Spicy peanut and anchovies is the menu you can try if you want something practical. Why? Because it can be kept for up to three days without have to be refrigerated. It can be your next camping menu, perhaps.
When I was in university, I lived in different city as my parents. With only a little money in hand, I have to be very frugal. I couldn’t buy complete meal every time I eat. One way to do it is by made this recipe at home at weekend, and brought it back to dormitory. I made plenty, kept it in sealed plastic and I eat it with warm rice, or with noodles. You know, poor university student cannot complaint. We do what we have to.
Why peanut? Well, anchovy can put quite a dent in my monthly food budget if bought in big amount. Plus, it will be quite too salty. That’s why peanut comes in. Beside, peanut add that satisfying crunch. If you allergic to it, skip it. Doesn’t matter. Just don’t use any additional salt.
There are a lot of anchovies in the world, apparently.. In Indonesia, we have several. Mostly are dried and salted. You can use any of these anchovy for this recipe. But personally, I like the smallest one. It just taste better. I guess it because the texture that are crunchy and not quite as tough as the bigger one.
The recipe is quite simple. It use the key ingredients in Indonesian cooking (of course) shallot and garlic. We want it to be spicy, so chili must be involved too.. To add the aroma and flavor, I also use coriander, galangal, tamarind water, and bay leaves. If you can’t find some of these, that’s okay too.. Lazy version of me will just use the “must” ingredients: shallot, garlic, chili. I find that home cooking is not about precision, but about passion to keep your family healthy. So be forgiving and don’t strive to be perfect. I will put brown sugar also as must ingredient. You need something sweet to balance the spiciness. Here goes the recipe…
- 200 gr dried salted small anchovy
- 100 gr peanut
- 6 pcs shallots
- 4 pcs garlic
- 1 tsp coriander
- 6 red chili pepper
- 3 tbsp tamarind water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- cooking oil
- Deep fry peanut until cooked trough, strain
- Deep fry anchovy until golden brown, strain
- Blend together shallot, chili, garlic, galangal, and coriander (you can use blender and add some water to it or hand blender and add some oil)
- Saute the blended ingredients until fragrant
- Add tamarind water, brown sugar, bay leaves, and cook until well blend and the water reduced
- Add the peanut and anchovy, mix well.
- Spicy peanut and anchovies are ready to serve.
- To store, let it cool before you put in sealed container.