Here is another little secret weapon I use at home and when catering to boost flavor, texture and spice in many of the Southeast Asian dishes we cook like… Thai curries, dishes involving any sort of peanut sauce, noodle salads, rice porridge, soups, stews… you name it. It is a really common topping in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. I call it Peanut Chili Crunch. If truth be told, this is the PG name I’ve adopted here on the blog, but we actually call it something quite different at home that more accurately describes it, however, after taking a poll amongst friends, it’s not for delicate ears. But appropriately named after a highly addictive illegal substance. I’ll leave it there. And it is. Deliciously and wonderfully addictive, but in the best possible way. I’ll make a batch of this and just have it in a bowl on the counter for flavor emergencies. It is an amazing flavor booster! In Indonesia it is called Seroendeng, which includes shredded coconut.
The three predominant ingredients are dried Thai chilies, roasted peanuts and shallots. Feel free to add toasted coconut, lemongrass, and kefir lime leaves.
Peanut Chili Crunch is a super simple thing to have on hand that makes a world of difference to the finished dish. Think of this like a finishing spice, or condiment, using it at the end.
Give it a whirl, adapt it to your tastes and have fun with it! It’s meant to be tinkered with.Print
Peanut Chili Crunch (aka Seroendeng)
Peanut Chili Crunch- a flavorful Southeast Asian topping that adds texture, flavor and heat to dishes you already make! (Aka Seroendeng)
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup
- Category: Spices, Toppings, Condiments
- Method: Dry fry
- Cuisine: Balinese
- 6-10 dried Thai red chiles, crushed (or sub 2-4 tablespoons chili flakes)
- ½ cup roasted peanuts (skinless)
- ½ cup crispy shallots (available at Asian markets, or see notes)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Optional additions: toasted coconut, coconut or palm sugar, dried shrimp or anchovy powder, dried lemongrass or kefir lime leaf, dried mushroom powder – remember to start conservatively and add more to taste. Play around and have fun!
Remove chili stems and crumble chilies and dry fry over medium heat until toasted, about 3-4 minutes.
Place in a food processor (or chop) and pulse. Add roasted peanuts and pulse a few times. ( or chop)
Place in a bowl with the crispy shallots and salt. Feel free to embellish to your taste.
To make homemade crispy shallots, heat 1 cup vegetable or peanut oil in a small saucepan. Slice 3 shallots into thin ⅛ inch rings and cook them over medium heat for about 15 minutes lowering heat if they seem to be getting too dark. Using a strainer over a bowl, strain well, and spread out on a paper towel-lined plate, blot, sprinkle with salt and let cool. They will crisp more as they cool. Feel free to reuse the flavorful shallot-infused oil!
You could also use dehydrated shallots with no oil.
Keywords: peanut crunch, crunchy peanut topping