Deep fried peanuts sounds simple, it is just peanuts deep fried in some oil so as to get cooked and crispy peanuts.. But I have failed for the first time because I prepared this without any pointers. I prepared based on literal interpretation of the term “deep fried peanuts”. I deep fried the peanut in hot oil like deep frying fritters and the peanuts got burnt yet the interior taste raw and soft.
My mother in law then told me I did it the wrong way.. ALL NUTS NEED TO BE DEEP FRIED WITH COLD OIL .She did not cited the rationale though. That is a serious mistake and I proceed to prepare for the second time.. This time it is better but it is still not a good batch because of over fried peanuts turned hard. “Crispy” and “hard” have totally different sensations… Hard means the peanut can “break” your teeth and one will definitely not enjoying these peanuts. Crispy means it is easy to break, definitely not hard and people will enjoy while munching it.
Therefore, deep frying peanuts though easy but need pointers to deep fry them in the correct way such that the deep fried nuts are crispy and have even colour.The same applies to deep frying other nuts such as almond and cashew nuts. The objective of this post is to share what I knew so as to benefit new house chefs. When the oil cooled down, I have used the same batch of oil to prepare some deep fried cashew nuts.
Deep fried peanut is a common snack in the region. I do not know why every time i prepared nasi lemak, I definitely will buy some packages of deep fried peanuts from the provision shop. I find that baked peanut have different aroma when compared to deep fried peanuts and hence to me it is not substitutable. It is a also a common snack for drinking sessions served at the bar or restaurants.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
- Some peanuts of your choice
- Adequate cooking oil to cover the peanuts
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- If you wish to wash the peanuts, wash the peanuts and let it air dry or sun dry until it is dry to touch. This may take one night.
- In a wok, put the peanuts followed by some cooking oil (at room temperature) that can adequately covered the peanuts.
- Open the stove heat to low or medium, gradually deep fry the peanuts. This is very important as if it is too high a heat, your peanut will be burnt yet the core are still soft. Constant stirring is required to ensure even heat distribution and even colour. Colour will change along the way.
- You will gradually see some bubbles emitting out from the peanuts. Keep stirring and the bubble will be less and less. When you start to hear some “pop” sound coming from the peanuts, dish out one or two peanuts and let it cool. Continue to stir . When the peanut is cooled, taste the peanut to see if it is crispy. If the peanut when cooled are not crispy (soft at the centre), it is not ready yet. You have to taste the peanuts numerous times along the way.. Dish out a few times and taste a few times.
- Once you are satisfied with the crispiness. Immediately off the heat, stir for another 1 more minute before draining. IMPORTANT: Colour will be at least 2 shades darker compare to the time when you drain as the heat will continue to heat the peanuts. Therefore, it is imperative to closely monitor the progress.
- While it is hot , add pinches of salt and stir until well mixed but this is considered as optional. Transfer to an open tray with kitchen towel for cooling.
- Once cooled completely, store in an air tight container.
- Use the same method for all the other nuts such as cashew nuts as in the picture below.
Unlike Western method of deep frying peanuts which requires one to deep fry the nuts at 185degree Celsius for a certain period of time, Chinese method always start from cold oil. If not my mother in law who pointed out my mistakes, I will not have known until today. This type of recipe is simple yet I presumed many new house chefs are struggling hard to get a perfect one. Do give this method a try and see if it works for you. Just remember, cold oil, constant stirring, colour darkens after cooling and repetitive tasting will give you a perfect batch of deep fried peanuts.
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