This Chinese Boiled Peanuts recipe makes for an addictive snack Raw peanuts are boiled in water with cinnamon sticks, star anise, garlic cloves and a little salt. Even though there’s no sugar in the mix, you’ll get a molasses-like sweetness just from boiling the peanuts (even if you add NO spices!)
Why This Boiled Peanut Recipe Is So Good
- Create a variety of delicious flavors.
- Popular Chinese street food.
- Perfect for winter.
- Make a big batch, great for parties.
- Raw peanuts
- Garlic cloves
- Star anise
- Cinnamon sticks
- Kosher or seas salt
How To Cook This Chinese Boiled Peanuts Recipe
Step 1: Wash the raw peanuts
Give them a good rinse. Pick out any peanuts that just don’t look right, twigs, roots, etc.
Step 2: Add in seasonings & water
Step 3: Weigh down the peanuts
Raw peanuts float to the top of the water, so to make sure that they cook evenly, I like to add a plate into the pot to submerge the peanuts.
Step 4: Cook
I am using a pressure cooker (60 minutes under high pressure), but you can use a slow cooker (high for 6-8 hours) or boil on stove (bring to boil, cover and simmer on low for 3-4 hours)
Chinese Street Food
Alongside fire-roasted chestnuts, Boiled Chinese Peanuts are sold as cheap street food in China. It’s a cold-weather thing, and I know I’m posting this recipe in the dead heat of the summer, but I am missing real Chinese food….a little nostalgic for humble eats!
Peanuts With Flavor
Star Anise and cinnamon will add complex flavors, liquorice-like (though please don’t let that scare you – it is NOTHING like black liquorice), rich and sweet-smelling. If you’re a chile-nut, go ahead and add a couple of dried red chiles into the pot.
A great flavor combo is 3 sticks of cinnamon, 3 star anise, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons of kosher salt. If you’ve got really good quality cinnamon sticks, just use one or two. I had to use 3 sticks, well….because I’m cheap and bought a lower quality of cassia bark.
What Are Raw Peanuts?
Raw peanuts commonly come in two forms:
- Raw fresh peanuts, AKA green peanuts, which come fresh out of the ground and are still very moist in the shell.
- Raw peanuts that have been shelled and air-dried. They must be soaked overnight before boiling to reduce the cooking time.
Starting with raw / green peanuts is easiest for making boiled peanuts since they are easier to cook. So where can you find them?
Raw fresh peanuts can be found in the produce section of Chinese and Western markets alike when they are in season (late summer through fall in the U.S.).
Top Tips For This Chinese Boiled Peanut Recipe
- Make sure you use enough water to cover all the peanuts.
- Adjust the spices to you liking.
- You can make this on the stovetop, pressure cooker or slow cooker.
- As you eat your Chinese boiled peanuts, remember to keep any leftover peanuts in the brining liquid or they will turn dry.
Check Out These Other Delicious Peanut Recipes
- How to Make Crunchy Roasted Peanuts in the Microwave
- Chicken Satay with Peanut Noodles
- Peanut Pesto and Peas Pasta Salad
- Beef Satay Skewers with Habanero Peanut Sauce
Have you tried this Chinese Boiled Peanuts Recipe? Feel free to leave a star rating and I”d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Chinese Boiled Peanuts Recipe
- 1 pound raw peanuts also called green peanuts
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 star anise
- 1-3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 tablespoons of kosher or sea salt
- Wash the peanuts. In a large pot, add in all of the ingredients. Fill pot with water, enough to cover the peanuts by 3" when submerged. Optional - use a plate to submerge the peanuts in the water.
FOR PRESSURE COOKER:
- Cook under pressure 60 minutes high (it will take time to get up to pressure as well as cool-off period to release steam). Follow manufacturer's instructions.
FOR SLOW COOKER:
- Cook high for 6-8 hours
- Bring to boil, cover and set heat to low. Simmer for 3-4 hours or until desired tenderness.
- Alternatively, you can soak the peanuts overnight in cool water. The next day, simmer on stovetop for 1 hour or until desired tenderness.