Peanuts are a delightful addition to dishes and I’m thrilled to see them making more and more of an appearance. Or I may just be noticing now, as I don’t really eat Asian fusion food in restaurants.
Again, scrolling through Instagram I came across this:
Buttermilk fried chicken, kimchi, spicy peanuts and lime via Chef Ian Borders’ Instagram here
This is a dish from Opposite Restaurant in Bangkok (visit their website here). There’s just something about the combination of tang — be it vinegar, kimchi, anything fermented and even citrus — with peanuts that’s refreshing and so delicious. Add a bit of funk from fragrant ingredients as cilantro or kimchi and the flavors are out of this world.
One of my favorite dishes of all time actually has the same combination. It’s from Animal Restaurant in Los Angeles, CA, that I used to eat at least once a week during my consecutive two years in L.A.
Hamachi tostada from my Instagram
Animal is known for their use of meat (hence the name, duh) but this one non meat dish is so good. A tostada made with raw fish may seem off-putting at first, but don’t be fooled. The crispy tostada with a thin layer of guac, hamachi slices, raw cabbage, crispy fried onions and crunchy peanuts with herbs and a fish sauce vinaigrette not fishy at all is MAGIC. I can eat three of these in one sitting (with a bottle of wine, of course. Animal has a stellar wine selection).
At home, try sprinkling chopped peanuts and spritz lime over salads and even coleslaw. It’s so simple yet can completely transform a boring dish!
Chef Ian Borders by the way, makes salami in Thailand. His Instagram is worth a look and follow.
Also, if interested, I wrote about my experience in Bangkok here and how I was blown away by its food scene.