China Sidepeanut soup

Creamy Peanut Soup
(Serves 6)

Serve this delicious Peanut Soup hot or cold, or even for dessert.

1/2 C sesame seeds
1 C unsalted roasted shelled peanuts
8 C water
2/3 C sugar
3 T cornstarch
3 T water
1/2 C evaporated milk

In a skillet or wok, over low heat, toast sesame seeds till golden. Blend with 2 C water in a blender till smooth. Strain through double layer cheesecloth into a large saucepan. Squeeze the cheese cloth to get out all the sesame liquid.

Add remaining 6 C water and sugar to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch and 3T water, stirring to make a smooth paste and add paste into soup. Continue stirring over medium heat.

When soup begins to thicken, remove from heat and add evaporated milk, stirring well. Serve immediately. The soup is also delicious chilled. It can be served as a cold dessert, as well!

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Tips & Glossary

Many ingredients used in Chinese cooking probably aren’t in your spice shelf, but you can find them at Asian grocery stores. To avoid frustration, make a list of the items before trying recipes.

Agar Agar: dried seaweed used as a gelatin. Buy it in sticks (or strips) and soak in cold water to soften.

Chili Oil: buy it or make your own. For a recipe, see Hunan Chicken.

Chinese Cabbage: aka “Nappa”;long, white stalks with light green crinkly leaves.

Deep Frying: use a deep-fry thermometer to reach the recipe's correct temperature; if the oil isn't hot enough, the food will be soggy. When cool, the oil can be strained, refrigerated, and re-used.

Dried Shrimp: tiny, salted, sun-dried shrimp that add a pungent flavor to Asian cooking. Soak before using

Five-Spice Powder: blend of star anise, cinamon, cloves, fennel and Szechuan peppercorns. Like allspice.

Peppersalt: buy or make your own. Heat 2 T Szechuan peppercorns in skillet 5 min. Grind into powder and mix with 2 T salt.

Sauces: Hoisin (sweet, from soybeans); Oyster (like soy, from oysters); Sweet Bean (canned, salty, from soybeans); Hot Bean (hot & salty, from soybeans and peppers).

Sesame Paste: from gound sesame seeds; substitute with peanut butter.

Sweet Rice Powder: from glutinous rice; used in place of flour in many desserts.

Szechuan peppercorns: dried reddish berries, fragrant and mildly hot.


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