My 3-Ingredient Secret Sauce Makes Every Meal Better

It takes just five minutes and one bowl to make.



I'm a food editor and avid cook, but that doesn't mean I'm making lavish dinners every night. In fact, working in food for a living means that most weeknights I choose to take the path of least resistance for easy dinners, relying on pantry staples and freezer shortcuts. One of my go-to meals is a version of the two-ingredient dumpling soup that went viral last year, but even more frequently than that I use the same Trader Joe's dumplings in a different way; smothered in the three-ingredient peanut sauce I make at least once a week.

How to Make My Easy 3-Ingredient Peanut Sauce

I've been making this simplified version of peanut sauce for years to add to noodles, rice bowls, grilled chicken, roasted salmon, dumplings, and salads. It started as a cheap and easy way to add flavor to simple dishes, amping up ramen noodles and the aforementioned frozen dumplings. It's over a decade later now, and I'm still making it weekly. Why? It's a super savory, costs next to nothing, and truly makes (almost) any dish better. And the best part is it comes together in five minutes with a handful of ingredients you almost certainly already have.

<p>Courtney Kassel</p> Dumplings in my signature peanut sauce.

Courtney Kassel

Dumplings in my signature peanut sauce.

It starts with peanut butter (duh). I like to use a natural peanut butter, as it won't have a lot of extra ingredients or sugar added. Then I use my kettle to heat some water to not-quite-boiling, but hot—if your tap gets hot that will work, too.

To make a big batch, put about 1/2 cup of peanut butter in a bowl. Adding about a teaspoon or two at a time, slowly add hot water and mix in using a whisk. At first, it will look separated, but slowly will become lighter and fluffier like magic (psst—it's not magic, it's emulsification). Don't add more water until the last addition has fully incorporated.

I add enough water to the peanut butter until it's thin enough to slowly drizzle off a spoon. Then come the other additions: around two tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari, and a tablespoon of rice vinegar (you can swap in white vinegar or even lime juice). Whisk those in and that's all you need to make a seriously great base peanut sauce. From there, I'll customize it depending on what I have on hand and how I'm using it.

Sometimes I add a teaspoon or two of chili crisp or chili-garlic sauce to add a little heat to noodles. A drizzle of honey adds sweetness if I'm using it as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken. To make it more savory, I'll add a dash of garlic powder or freshly grated garlic. I always like to grate in some fresh ginger (I keep mine in the freezer, thanks to a tip from The Pioneer Woman).

But even if you stick to the basic three ingredients, you're still guaranteed delicious results. Just trust me on this—make a big batch to store in your fridge and I promise you'll find yourself reaching for it throughout the week as an instant flavor boost for any meal.

Read the original article on All Recipes.