How to make Boiled Peanuts
Traditional Boiled Peanuts Recipe
Learn how to make boiled peanuts as eaten in China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, USA, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and other places around the world.
Ingredients for boiling peanuts
- Raw Peanuts – Fill your pot about 1/2 full
- Water – Float the peanuts to about 2/3 full (measure water used)
- Salt – 1/2 cup (8 Tbs) of salt per gallon of water. This can be added later.
If your raw peanuts are in the shell, then rinse them several times in cool water to remove debris. Put the raw peanuts into a pot. Leave at least 2″ room in the pot. Add water, measure as you fill, leaving at least 1″ gap between the peanuts with water, to the top of the pot. You can add salt to the pot, about 8 tablespoons per gallon of water used. That is 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water, or 1 tablespoon of salt per pint of water.
Reading: how to keep boiled peanuts submerged
Stir the pot, and bring it to a rolling boil. Peanuts in their shells will float initially. Don’t worry about this. Some people like to put a smaller pot lid, a too small lid, or heat resistant plate, placed over the boiling peanuts, inside the big pot to push the peanuts under the water.
You can do this if it makes you feel better, but it won’t change the end results. The smaller lid, or heat resistant plate may be useful later when cooling the boiled peanuts in the liquid.
Lower the heat to a simmer. Add fresh water as needed to replace water that boils away.
Taste samples of the peanuts as they boil. Don’t be tempted to add more salt until the peanuts have first softened, and then become wet inside their shells. It takes time for the salt water to infuse the boiling peanuts. The salt concentration also increases as the water boils away.
Have fun as you learn how to make boiled peanuts
Grab a refreshing beverage, sit nearby, and wait. Sing a song, play some music, engage in conversation, read, enjoy the passing of time, and stay near the boiling pot. Set a timer within earshot to remind you to check your boiling peanuts. Enjoy yourself while the peanuts are boiling, but don’t get distracted from your mission.
Taste them early, taste them often. As you learn how to make boiled peanuts, you’ll notice that boiling time softens them, and soaking time makes them juicy, and flavorful.
Sample peanuts often until they reach the texture, wetness, and flavor that you prefer. Add fresh water to keep the peanuts under water.
Because dried peanuts require many hours of boiling, we often remove the pot from the heat, and let the liquid cool for an hour, or more. This is a good time to use that ‘too small lid’ on the pot. The peanuts suck up the salt water as they soak in the cooling pot.
Turning off the burner allows us to leave the pot safely as the brine infuses the pods, while the brine cools. Taste the peanuts as they soak, and you can decide whether they need to boil more, or soak longer. Soak, and simmer as needed.
Fresh green peanuts should boil at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours. Dried raw peanuts usually need to boil more than 6 hours, and up to 24 hours. Each batch of boiled peanuts demands that you decide boiling time by tasting. Taste the water before adding any more salt. The salty taste does not infuse the peanuts until they are almost done. Be patient. While learning how to make boiled peanuts, many people make the mistake of adding more salt before the peanuts have fully absorbed the salt water.
In the USA peanuts are typically boiled until they are saturated with the brine. It’s easier to add more salt very late in the boil than it is to reduce the salt concentration if you overdo it early.
Boiled peanuts are often called steamed, or braised peanuts in Asia. Braised peanuts are shelled raw peanuts, boiled with sugar, and spices.
Boiling dried peanuts will take several hours. Pay attention. Never leave a boiling pot of water unattended on a stove. When the water boils away a fire will start from the burning contents, and the pot may melt. Turn off the burner if you must walk away. With the burner off the peanuts will safely simmer until you return.
Turn off the burner when the peanuts are nearing your preferred texture. You must taste many peanuts as they boil because there is wide variation in maturity, initial kernel moisture content, and size of the raw peanuts that you are boiling.
Let the peanuts soak in the cooling liquid for an hour, or more to infuse the juicy flavor of the brine into their shells. Many recipes recommend soaking them in the pot as they cool to intensify flavor, and moisture.
You’ll love the results if you take the time to soak them after boiling.
Enjoy boiled peanuts with your favorite soda pop, beer, wine, or tea.
Refrigerate leftovers for several days, or freeze them in Ziploc bags for several months. Thaw the frozen boiled peanuts in the refrigerator, then eat them cold, or reheated.
Now you know how to make boiled peanuts, the traditional way.
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