Around this time last year, I came across a post on eGullet describing what seemed a very intriguing snack - roasted peanuts with a sauce made from fermented red bean curd. I gave it a try and liked it so much that it instantly became a new holiday tradition.
These peanuts are completely addictive and are great to have around to nibble on during the holidays. They also make for a nice little gift.
I made this year's batch a few days ago, and thought I would share the recipe with all of you.
Pictured above is the bean curd I found at my local Asian supermarket. While it mentions "chili", it really isn't hot at all. The bean curd is in soft chunks - roughly an inch square. The smell and taste is pretty funky, but don't let that put you off - it adds a fantastically interesting flavor to the nuts.
To make the sauce, you mix up some bean curd with water, sugar and salt. You end up with something that looks like a loose chocolate pudding:
The peanuts I use also come from the Asian supermarket. They are skin-on and in 12oz packages. The are just ordinary peanuts, though, so I imagine any brand would do just fine.
The nuts get stir-fried until they start to color. I do this one package of nuts at a time to keep things manageable.
Then I drizzle in some of the bean curd mixture, stirring it through to coat the nuts.
After stir-frying, the nuts get put on a sheet pan and into a 400° oven for a few 10-minute stints - mixing them up to redistribute in between. Then they just need to cool and they are ready to eat:
These tasty little guys aren't going to last long...
An easy snack with an unusual and addictive flavor.
5-6 chunks (2 1/2 oz) fermented red bean curd
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
In a small bowl, mix the bean curd, water, salt and sugar together until completely smooth. If it seems too thick, add some more water.
In a wok or skillet, stir-fry one of the packages of peanuts over medium to high heat. You may want to turn on your overhead oven fan if you have one. Once the nuts are starting to color, add three tablespoons of the bean curd mixture one tablespoon at a time, mixing it through. After a few more minutes, pour the peanuts into a large sheet pan (preferably one with high enough sides to keep things from spilling over). Repeat the process with the remaining two packages of peanuts.
Spread the peanuts evenly on the sheet pan and put them in the oven. After about 10 minutes, remove them and stir them around to redistribute. If you have bean curd mixture left over, add some more and stir it through. Put the peanuts back in the oven and repeat this process two or three more times. If some of the peanuts char a bit, that is fine - but you don't want them to burn too much.
Let the peanuts cool. When they are warm, they will not seem like they are going to be crunchy, but don't worry - they will be fine after resting.