One of the most common bar snacks you'll come across when you travel to Mexico are chile and lime peanuts. The most classic version from Oaxaca (and really most of the south of Mexico) are made by tossing toasted peanuts together with oil, garlic, chiles, and salt.
And, as you travel through Mexico you'll see street vendors selling variations on that -- some simply peanuts tossed with chile powder while others are glazed with sugar -- to say nothing of the coasted and fried peanuts known as cracker peanuts or cacahuates japoneses. Like so many Mexican recipes you'll find variations upon variations upon variations.
Our version adds a bit of lime, a touch of sugar, and some sesame seeds for a not completely classic but completely delicious variation that's at once spicy, garlicky, salty, and a touch sweet. For a more proper sweet-salty glazed version, check out this roasted peanut recipe by our friend Kate of Hola Jalapeno.
or raw sugar
(or you can use roasted unsalted peanuts)
To Make The Chile Lime Peanuts Combine the lime zest, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar in a large heatproof (glass or metal) mixing bowl and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved then set aside.
Place the oil, dried chiles, and garlic cloves cut-side down in a large cast iron pan and heat over medium-low heat. Cook until the garlic is golden brown and everything is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
You only need the lime zest not the juice but you can in a variety of recipes including almost any of our margarita cocktails!
Remove the chile to the bowl with the sesame mixture then add the peanuts to the pan. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the peanuts are toasted and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the peanuts into the bowl with the lime mixture and use a couple of spoons to toss until the peanuts are really well covered.
Let the peanuts sit aside until they're just cool so the flavors are set, about 10 minutes.
Peanuts can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. Keep them refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
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