Chinese Boiled Peanuts Recipe

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.

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!)


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.


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.


There are 4 ways you can cook this:

  • No soak + pressure cooker for 60 minutes
  • No soak + slow cooker all day
  • No soak + boil on stove for 4 hours
  • Overnight soak + boil on stove 1 hour


How to cook Chinese Boiled Peanuts

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 Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Servings: 8

Prep Time:5 minutes

Cook Time:varies

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.

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.

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.