To most North Americans barbecue sauce is some variation on a combination of ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar, but on any given day on Planet Barbecue probably far more people are dipping grilled meats in peanut sauce. The basic formula starts with deep-fried peanuts or peanut butter and the flavorings typically include garlic and ginger for pungency, sugar for sweetness, and fish sauce or soy sauce for saltiness. The peanut-sauce belt begins in Indonesia (its probable birthplace) and extends through Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, all the way to Hong Kong. The Singaporean version owes its fragrance to fresh lemongrass and ginger. Dried shrimp are available in Asian and Hispanic markets. Fish sauce isn't a bad substitute, although you can omit it and still wind up with a killer sauce. The addition of fried garlic chips is very characteristic of Southeast Asia.
Serve them with Arab flat breads and accompany them with a salad and a choice of mezze.
To use, sprinkle ribs, brisket, or chicken as if you were putting on heavy salt and pepper.
This is the basic recipe for a dish that allows great variation.
This marinade is excellent for thin-sliced beef, beef short ribs or chicken, all of which should be cooked on a grill.
Please remember these are suggestions and ideas, not etched-in-stone recipes. Making homemade marinades is a good way to begin trusting your own taste, so sample as you put them together and vary measurements and ingredients as you like. They’re a snap to pull together, have none of the dubious ingredients in commercial versions, and can be inexpensive to do at home once you have gathered the ingredients.
Cara De Silva, food historian and ethnic food authority, shared this very different way of eating corn on the cob. Hot chile, cool tart lime, and hot sweet corn -- a wonderful combination on a hot summer night. Have the corn hot and pass a bowl of this mixture for spooning over it. Some folks then salt the corn. Use organic ingredients, if at all possible.