Most Chinese restaurants always serve a little ‘snack’ the moment you sit down at the table. These Chinese braised nuts (groundnuts) are a common feature, and I personally think they are a fabulous appetiser. Being in London means I don’t get to eat this as often as I’d like – which means there was only one solution: make it myself.
I’ve tweaked the recipe over my last few attempts, and I am finally happy enough to post the recipe. It is a very simple recipe, but does need a prolonged cooking time to ensure the flavours absorb into the nuts.
- 500g raw peanuts/groundnuts (I prefer skinless ones)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp five spice powder
- 5 tbsp light soy sauce
- 5 tbsp kicap manis (alternatively, use dark soy sauce + 1 tsp sugar)
- 3 star anise
- 60g rock sugar (any other white sugar is fine)
- 4 cloves garlic
- orange peel from one orange (optional)
- 5 cups water (you may need a few extra cups of water, see below)
- Wash the peanuts, drain, and place in a slow cooker/heavy bottomed pot.
- Add all the other ingredients to the pot.
- Cook on low heat (covered) for 2-3 hours, until the nuts are cooked through. Gently stir the mixture every 30 minutes. You may need to add in extra water as you go along – do not let the liquid dry out, as this will cause the peanuts to burn.
- Eat warm, or leave to cool and eat at room temperature.