Remember when I said here that the only saving grace of an Asian supermarket I recently shopped in Euclid were the couple of spring chickens I bought? Half truth. On my way out of the store, I spotted bags of peanuts labeled “Chinese Boiled Peanuts”. Owing to the state of their other products, I didn’t really have positive expectations but I was intrigued enough to queue again at the cashier for a couple of bags. All through our 20-minute drive home, I shelled and munched, shelled and munched that by the time G parked, I already polished off the roughly 2 pounds of peanuts. They were so addicting, I couldn’t for the life of me stop at one.
Boiled peanuts are not uncommon in the Filipino food scene but the peanuts I enjoyed from the store had nuance of flavors that made them far more delicious. So good, in fact, I consumed 2 pounds in one sitting and was making my own batch the following day.
Chinese Boiled Peanuts
- 1 lb. raw peanuts in shell
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 star anise
- 2 Japanese dried chili
- Under cold running water, rinse peanuts two or three times to rid of dirt and grit.
- In a crockpot, combine peanuts, soy sauce, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, garlic, star anise and dried chili. Add enough water to cover peanuts. Place a plate over peanuts to keep them submerged during cooking. Cook on high for about 6 to 8 hours or until desired tenderness.
- To cook on the stovetop, combine all ingredients in a large pot. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, adding more water as needed, for about 3 to 4 hours or until desired tenderness. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes to allow peanuts to cook evenly.
- Allow cooked peanuts to slightly cool in braising liquid. Using a slotted spoon, remove from pot and discard spices. Serve warm.