a paste.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion paste and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the ground coriander and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the sambal oelek and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and boil over high heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tamarind concentrate, sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Remove from the heat and season with salt. Let cool, then transfer to a bowl.
The peanut sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let return to room temperature before serving.
Sambal oelek, a spicy Indonesian chile sauce, and tamarind concentrate are both available at Asian markets and at specialty-food stores.