Thursday, June 10, 2010

recipe: kohler created's thai peanut sauce

One night, when I was 17 years old and a senior in high school, I announced to my family over a plate of meatloaf that I was going vegetarian. They laughed at me and told me it was a phase, that I would be begging for hamburgers in a week. It's been ten years since that night and while my dad is still convinced that this is a phase, offering me a turkey leg every Thanksgiving, I'm pretty sure my veggie ways are here to stay.

While my mom grudgingly agreed to buy me things I requested from the grocery store ("Tofu? Soymilk? Brown rice?!") she had no intentions of preparing a separate meal for me. That was fine. I had to learn to cook for myself, and there is no better seasoning than hunger.

I started with stir fry, which seemed easy enough. Except I didn't know how long broccoli can take to cook in a pan. And I didn't realize there was a difference between soft and firm tofu. And when you don't boil rice in a bag, it can be very tricky indeed. Needless to say, my first stir fry was a disaster, but you better believe I ate every last bite. No way could I let my parents win!

Since then, I've grown up and so has my stir fry. Last night, instead of the usual Bragg's I decided to make my own peanut sauce. I just started reading the blog Kohler Created, and while it's not a vegan blog (or even vegetarian!) I'm already getting a lot of inspiration from their beautiful photos and fresh outlook on life. This recipe is definitely a winner - a warm peanutty taste, with the perfect kick from the red pepper flakes and Sriracha. Easy to make, too! This recipe serves four, but I tend to make massive stir frys and the flavor got a little lost in the miles of bok choy. If you are a normal person, though, this should be fine. And the leftovers (which I may or may not have sampled this morning over breakfast) were out of this world. Enjoy!

 Kohler Created's Thai Peanut Sauce 

You will need: 
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
cayenne pepper
Sriracha sauce

Assemble sauce ingredients and heat on a medium setting till ingredients are melded. Do not burn! Add sauce to stir fry in last minute of cooking and stir to coat.

Can you remember the first meal you ever cooked yourself? Were you a born chef or did you (like me) have a very steep learning curve?