boiled peanuts.

boiled p-nuts

boiled peanuts are a popular snack throughout asia, but not so much anywhere else except for the southern united states (and hawaii!), where the nation's peanut production is centered. generally, peanuts are served roasted which brings out the nuttiness, but once boiled, it takes on a beany flavour--unsurprising, considering peanuts are not in fact nuts but legumes. peanuts that are used for boiling are the same for roasting, but generally the younger, fresher legume (called 'green' in the us, even though they aren't literally so) is preferred for a sweeter, more subtle taste.

in the united states, boiled peanuts are still considered somewhat of an oddity, and yet boiled edamame soy beans can be found quite regularly. there is quite a similarity in taste, although i find the peanut to be sweeter and a little more complex. perhaps one of the reasons why they aren't as popular as they could be is because it does take quite a bit of boiling time to get the peanut tender; however, with a slow cooker, you can pretty much get away with dumping some raw peanuts and salt into the pot, cover with water, set it and forget it. have a good night's sleep. clean the garage. take the dog on a long, long, long walk. return to a tasty and relatively healthy gem of a snack.

boiled peanuts, slow cooker method

(for a 6-qt. slow cooker/crock-pot)

1 qt/4 c. raw peanuts
4 qts water
1/2 c kosher salt

*optional: star anise, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, szechuan peppercorns, dried whole chilis (for a little asian flair, use at your own discretion. personally i prefer to add just a few whole star anise for a lovely licorice tinge)

dump everything in the pot, cover, and set on 'high'. ignore for 6 or 7 hours. sleep, go to a movie, clean your room. return to tender p-nutty goodness.



We love boiled peanuts here. I used to make them all time, but now I'm either too lazy!

oh, i'll add hawaii. i think you're not lazy but too busy with work, house and travelling!

no road trip to the american south is complete without a trip to a roadside stand for boiled peanuts. I prefer them hot, because cold they taste too muddy for me. then we have to dfeal with them while driving on a 2-lane highway. it's quite uncivilized.

you are a genius with this slow-cooker remedy!

Growing up in the South I loved boiled peanuts! When I mention them to anyone I know now that I live in New England, they look at me like I'm crazy.

i live in good 'ol southern USA and down here, hot boiled peanuts on the side of the road (even suburban roads) is not an oddity, but rather, an everyday thing. that and freshly-made apple cider. awesome combination.

my exbf from florida used to make boilied peanuts all the time in the summer. his recipe was horrid but i think i would like them if i used your optional list!

hmm...I love peanuts...hehe

My sister-in-law is crazy about these. Not to long ago my brother ordered some sort of kit (really just the peanuts and a recipe, I think) to make some for her birthday. I got a chance to sample them for the first time then and have to say I wasn't completely won over. I think the main problem was that they were way too salty - your recipe looks to have a much more reasonable amount of salt. Maybe next time I'll point him in the direction of your blog!

The old stadium on Isenberg in Honolulu used to sell boiled peanuts for snacks, and I swear those were the best!

I love boiled peanuts and used to buy it hot off the streets, literally, from street vendors at stoplights. Until someone scared me about the supposed dirty water they use for boiling tha ultimately seeps in. But isn't that what makes all street food so tasty? :) Anyway, I buy them freshly boiled and steaming from supermarkets now instead.

hi michelle, yes, i agree! i spent a bunch of summers travelling the backroads of georgia, and stopping at anything worth stopping at. which was really *everything* but peanut stands are a must.

e to the m, can you even find boiled peanuts in new england? how difficult is it to find fresh/raw in the shell peanuts there?

purplegirl, yes, georgia's got it going on!

r4kk4, okay now i need to know the horrid recipe!

dx--me too:)

cathy, i have to say i sometimes put only a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of salt, but almost everyone tells me i'm not putting in enough. and kosher salt always tastes less salty to me anyway. how much salt was called for in his recipe?

acornbud, that was honolulu stadium, right? i barely remember the place. wasn't there some drive-in called chunky's around there? is it still around?

christine, ha, i heard the same thing! someone told me they use river water. YUM. and yes, it sucks because the best boiled anything seems to come from the street vendors.

I just want to say, great blog!

Boiled peanuts are one of my favorite snacks!My mom used to make that in the summer!

When I lived in LA, the only place I knew that had boiled peanuts was a small Asian grocery in Chinatown. Luckily, I've returned to Asia and haven't had to drive miles to get a fix of my boiled peanut cravings. But in a pinch, I'll have to remember your recipe and consider adding some of those spices you mentioned for a certain je ne sais quoi! :) glad to see you back on your blog

I got hooked on boiled peanuts when I lived in Hong Kong. Now that I'm back in the states, my wife makes them once in a while. Definetely under-rated. Great site.


hi canine and sal, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. hope you'll come by again!

hi mila! how are you? do you remember what market had them? i can't find them anywhere in la....

Honolulu Stadium was an old rickety wooden thing when I was a teen. Chunkys is no more.

So, im not sure if you will get this as this is a much older post but i will give it a shot anyways.
I lived in Guam for a year and a half and became obsessed with these delights. Now back home (Montana) people think im nuts (haha) because i am constantly asking people with little hope that they had also tasted them. Today is a wonderful, i can make them myself!! Thanks again.