Candied peanuts with an international twist
In our mind, the perfect party snack is a little bit salty and a little bit sweet, with a hint of spice and a big crunch factor. Johanna Ware’s candied peanuts fit the bill on all fronts. At her "inauthentic" Asian bar, Barwares, the Portland chef gives the standard snack an international twist with Asian flavorings such as furikake (a dry condiment starring seaweed) and togarashi (a Japanese spice blend). Serve the addictive dish with cocktails at your next dinner party or take a cue from Ware, who uses the versatile nuts to lend a starter salad a welcome bit of texture.
Candied Peanuts with Furikake and Togarashi
Recipe adapted from Johanna Ware, Barwares, Portland, Oregon
1 teaspoon furikake (available at Asian markets)
1 teaspoon Japanese togarashi (available at Asian markets)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups blanched peanuts
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup water
1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. In a small bowl, combine the furikake with the togarashi, salt and a pinch of cayenne. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, combine the peanuts with the sugar and water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the peanuts, stirring frequently, until the sugar reduces to a thick syrup and coats the peanuts, about 8 minutes. The peanuts are done when they are caramelized and have a slightly sandy texture.
4. Remove the skillet from the heat and immediately stir in the reserved spice mix, using a wooden spoon. Transfer the peanuts to the prepared baking sheet to cool.
5. When the peanuts are completely cool, break up any large clusters of nuts, transfer to a small bowl and serve.