Thick, creamy, and flavorful this Salsa De Mani (Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce) is made with sautéed spring onions, peanut butter, ginger, and cumin! If you love peanut sauces, you need this one in your life! Serve with potatoes or Llapingachos (Ecuadorian Potato Cakes with Cheese) or your favorite salad to take it to the next level!
Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce (Salsa De Manì)
After sharing with you guys my Llapingachos Recipe (Ecuadorian Potato Pancakes with Cheese), I *HAD* to share this Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce to go with them.
This is one of my all-time favorite things to make and eat here in Ecuador! This peanut sauce is literally heaven-sent. It’s packed with flavor thanks to the sautéed spring onions, ginger, and cumin, and deliciously creamy!
It usually goes on potatoes (including Llapingachos) but one of my favorite spot that makes tortillas de yuca (cheesy cassava cakes) gives you a dollop of peanut sauce on top of your tortilla and OMG, I could live off it. So, pair it with what you want, it takes your dish to the next level.
Ingredients for Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce
- Peanut butter. Use smooth, unsweetened peanut butter. In Ecuador there’s also peanut paste that can be used to make this sauce and peanut butter can vary in texture depending on the brand. For the rest of the world, just use smooth, unsweetened pb and you’ll be good as long as it’s a good brand.
- Water. I’ve seen some use milk and I’m usually a fan of using milk for extra fat and flavor but I’ve tested this recipe with both and I make it often enough to have realized and decided that water is actually best. Milk makes it way too heavy both texture and flavor wise.
- Achiote oil or vegetable oil. You can find achiote oil your local Latin grocery store, it’s basically vegetable oil with achiote (annatto). It’s a deep yellow/orange color and turns your food bright yellow/orange. The flavor is mild but earthy. If you can’t get your hands on it, you can use vegetable oil and then add in 1/4 tsp of achiote powder when it’s time to season the sauce. You can get achiote powder here on Amazon! You can skip this this if desired but I recommend it for authenticity!
- Spring onions. This is what’s used to make this sauce but I’ve also successfully made it with white and red onion. If you want it to be authentic stick to spring onions though.
- Ginger. I recommend grating or mincing your own ginger, that’s what we do.
- Cumin. For flavor. If you’re not using achiote oil, I recommend adding in some achiote powder along with your cumin.
- Salt. To season the onions when sautéing and eventually the sauce too if it does need extra salt (this depends on the kind of peanut butter you’re using).
- Cilantro. Can’t skip the cilantro when you’re making Ecuadorian food so you want to use fresh cilantro and chop it finely! I often cheat and skip the cilantro if I don’t have it on hand but it does need it for an authentic flavor, no lie.
How to make Peanut Sauce
STEP 1: Dilute the peanut butter. For this, you’ll simply want to add the peanut butter and water to a bowl and mix them together until combined. Depending on the brand and type of peanut butter you’re using, the mixture may combine differently so don’t worry if it doesn’t look even or perfectly smooth, it will come together when cooking.
STEP 2: Sauté the onions. Add the achiote oil or vegetable oil to a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat until hot, then add the spring onions and sauté. Add the ginger. Season with cumin and salt. Keep sautéing until the onions and ginger are soft and fragrant.
STEP 3: Make the sauce. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the sautéed onions and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened.
STEP 4: Add the cilantro and mix it in, then turn off the heat, and serve immediately. This sauce is supposed to be enjoyed as it’s made because when it cools down, it starts to set and thicken even more and it creates a thin skin on top (just like custard). If that happens, you can give it a quick mix.
Can I make it ahead of time?
You can but I don’t recommend it because peanut sauce is best eaten as it’s made: when it cools down, it starts to set and thicken even more and it creates a thin skin on top which isn’t ideal. You’d have to reheat it which just isn’t convenient considering how quick this recipe is.
Can I store peanut sauce?
Yes, you can store your peanut sauce covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Reheat on the stove with 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen it up. Reheat until hot and smooth again.
HAPPY COOKING FROM THE EQUATOR!! I hope you’ll love this Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce or Salsa De Mani as much as I do!
PS: Please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating ⭐️ if you make it! Your comments make my day!! You can also tag me on Instagram @itsdamnspicy 🌈💘
MORE ECUADORIAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE:
- Chicken And Yellow Rice (Arroz Con Pollo)
- Pan De Yuca (Ecuadorian Cassava Cheese Bread)
- Coca Cola Chicken (Pollo a la Coca Cola)
- Llapingachos (Ecuadorian Potato Pancakes)
Ecuadorian Peanut Sauce (Salsa De Mani)
- 1/2 cup (125 g) smooth, unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1 tbsp achiote oil or vegetable oil
- 3-4 spring onions (about 1/2 cup of chopped spring onions in total)
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp achiote powder (only if using vegetable oil, skip this if using achiote oil)
- 1 tbsp finely-chopped fresh cilantro
- Dilute the peanut butter. Add the peanut butter and water to a medium bowl and mix them together until combined. Depending on the brand and type of peanut butter you're using, the mixture may combine differently so don't worry if it doesn't look even or perfectly smooth, it will come together when cooking.
- Sauté the onions. Add the achiote oil or vegetable oil to a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat until hot, then add the spring onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the ginger, season with cumin and salt (and achiote powder if not using achiote oil), and sauté for another 1-2 minutes or until the onions and ginger are soft and fragrant.
- Make the sauce. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the sautéed onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 10-12 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Add the cilantro and mix it in, then turn off the heat, and serve immediately!
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