Brazilian peanut sauce

Brazilian peanut sauce

750 ml
Chris Middleton

We are so used to seeing peanuts in Thai and Malaysian cooking but peanuts and peanut-based sauces are used all over Latin America too, mostly for braising exotic meats like goat. In Brazil they make a light peanut sauce for fish stews and the Peruvians use a peanut sauce for coating cooked potatoes. This sauce has a Mexican accent and in the restaurant we use it for many tacos, tamales and bocoles. I like the way the sweet peanut sauce interplays with salty masa and corn.


Quantity Ingredient
1 red onion, roughly chopped
125g tinned or fresh tomatillos, drained if tinned and outer leaves removed if fresh, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 dried pasilla chillies
1 tablespoon peanut oil
240g roasted peanuts, ground
750ml chicken stock
100g chipotle in adobo sauce
50g dark bitter chocolate, roughly chopped
50g day-old bread
55g sugar
50ml cider vinegar
lime juice, to taste
sea salt, to taste


  1. Combine the onion, tomatillos, garlic and spices in a food processor and blend to make a paste.
  2. Remove the stalks and roughly chop the chillies, retaining the seeds.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Gently fry the chilli for 2–3 minutes, until it begins to colour. Add the onion mixture, increase the heat to medium–low and fry for 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the peanuts and fry for a further 5 minutes. Pour in 625 ml of the stock. Add the chipotle, chocolate and bread and gently simmer for 30 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process, gradually adding the remaining stock, to make a smooth sauce. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing and rubbing with the back of a spoon to ensure all of the sauce passes through.
  5. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium–low heat, until reduced to a caramel. Add the caramel to the sauce and stir to combine. Season with lime juice and salt.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Paul Wilson
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