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Spicy Lime Leaf Beer Nuts

This spiced nut mix gets tossed with kaffir lime leaves, typically used in Thai curry sauces but here fried crisp. The dish is one of many kap klaem (drinking snacks) that Andy Ricker offers at Pok Pok's Whiskey Soda Lounge. "These nuts are served all over Thailand, usually with some kind of dried fish mixed in," he says.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 6 cups

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut oil, for frying
  • 10 large fresh kaffir lime leaves (see Note)
  • 8 small dried red chiles
  • 6 cups raw peanuts (2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced

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How to make this recipe

  1. In a very large skillet, heat the peanut oil. Line a plate with paper towels. Add the lime leaves and chiles to the skillet and fry over moderate heat until the lime leaves are crisp and the chiles turn deep red, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lime leaves and chiles to the paper towels to drain.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Add the peanuts to the skillet and stir-fry over moderate heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peanuts to the paper towels to drain. Transfer the hot peanuts to a bowl and toss with the salt.
  3. Add the garlic to the skillet and fry over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or fine mesh skimmer, transfer the garlic to the plate with the lime leaves and chiles and pat dry.
  4. Using your hands, finely crush the lime leaves and chiles over the peanuts. Add the garlic and toss to combine. Transfer the peanuts to small bowls and serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The peanuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

It is important to use fresh (not dried) kaffir lime leaves here. They are available at Asian supermarkets; if sold frozen, defrost before using.

Contributed By Photo © James Ransom Published June 2009

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