Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunflower Satay

In my last post, I talked about making "tahini" from sunflower seeds (instead of sesame seeds). I suppose it was really more of a sunflower butter--just roasted sunflowers and oil ground into a paste.

I had some leftovers from the recipe, and used it up by adding a little salt and sugar, then spreading it on celery like one would peanut butter. This was a great snack, and there was something about the taste that reminded me of Asian food (East Asia, that is).

I thought that this sunflower paste might be a workable substitute for an Asian peanut sauce. (We've been avoiding peanuts in our household to prevent our son's getting allergies.) I found a base recipe for a peanut satay recipe at and started modifying. We like the results; here's the recipe:


1 inch ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 onion, sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 cup sunflower sauce (recipe follows)
4 cups broccoli, cut into florets
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 limes, quartered
1 bunch cilantro, chopped


Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a wok or deep pot over high heat. Stir fry the ginger and garlic for about a minute, then add the sliced onion. After frying the onion for a few minutes, add the sunflower sauce and coconut milk. Run some water into the coconut milk can and swirl it around to avoid wasting any of that coconut goodness and add it to the pot. Stir to combine.

When the pot begins to boil, add the broccoli and red pepper, reduce heat, and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro. Squeeze the juice of the limes over the sauce and mix in. Serve over jasmine rice.

Sunflower sauce:

1/2 cup of roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of fish sauce and/or soy sauce
2 tsp chili paste (I used some homemade paste that I made by just roasting some peppers and processing with garlic and cilantro)
2 tbs brown sugar
Curry spices to taste (cumin, coriander, tumeric)
1/2 cup hot water


Combine all ingredients except the hot water in a food processor. With the motor running add some hot water to thin out the sauce (you probably won't need the full 1/2 cup). Process until smooth.

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