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Chinese New Year Peanut Puff Recipe: A Delicious Festive Treat

If you're looking for a delicious and traditional Chinese New Year snack that symbolizes prosperity and wealth, look no further than peanut puffs, also known as kok chai. These sweet and crunchy treats are a favourite during the Chinese New Year celebration, which can last up to 15 days.

A table filled with ingredients like peanuts, flour, sugar, and oil. A mixing bowl, rolling pin, and pastry cutter sit nearby

Making peanut puffs from scratch may seem daunting, but with the right recipe and a little bit of patience, you can easily create this beloved snack at home. The recipe typically involves preparing a peanut filling and making a dough, which is then shaped and fried to golden perfection.

To add a unique twist to your peanut puff recipe, consider incorporating seafood into the filling. Shrimp or crab meat can be finely chopped and mixed with the ground peanuts for a delicious and unexpected flavour. Just be sure to use fresh seafood and cook it thoroughly before adding it to the filling.

Key Takeaways

  • Peanut puffs are a traditional Chinese New Year snack that symbolizes prosperity and wealth.
  • Making peanut puffs from scratch involves preparing a peanut filling and making a dough, which is then shaped and fried.
  • To add a unique twist to your peanut puff recipe, consider incorporating fresh seafood such as shrimp or crab meat into the filling.

History and Significance

A table filled with ingredients and tools for making Chinese New Year peanut puffs, with a recipe card and traditional decorations in the background

Cultural Roots

Chinese New Year is one of the most important cultural celebrations in Chinese communities worldwide, including Cantonese, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is a time to honour ancestors, reunite with family, and welcome the coming year with good fortune. The celebration lasts for 15 days, and each day has its own unique significance.

One of the most important aspects of Chinese New Year is the food. Families prepare and share traditional dishes that symbolize good luck, prosperity, and happiness. Peanut puffs, also known as Kok Chai, are a popular Chinese New Year snack that originated in China and have since spread throughout the world.

Symbolism of Ingredients

Peanut puffs are traditionally made to resemble gold ingots, which are a symbol of wealth and prosperity. The ingredients used to make peanut puffs also have symbolic significance. Peanuts represent longevity and abundance, while sesame seeds represent fertility and prosperity. The combination of these ingredients creates a snack that is not only delicious but also rich in symbolism.

If you want to add a unique twist to your peanut puff recipe, consider adding seafood. Seafood is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine and is often used during Chinese New Year celebrations. Shrimp or crab meat can be added to the peanut filling to create a savoury and delicious snack that is perfect for any occasion.

Preparing the Peanut Filling

A bowl of roasted peanuts being crushed into a fine powder, while a mixture of sugar and butter is being heated in a saucepan

If you're looking for a sweet and crunchy snack to enjoy during Chinese New Year, peanut puffs are the perfect treat. The filling is made with a mixture of roasted and crushed peanuts, sugar, and salt. Here's how to prepare the peanut filling for your peanut puffs.

Roasting Peanuts

To start, you'll need to roast the peanuts. Spread the peanuts in a single layer on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 170°C/340°F for 17 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Once they're roasted, set them aside to cool completely.

Creating the Mixture

Once the peanuts have cooled, grind them until they're fine using a food processor. Then, add in sugar and salt and mix well. Finally, add in some oil and mix well to create a smooth, sticky mixture.

If you want to add a twist to your peanut puffs recipe, you can also consider adding some seafood to the filling. For example, you can try adding some chopped shrimp or crab meat to the mixture for a delicious seafood twist. Just make sure to use cooked seafood and chop it finely before adding it to the mixture.

With your peanut filling ready, you can now move on to preparing the dough for your peanut puffs.

Making the Dough

A pair of hands mixes flour and peanut filling in a large bowl, preparing the dough for Chinese New Year peanut puffs

Making the dough for Chinese New Year peanut puff recipe is a crucial step that requires attention to detail. The dough should be firm enough to hold the filling but also soft and flaky. In this section, we will discuss how to make the perfect dough for your peanut puffs.

Choosing the Right Flour

The type of flour you use for your dough will determine the texture and flavour of your peanut puffs. All-purpose flour, cake flour, and plain flour are all suitable for making the dough. All-purpose flour is the most common type of flour used for peanut puffs, but cake flour or plain flour can also be used. Cake flour will give your dough a more tender texture, while plain flour will make it crispier.

Kneading the Dough

Once you have chosen your flour, it's time to start kneading the dough. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and butter. Mix until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Next, add the egg and water and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.

If the dough is too dry, add a little more water. If it is too wet, add a little more flour. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky. Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

Seafood can also be used in the dough to add more flavour. Shrimp or crab meat can be finely chopped and added to the dough mixture. This will give your peanut puffs a unique taste that is sure to impress your guests.

Making the perfect dough for your Chinese New Year peanut puffs requires careful attention to detail. Choosing the right flour and kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic are essential steps in the process. Adding seafood to the dough mixture is also a great way to add more flavour to your peanut puffs.

Shaping and Frying

Peanut puff dough being shaped and fried in hot oil for Chinese New Year recipe

Crafting the Puffs

Now that you have prepared the dough and the filling, it's time to shape the puffs. You can use a cookie cutter or a small bowl to cut out circles from the dough. Then, place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. Fold the dough in half and pinch the edges together to seal the filling inside. Use your fingers to gently shape the puff into a small, oval shape.

Deep Frying to Perfection

To achieve that golden brown, crispy texture that makes kok chai or yau gok so irresistible, deep frying is the traditional method of cooking. Heat up a pot of peanut oil or vegetable oil to 180°C. Gently place the puffs into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry the puffs until they are golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the puffs from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

If you prefer a healthier alternative, you can also try using an air fryer to cook the puffs. Simply brush the puffs with a thin layer of cooking oil and place them in the air fryer basket. Cook the puffs at 180°C for 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.

As a suggestion, you can also try adding seafood to your peanut puff recipe. Shrimp or crabmeat can be used as a delicious and unique filling for your puffs. Simply chop the seafood into small pieces and mix it with the crushed peanuts and other ingredients. Shape and fry the puffs as usual for a delightful twist on this classic Chinese New Year treat.

Serving and Storage

A table with a plate of Chinese New Year peanut puffs, surrounded by jars of ingredients and utensils for serving and storage

Presentation Tips

When serving mini peanut puffs, it's important to make them look as good as they taste. One way to do this is by presenting them in an airtight container, which will keep them fresh and prevent them from going stale. You can also arrange them on a plate and garnish with some chopped peanuts or sesame seeds to make them look more appetizing.

If you're sharing pictures of your mini peanut puffs on social media, consider using a hashtag such as #peanutpuffs or #chinesenewyearsnacks to get more support and engagement from other foodies.

Keeping Them Fresh

Mini peanut puffs are best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Avoid storing them in the fridge as this can make them go soggy.

If you want to keep your mini peanut puffs for longer, you can freeze them for up to 1 month. To do this, place them in an airtight container and freeze them immediately after they have cooled down. When you're ready to eat them, simply thaw them at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try adding some seafood to your mini peanut puff recipe. For example, you could try adding some chopped prawns or crab meat to the filling to give them a delicious seafood twist. Just make sure to cook the seafood thoroughly before adding it to the filling, and be sure to use fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions

A table filled with ingredients and cooking utensils for making Chinese New Year peanut puffs. Recipe book open to "Frequently Asked Questions" page

How do you make peanut puffs for the Spring Festival?

Peanut puffs, also known as Kok Chai, are a popular Chinese New Year snack that symbolizes abundant wealth. To make peanut puffs, you need to prepare a filling made of roasted peanuts, sugar, and oil. You can add other ingredients like sesame seeds, shredded coconut, or seafood to enhance the flavour. Then, you need to prepare a dough made of flour, butter, eggs, and water. Roll out the dough, fill it with the peanut mixture, and shape it into small balls. Finally, deep-fry or bake the peanut puffs until golden brown.

What's the traditional significance of peanuts during Chinese New Year celebrations?

Peanuts are a symbol of longevity, fertility, and prosperity in Chinese culture. They are often used in traditional Chinese New Year dishes and snacks like peanut puffs, peanut soup, and peanut candy. Peanuts are believed to bring good luck and fortune to those who consume them during the festivities.

Can you suggest a simple recipe for Kok Chai?

Here's a simple recipe for Kok Chai that you can try:

  • Filling: roasted peanuts, sugar, oil, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, and diced prawns.
  • Dough: flour, butter, eggs, water, and salt.

Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mix the dough ingredients in another bowl and knead until smooth. Roll out the dough, cut into small circles, and fill with the peanut mixture. Pinch the edges to seal the filling and shape into small balls. Deep-fry the peanut puffs until golden brown and crispy. Serve hot.

What other treats are typically enjoyed alongside peanut puffs during the festivities?

Chinese New Year is a time for feasting and celebrating with family and friends. In addition to peanut puffs, other popular treats include rice cakes, dumplings, spring rolls, and sweet rice balls. You can also serve savoury dishes like fish, chicken, and vegetables to balance out the sweetness.

Are there any special techniques to get the perfect crispy texture for peanut puffs?

To get the perfect crispy texture for peanut puffs, you need to make sure that the dough is rolled out thinly and evenly. The filling should be well-mixed and not too wet or dry. When deep-frying, make sure that the oil is hot enough and that the peanut puffs are not overcrowded in the pan. You can also add a pinch of baking powder to the dough for extra crispiness.

What ingredients are needed to prepare authentic Chinese New Year peanut puffs?

Authentic Chinese New Year peanut puffs are made with simple ingredients that are easily available in most supermarkets. You will need flour, butter, eggs, water, salt, roasted peanuts, sugar, oil, and sesame seeds. You can also add shredded coconut, diced prawns, or other seafood to the filling for a unique twist.