Mongolian Fried Peanuts
- 1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups) raw, red-skinned peanuts
- 1 heaping tbsp Szechwan brown peppercorns
- 1 heaping tbsp star anise
- 1 heaping tbsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp water
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3 to 4 cups fresh corn or peanut oil
Seasoning The nuts:
Cover pot tightly, simmer 5 minutes, then add the peanuts. Stir to combine, replace cover and cook 5 minutes more.
Turn off heat and let peanuts steep in covered pot for 10–12 hours.
Roasting The nuts:
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, shaking tray occasionally.
Rotate tray. Reduce heat to 300. Check at 10-15 minute intervals until nuts are almost entirely dry with a touch of moisture at the center. Remove from oven. Put in bowl to cool. (nuts can be fried immediately, or left overnight. If you like them roasted, eat them now while warm.)
Frying The nuts:
Have ready a tray lined with a double thickness of paper towels, a Chinese mesh spoon or metal strainer, large absorbent food-grade brown paper, and about 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt. Heat a wok or deep skillet over moderate heat until hot.
Add oil, and heat to slow-fry stage, 275 degrees.
Reduce heat to low, then add peanuts to oil. They will hardly bubble. Fry 4–7 minutes until golden brown, stirring constantly and slowly. Do not let nuts brown.Scoop nuts from oil. Spread on towel lined tray.
Eat immediately or when cool as an hors d'oeuvre or placed in small bowls on the table as a diversion during a meal