1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
20-30 kaffir lime Leaves, cut in thin strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely sliced
3/4 cup galangal, finely sliced
8 stalks lemongrass, white part only, finely sliced
3 red Thai chili, finely sliced (remove seeds if you don’t want too spicy; reduce chilis if you want even less heat)
1?2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
Heat oil so it is shimmering but not super hot.
Put in a strand of lime leaf – it should become crispy but remain green. If the oil is too hot, and leaf becomes brown, reduce heat. Add the rest of the lime leave strips and fry until crisp but still green – takes under a minute! Ideally, using a skimmer (or strainer) remove leaves. Drain on paper towel, season with 1?2 tsp salt,; gently pull strands apart with fingers.
In the same pan with the hot oil, fry the onions and galangal until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the lemongrass and chili. Cook until all vegetables are fairly crispy. Season with 1?2 tsp salt and set aside.
Heat peanuts in the oil briefly and remove. Toss with the crispy vegetables (except the fried lime lime leaf strands) and season generously with sugar and salt (3 parts sugar:1 part salt). Keep replacing paper towels until nuts are less oily.
Once seasoned, add fried lime leaf strands, toss. Taste and adjust to your liking!
Using Lemongrass – bend a stalk and see where it naturally breaks. Use the white part of the lemongrass but be sure off the entire woody end.
Galangal is in the ginger family but has a much more pungent, complex spicy flavor that mellows a bit when cooked. It is woodier in texture than ginger, so be sure your knife is sharp.
If you have rubber gloves, wear them when dealing with the Thai chilies!
Once you are done with the oil, don’t throw away!!! It is now a wonderfully flavorful oil you can use to sauté the chicken patties or any other dish for that matter!