I love the sweet-salty-and-slightly briny peanuts served at Hawker Fare in Oakland, California. Whenever I go to James Syhabout’s casual rice bowl-and-snacks cafe, I start off with an order of the peanuts (called “Siamese Peanuts” on the menu) to nibble on. A squirt of lime juice brightens up the funk of the shrimp paste that lends the roasted peanuts their umami depth. It also brings out the chile and fennel undertones.
The other dishes usually arrive before I finish the peanuts so I end up mixing some into my rice. These peanuts are at home as a nosh with beer or as a side dish. You could certainly make a light meal out of the peanuts, rice, and a green vegetable.
Yesterday, I was jonesing a cocktail hour snack and thought of Hawker Fare’s Siamese peanuts. Not living near the restaurant, I took matters into my own hands and made my own, coming up with this recipe after a couple of tries.