Candied Peanuts with Furikake and Togarashi
Candied Peanuts with Furikake and Togarashi Photo courtesy of Barwares

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.

Makes 2 cups
Start to Finish: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 teaspoon furikake (available at Asian markets)

1 teaspoon Japanese togarashi (available at Asian markets)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Cayenne pepper

2 cups blanched peanuts

1 cup sugar

⅓ cup water

Directions

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.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Asian markets carry numerous kinds of the dry Japanese condiment known as furikake. Chef Johanna Ware prefers a simple version made with just sesame seeds and seaweed, as opposed to other versions that contain dried eggs and fish flakes.

  • If you don’t plan to eat the peanuts right away, you can store them in a sealed container at room temperature for up to five days.

  • Try Ware’s "inauthentic" Asian cuisine at Barwares and Smallwares in Portland.

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