“If Ben can cook, so can you!”
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girl … TADA!
… Home Made Fried Peanuts with Cilantro and Chili. It is easier to make than I thought. It is not quite like the ones we had in S&W Pepper House (see full post here).
There are some obvious difference between the Pro and the Home Made version but that is OK. After all, this is Release 1.0. Future releases will be better.
My version is not as crunchy. It is also not as spicy. It look duller. It did not taste just as good. But I am happy with it because everyone likes it.
It was fmed who found the 怪卤花生 Vinegar Peanuts recipe from this site.
We bought the raw peanuts from the grocery store on the ground floor of the Richmond Public Market. This is dirt cheap. We got them for just $4 for a bag of 3 lbs. There are Dan-D-Pak ones which are more expensive.
I think you can make at least 12-15 servings with the 3 pounds of raw peanuts. So the peanut cost is just 30-40 cents to make this serving. If you eat at S&W Pepper House, the same serving is $5.
Here is how this is made …
First off, heat one tablespoon of oil and fry the peanuts on medium heat until it turned brownish. You have to constantly stir fry and move the peanuts for consistent browning. If you don’t move it, it will burn one side of the peanut.
I should have been more patient and stir fry this longer so that it is crunchier. My version 1.0 was not as crunchy as S&W’s.
Suanne said that she does not want to wash the peanuts because the oil will crackle more. So I just throw that in.
The magic sauce is the Chinese Vinegar. We are not sure if this is the right one but the taste turned out OK.
This Chinese vinegar smells exactly like the western balsamic vinegar which is thicker than the Chinese version. So, Suanne thinks that it will turn out OK too if I had used the balsamic vinegar.
My assistant was on hand to help me measure 1/2 cup black vinegar. An assistant would be useful because you cannot stir fry the peanuts and measure at the same time.
Just to make a point that Suanne did not make this, she was wearing a T-shirt that says “I didn’t do it.” 🙂 Suanne borrowed the T-shirt from Arkensen and now Arkensen does not want to wear it anymore. I guess mum has feminized his T-shirt and it’s no longer cool wearing that. He used to like the T-shirt a lot.
For the third time, I am going to say again that it is not as crunchy. Maybe I should have stir fry this longer on lower heat?
Under my strict supervision, I had my assistant sprinkle the peanuts with salt to taste. About two pinches will do.
After removing the peanuts from the pan, I turned the heat to medium high and then added the vinegar to frying pan.
Add 1/2 cup sugar to cook in the sauce. In my next version, I am going to add 1/4 cup to cook with the sauce and then another 1/4 cup later on when I mix the sauce with the peanuts. I think it taste better that way … a bit more sweeter and you can also pick up the sugar easier.
The vinegar should be bubbling. I need to stir continuously to prevent burning until it thickens. Do not overcook or else it will turn into candy like.
I overcooked the sauce a little as it turned candy-like at the end. Otherwise, we could have saved the excess sauce for another serving later on.
This is when I added some chilli sauce. On hindsight, I should have added more … a lot more.
Pour the syrup over peanuts.
I then tossed the peanuts to blend with the syrup. It is very important to set this aside to let it cool.
We did not let this cool and what it does is that the heat continued to cook the cilantro, ruining the initial nice look of it.
Meanwhile chop green onion and cilantro. Do not chop the cilantro too fine. You want the leafiness of the cilantro.
Add chopped green onion and cilantro to the peanuts once its cool as you do not want to wilt the cilantro. Did I not say that already.
And then I tossed and tossed and tossed to combine well.
Beauty! Not bad for version 1.0.
A masterpiece, don’t you think? After 4.5 years of chowtimes, this is my first recipe. He he he … I know Suanne feels threatened now that I can cook. Maybe we will change roles … Suanne do restaurants and Ben do recipes.
Anyway, this doesn’t store well. You want to eat this fast because the syrup makes the peanuts soggy after a couple of hours.
So what is holding you up? Go and make it at home. It takes only 50 cents to make this at home or you can spend 10 times the money to eat at the restaurant.
“If Ben can cook, so can you!”
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YUM! Looks great – thank you Ben, and your lovely “assistant”! 🙂
I never had this dish before, but from the way you said that the peanuts were not as crunchy…maybe you used the wrong kind of peanuts, since I remember from past experiences of eating peanuts that there are 2 types of peanuts sold in the stores (as in different techniques of roasting the peanuts)
Congrats on becoming a “chef”. The peanut recipe sounds great and I’m sure only a little “tweaking” will be required. By the by, any news on the next “dinner”? I’m going away in early August so I’m hoping to be around for the next one. Please note the new email address. I’m sorry if you have received “spam” as my hotmail account was badly compromised and I’m not using them anymore. Thanks Ben and keep wokking (LOL)!
Why do you have to call me a “chef” with inverted commas? Hmmm … I guess you don’t think I could handle a wok, huh? LOL! The 8GTCC Cantonese dinner is still in the works. We had a couple of tastings already but it need a bit more perfecting. LotusRapper and Joe who is planning told me they are aiming to provide a proposal within the next week or so.
“If Ben can cook, so can you!”
I was trying to recall where I heard that expression before. Now I remember, its from one of my favorite cooking shows “Yan Can Cook” hosted by Martin Yan. Good post Ben. It is the first time I see a cooking post made from your own kitchen.
Chef Ben, you have to master the knife skills like Yan too!
Martin Yan …. what a guy eh ? He used to do double-cleaver chopping with both hands, calling it the original Chinese 10-speed food processor, LOL
Ben – congrats on entering chef-dom. But somehow I suspect Suanne isn’t feeling threatened (yet), LOL.
What’s this 8GTCC all about, folks ?!?
Chef Martin Yan can also cut up a whole chicken in less than 20 seconds. Here’s a video of him doing so.
Well done Ben! It looks delish.
Here is my guess on how you can get it closer to the S&W version:
Use little to no sugar
Use half black Chinese vinegar and half light (even red) Chinese vinegar
Deep fry the peanuts (or fry it in a bit more oil) – for crunch.
He he he … What? Little or no sugar? I was about to add MORE sugar in version 2.0. I’ll try your recipe instead. I guess you must have made that at home already. I’ll let Suanne do version 2.0. 🙂
Haha…yes….the S&W version isn’t all that sweet. I think all the sweetness may have come from the black vinegar. In any case – you can always make two versions of the sauce and do a side by side comparison.
Ben, I love your blog. I live in Oregon but my son goes to UBC so I get up your way quite a bit. My question: what kind of chili sauce did you use? It’s hard to see from the picture. Does it have a name in English?
I used the chili sauce in this post http://bit.ly/cpVfwj … It wasn’t particularly spicy though. For our next attempt to make this, we’ll experiment with other types of chili sauce. BTW, thanks for the feedback! Oregon is such a beautiful state. We were there just a couple of months ago and that reminds me I still have to blog about it!
Pretty. 🙂 Yes, the Chinese vinegar is the right one that is the more “reputable.”
Maybe next time actually fry the peanuts in a layer of oil? Might just make them crispier.
This sounds amazing! I NEED to try this recipe 🙂
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CANNOT wait to try this… ever since going to Beijing a few years ago and having some kind of crispy peanut and cilantro dish (no meat, nothing else, just nuts and cilantro in a light sauce), I’ve been trying to find the recipe. This looks close, and even if not the same recipe, how can you lose with peanuts and cilantro?