Divide this sauce among several small bowls and have each diner dip thin slices of grilled beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, fish, or tofu into the sauce. Or brush it over grilled vegetables like onions or peppers to add an Asian twist.
Finely chop the garlic on a cutting board. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the sugar over the garlic and repeatedly scrape the flat side of the knife over the garlic to mash it to a paste. Scrape the paste into a medium bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the soy sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the chiles, scallions, cilantro, mint, and peanuts. Stir in enough water to obtain a mellow but zesty sauce.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips