Like you, we really enjoy Thai food. There is just something about the citrusy-spicy flavors, and, when combined with peanuts, well, let’s just say we are always up for trying it. After all, it’s peanuts, right? And, who knows, it might be even better than the Chile-Lime Peanuts we made near Christmas. Remember those? They were great, weren’t they?
Anyway, we had found a recipe in Easy Thai Cooking by Robert Danhi for coconut-crusted peanuts involving lemon grass, sweet chili sauce, coconut (duh), that sounded really easy, at least once we’d picked up the ingredients. We are fortunate that there is an Asian market nearby, because our grocery store always seems to have run out of lemon grass.
Makes about a pound.
- 1 pound (about 4 cups) unsalted roasted peanuts
- 3 stalks lemon grass, tender part only, finely minced
- 2 tsp lime zest
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 Tbs sweet chili sauce
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper or cayenne
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
For the lemon grass, you’ll probably have to head over to an ethnic market of some sort and pick some up. You’ll be able to buy the sweet chili sauce and coconut there, too. We used frozen grated coconut; it was finer than shredded, but it was the only unsweetened coconut available. Hindsight, being 20-20, we would just leave out the sugar and use regular sweetened coconut shreds next time.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make Sauce. In a medium bowl, mix together the lime zest, sugar, salt, red pepper, lemon grass, and chili sauce. We found that a whisk worked great to get everything mixed into a thick sauce.
Add peanuts. Once you’ve whisked together the sauce, add the peanuts and stir until they are well-coated.
Add coconut. Sprinkle the coconut over the top, breaking apart any clumps, and stir until the peanuts are well-coated.
Bake. Spread the nuts on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, and slide into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the coconut turns a toasty brown.
Cool. Let cool completely on the baking sheets — they crisp as they cool — then transfer to an airtight container.
These peanuts are okay, but they really could use a bit more flavor, which is surprising since the sauce was so tasty — of course we tasted it, who wouldn’t? — so we give ’em four stars. The sauce, on the other hand, would make a great dipping sauce for egg rolls. We’ll keep that in mind.