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Chinese Spicy Peanuts Recipe: How to Make It at Home

If you're looking for a snack that packs a punch, then look no further than Chinese spicy peanuts. These peanuts are a popular snack in China and can be found in many street markets and food stalls. They are known for their bold flavour and spicy kick, which is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

A bowl of Chinese spicy peanuts surrounded by red chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns on a wooden table

To make Chinese spicy peanuts, you'll need some essential ingredients such as raw peanuts, oil for frying, dried chilli peppers, Szechuan peppercorns, and Chinese five-spice powder. Once you have these ingredients, you can start preparing the peanuts by frying them until they are golden brown. Then, you can add the seasoning to give them that spicy kick.

Chinese spicy peanuts are not only delicious but also healthy. Peanuts are a good source of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Additionally, the spices used in this recipe, such as Szechuan peppercorns, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Overall, this snack is a great choice for anyone looking for a healthy and tasty snack.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese spicy peanuts are a popular snack in China known for their bold flavour and spicy kick.
  • Essential ingredients for making Chinese spicy peanuts include raw peanuts, oil for frying, dried chilli peppers, Szechuan peppercorns, and Chinese five-spice powder.
  • Chinese spicy peanuts are not only delicious but also healthy, making them a great snack choice.

Essential Ingredients

A wok sizzles with peanuts, chili peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns. Soy sauce and sugar are added, creating a glossy glaze

When it comes to making Chinese spicy peanuts, there are certain ingredients that are essential to achieve the perfect balance of flavours. Here are some of the key ingredients you'll need to make a delicious batch of spicy peanuts.

Choosing the Right Peanuts

The quality of the peanuts you use is crucial to the success of this recipe. Look for raw, unsalted peanuts with a fresh aroma and no signs of mould or rancidity. You can use either shelled or unshelled peanuts, but shelled peanuts are easier to work with.

Sichuan Peppercorn Varieties

Sichuan peppercorns are a key ingredient in Chinese spicy peanuts, and there are two main varieties to choose from: green and red. Green Sichuan peppercorns have a milder flavour and a citrusy aroma, while red Sichuan peppercorns are more pungent and have a stronger numbing effect on the tongue. Experiment with both varieties to find the one you prefer.

Additional Spices and Seasonings

In addition to Sichuan peppercorns, there are several other spices and seasonings that can be used to flavour Chinese spicy peanuts. Dried chilli peppers add heat to the dish, while bay leaves and star anise provide a subtle, aromatic flavour. Chinese five-spice powder is another common ingredient in Chinese cooking and can add depth and complexity to the flavour profile. Salt, sugar, and white pepper are also used to balance out the flavours and bring out the best in the other ingredients.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also experiment with adding seafood to your Chinese spicy peanuts recipe. Shrimp or dried anchovies can be used to add a salty, umami flavour that complements the spiciness of the dish. Just be sure to use small, dried seafood that won't overpower the other flavours in the dish.

Preparation Techniques

A mortar and pestle crushes Sichuan peppercorns and chili flakes. A wok sizzles with peanuts, ginger, and garlic. Soy sauce and sugar mix in a bowl

Preparing Chinese spicy peanuts requires a few techniques to achieve the perfect balance of flavours and heat. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Frying for the Perfect Crunch

To get the perfect crispy texture, it's important to start frying the raw peanuts in cold oil. This will help the peanuts to cook evenly and become crispy. You can adjust the amount of oil depending on the size of your cookware, but make sure it's enough to cover the peanuts halfway.

When frying the peanuts, use cooking oil with a high smoke point like peanut oil or vegetable oil. This will prevent the oil from burning and imparting a burnt flavour to the peanuts. You can also add some fragrant spices like cinnamon stick or star anise to the oil to enhance the flavour of the peanuts.

Balancing Flavours and Heat

Chinese spicy peanuts are known for their numbing and spicy flavour. To achieve this, you can use a combination of dried chilli pepper, Sichuan peppercorn, Chinese five-spice powder, sugar and white pepper. Adjust the amount of each ingredient to your taste preference.

To balance the heat, you can add some seafood to the recipe. Seafood like dried shrimp or dried scallops can add a savoury flavour to the peanuts and help to balance out the spiciness. Soaking the seafood in warm water before adding it to the recipe can help to soften it and make it more fragrant.

In summary, frying the peanuts in cold oil and using fragrant spices like cinnamon stick and star anise can help to achieve the perfect crispy texture and enhance the flavour of the peanuts. Balancing the flavours and heat with a combination of dried chilli pepper, Sichuan peppercorn, Chinese five-spice powder, sugar and white pepper can give the peanuts a numbing and spicy flavour. Adding seafood like dried shrimp or dried scallops can help to balance out the spiciness and add a savoury flavour to the peanuts.

Nutritional Information

A bowl of Chinese spicy peanuts with a label showing nutritional information

Caloric Content and Serving Size

When it comes to snacking, it's important to keep an eye on your caloric intake. A serving of Chinese spicy peanuts typically contains around 170 calories. This serving size is roughly equivalent to one small handful of peanuts, which makes it a great snack option for those who are watching their calorie intake.

Macronutrients and Minerals

Chinese spicy peanuts are a good source of protein, with a serving containing around 7 grams of protein. They are also a good source of healthy fats, with around 14 grams of fat per serving. Additionally, they contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates, with around 6 grams per serving.

In terms of minerals, Chinese spicy peanuts are a good source of potassium, with around 200 milligrams per serving. They also contain a small amount of calcium and iron. However, they are relatively high in sodium, with around 240 milligrams per serving.

Seafood Option

If you're looking to add some extra nutrition to your Chinese spicy peanuts, consider adding some seafood to the mix. Shrimp or prawns are a great option, as they are low in calories and high in protein. Simply toss some cooked shrimp or prawns with the peanuts and seasoning for a tasty and nutritious snack.

Serving and Storage

A bowl of spicy peanuts on a wooden serving tray, surrounded by small dishes of chili oil and sesame seeds, with a labeled jar for storage

Best Ways to Serve

Chinese spicy peanuts are a perfect appetizer or party snack. They are best served with a cold beer, which will help to balance out the spiciness. You can also serve them with other Chinese snacks, such as dumplings or spring rolls, to create a complete Chinese-inspired menu.

If you want to add some seafood to your dish, you can use dried shrimp or salted fish. These ingredients will add a unique flavour to the peanuts and make them even more delicious.

Storing for Freshness

To keep your Chinese spicy peanuts fresh, store them in an airtight container. This will prevent them from becoming stale and will help to preserve their flavour.

You can store them at room temperature for up to a week, but if you want to keep them for longer, it is best to store them in the fridge. This will help to extend their shelf life and keep them fresh for up to a month.

Remember to label your container with the date you made the peanuts, so you know when they need to be eaten by. This will help you to avoid eating stale peanuts and ensure that you always have fresh, delicious snacks on hand.

Cultural Significance

A wok sizzles as peanuts, Sichuan peppercorns, and chili peppers are tossed in fragrant oil, releasing an irresistible aroma

Chinese cuisine has a rich history, and Sichuan cuisine is one of the most popular and flavourful styles of Chinese cooking. One of the most famous Sichuan dishes is mala peanuts, also known as Sichuan spicy peanuts or 麻辣花生. These peanuts are a beloved snack in China and are enjoyed by people of all ages.

Sichuan Cuisine and Mala Peanuts

Sichuan cuisine is known for its bold flavours and use of spices, particularly the green and red Sichuan peppers. Mala peanuts are a perfect example of this flavour profile, as they are made with a spicy and numbing seasoning blend that includes Sichuan peppercorns. The peanuts are first fried until golden brown and then coated with the seasoning blend, resulting in a snack that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Mala peanuts are also a popular tableside condiment in Sichuan restaurants and are often served alongside other spicy dishes. The peanuts are said to help cleanse the palate between bites of spicy food, making them an essential accompaniment to any Sichuan feast.

Snacking Culture in China

Snacking culture is an integral part of Chinese cuisine, and mala peanuts are a perfect example of this. In China, snacking is not just about satisfying hunger but also about socializing and building relationships. Mala peanuts are often given as gifts during holidays and special occasions, making them a symbol of friendship and goodwill.

If you're looking to add a twist to the traditional mala peanuts recipe, you can try adding seafood to the mix. Small shrimp or dried squid can be used to add a salty and savoury flavour to the peanuts, making them an even more addictive snack.

In summary, mala peanuts are more than just a snack; they are a symbol of Sichuan cuisine and Chinese snacking culture. Whether you're enjoying them at a restaurant or making them at home, mala peanuts are a must-try for anyone who loves bold and flavourful snacks.

Recipe Variations

A wok sizzles with peanuts, chili peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns. A fragrant cloud of spicy aroma fills the air

Adjusting Spice Levels

One of the best things about the Chinese spicy peanuts recipe is that you can adjust the spice level to your liking. If you prefer a milder flavour, you can reduce the amount of Sichuan peppercorns and chilli peppers. On the other hand, if you're a fan of spicy food, you can increase the amount of these ingredients. You can also adjust the amount of salt and sugar to balance the flavours and make the peanuts taste less salty or sweet.

Dietary Modifications

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you can still enjoy the delicious Chinese spicy peanuts recipe. Simply omit the meat-based ingredients like chicken or beef and stick to plant-based ingredients like peanuts, Sichuan peppercorns, and chilli peppers. You can also use vegetable oil instead of animal-based oil to make the recipe vegan-friendly.

For those who are allergic to peanuts, you can substitute them with other nuts like cashews or almonds. You can also try using seafood like shrimp or squid as a replacement for meat. The seafood will give the dish a unique flavour and texture that pairs well with the spices and peanuts.

If you're on a low-carb or keto diet, you can still enjoy the Chinese spicy peanuts recipe by reducing the amount of sugar or substituting it with a low-carb sweetener. You can also use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil to make the dish more keto-friendly.

Overall, the Chinese spicy peanuts recipe is a versatile dish that can be modified to suit your dietary needs and preferences. With a few simple tweaks, you can create a delicious and healthy snack that everyone will love.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make easy Szechuan peanuts at home?

Making Szechuan peanuts at home is easy and requires only a few ingredients. You will need raw peanuts, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chili, salt, and oil. First, roast the peanuts in a pan until they turn golden brown. Next, add Szechuan peppercorns and dried chili to the pan and stir-fry until fragrant. Add salt to taste and mix well. Finally, let the peanuts cool down before serving.

What ingredients are needed for Huang Fei Hong spicy peanuts?

Huang Fei Hong spicy peanuts require raw peanuts, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chili, salt, sugar, and oil. First, roast the peanuts until golden brown. Next, add Szechuan peppercorns and dried chili to the pan and stir-fry until fragrant. Add a pinch of sugar and salt to taste and mix well. Finally, let the peanuts cool down before serving.

Can you suggest a simple recipe for making Mala peanuts?

To make Mala peanuts, you will need raw peanuts, Szechuan peppercorns, dried chili, salt, sugar, and oil. First, roast the peanuts until golden brown. Next, add Szechuan peppercorns and dried chili to the pan and stir-fry until fragrant. Add a pinch of sugar and salt to taste and mix well. Finally, let the peanuts cool down before serving.

Are spicy coated peanuts a healthy snack option?

Spicy coated peanuts are a delicious snack option, but they are not the healthiest option available. While peanuts are a good source of protein and healthy fats, the added sugar and oil in the coating can make them high in calories. If you are looking for a healthier snack option, consider roasted peanuts without the coating.

What's the traditional name for Chinese spicy peanuts?

The traditional name for Chinese spicy peanuts is Huang Fei Hong spicy peanuts. It is a famous Chinese snack that combines the numbing spicy Szechuan seasoning with fried peanuts.

How do you achieve the perfect spice blend for Asian spiced peanuts?

To achieve the perfect spice blend for Asian spiced peanuts, it is important to balance the heat and the numbing sensation of the Szechuan peppercorns. Start with a small amount of peppercorns and chili and adjust the amount according to your taste. You can also add other spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin to enhance the flavour. If you prefer a seafood flavour, you can add dried shrimp or anchovies to the mix.