Sunday, June 1, 2014

Boiled Peanuts

This recipe is so rock-star around the globe that it's hard to believe that it's only a few hundred years old.

Peanuts are ancient. We have evidence. They come from the Andes and date back about 5000 years.

However, their modern incarnation dates back to the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola (modern-day: Haiti and Dominican Republic) in 1502.

The nuts spread quickly across the globe. First to Europe and thence to South-East Asia, China and Africa. They also played a disproportionate role in the slave trade. Many Africans consider the peanut to be "native" but the CC would like to disenchant them of this entirely fictitious notion.

The peanut is not a "nut". It's really a legume more akin to peas and beans than to walnuts and hazelnuts.

If you've never had boiled peanuts, you are totally missing out. This is one of the great joys of life.

The CC presents three recipes from different parts around the globe. Add the ingredients and boil them with the peanuts. (A pressure cooker makes quick work but it's not strictly speaking necessary.)

Eat them with beer. Champagne if you want to get fancy. It's not exactly rocket surgery. But it's delicious.


1 lb. whole raw peanuts
6 cups water

Ingredients 1: Classic

4 tbsp. salt

Ingredients 2: Chinese

4 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. palm sugar (substitute with brown sugar)

2 star anise
1 small piece of cinnamon
4 cloves
2 dried red chillies

Ingredients 3: Thai

4 tbsp. nahm pla (fish sauce)
2 tbsp. palm sugar (substitute with brown sugar)

2 Thai green chillies (slit lengthwise)


Boil the peanuts with the ingredients. About 45 minutes. Test to see. This is hard to predict.

(In a pressure cooker, it takes about 10 minutes.)

Serve with beer.

No comments: