This sauce is served with Vietnamese goi cuon, or spring rolls/summer rolls/salad rolls.
Traditionally, the dipping sauce is made with a lighter brown soybean sauce. I make my sauce with sauteed onions and garlic, hoisin sauce and peanut butter, thinned with a little broth or water. You can add a little chili sauce or Sriracha to taste - my family likes it pretty spicy but I've realized I've gotten a little wimpy about spice lately so this recipe doesn't call for much - add more to your own tastes.
Koon Chun is my preferred brand of hoisin sauce - it's a little thicker and I like the flavor better, and it's just what I grew up with. A lot of people also prefer the squeeze bottle Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce, which is a little easier to use and is a little less messy - you'll often see the squeeze bottles at pho restaurants. It's a little thinner and not quite as strongly flavored so if you go with this, you may want to add a little more depending on your tastes.
- 1/2 onion or a few shallots, sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Neutral oil (vegetable, canola) for sauteing
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup or more of chicken broth or water to thin out the sauce to the consistency you prefer
- 1/2 tsp of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, Sambal Oelek Chili Paste, Tuong Ot Chili Garlic Sauce, or more to taste
- Chopped peanuts for garnish, optional
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute onions and garlic with a pinch of salt in a little oil until soft and a little browned.
- Add peanut butter, hoisin sauce and broth or water. Whisk together until the sauce comes together. Initially it may look like it's separating but it will all come together. Add chili sauce and whisk in well. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water or broth and whisk in well.
- Serve in small bowls with chopped peanuts on top if you like.