Sauces are the power tools in your kitchen. They are transformative and turn a basic recipe into something different and delicious. Sauces transport you around the world in just a spoonful. Here’s my latest sauce recipe made with creamy almond butter – Asian Almond Butter Sauce. It’s a quick, no-cook sauce good for a variety of uses.
Asian Almond Butter Sauce & What to do With It
Using creamy almond butter, I created this quick Asian-style sauce with ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) and a little honey. It’s thick and creamy. If you want it thinner add a little warm water and stir until smooth.
Use this as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken or shrimp kabobs, thin and toss with cooked, chilled brown rice noodles and add thin raw vegetables to complete the salad for an Asian noodle salad. Try it drizzled over seared ahi tuna. It’s a nice change spread onto a freshly grilled burger. It’s also wonderful used as the dressing for this Asian Coleslaw recipe. Thick or thinned it is versatile and will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
A Better Nut Butter
Creamy almond butter. Give me a spoon and I could eat an entire jar. With a mellow flavor and rich texture, it beats peanut butter in my book every time (ok, I am an almond addict). If you are new to real nut butters, be prepared for sticker shock. They are more expensive than peanut butter. And if you are used to super sweet commercial peanut butter with added sugars or corn syrup, almond butter won’t taste as sweet. Your taste buds will adjust.
Almond Butter versus Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a little controversial these days, but what isn’t? For most of us growing up it was a household staple. Who never had a peanut and butter jelly sandwich? Peanut butter is hard to beat in popularity and price but many people are allergic to peanuts. Another concern is possible contamination by a toxic fungus called aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is not supposedly not a problem with most peanuts or peanut butter sold in the US, but it does still give me pause.
Interestingly, peanuts are not nuts but legumes which are plants that have pods with their seeds inside. Think of beans and peas. Almonds are called nuts but are really the seeds of the almond fruit. The good news is there are wonderful “nut” butters available today. Peanut butter and almond butter are similar nutritionally and both have a place in a healthy diet (unless you are allergic). Almond butter has more monounsaturated fat and about half the amount of saturated fat of peanut butter and offers more minerals and fiber. Both offer healthy fat and protein.
Buying Almond Butter
When buying almonds butter choose a brand where the label reads nothing but almonds. No added sugar, salt, corn syrup, or unwanted additives or preservatives. My two favorite jarred brands of almond butter are made by Artisana and Maranatha. Artisana does not need refrigeration. Maranatha recommends refrigeration for theirs.
Asian Almond Butter Sauce
- 2 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 2 teaspoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon finely grated or pureed ginger from jar
- 1 clove finely chopped garlic
- Place everything in a small bowl and stir together until smooth. Use thick or thin with a little warm water.