Green peanuts are really just fresh raw peanuts straight from the ground (before they’ve been salted, dried or roasted). If you’ve never had a boiled green peanut, they’re closer in spirit to edamame than the dry roasted variety sold by the monocled peanut. They’re not actually green, but the name is a disambiguation for the term “raw peanut” which can include dried roasted peanuts.
Honestly, I’m not sure why these things aren’t in the freezer aisle alongside edamame, because they’d be flying off the shelves if they were. The fresh nuts are more crispy than crunchy with a mild creamy flavour. Paired with the Chinese spices in this brine, they make for a delicious snack with a crack-like addictive quality that keeps your hand going back for more.
What’s your favourite way of having peanuts?
While I’d originally seen the idea of boiled peanuts on Red Cook’s blog last year, I never got around to buying any until this weekend.
It all started with a bag of five spice laced brine, which I’d mixed for some pork chops I was planning to make for dinner. In the latest chapter of my love-hate saga with Whole Foods, the hero (that’s me!) unwrapped the eco-friendly butcher paper and was confronted by the foul stench of rotting meat. I was irked by the fact that I had to throw out two chops I’d purchased but one day earlier, especially since this wasn’t the first time this has happened (Whole Food’s are you listening?).
What really got my goat though was the fact that I’d already mixed the brine. I couldn’t bear to throw another thing out, so I tossed the bag in the fridge and headed up to Chinatown in search of some replacement meat (hormone laden as it may be, I’ve never been sold spoiled meat in Chinatown). As I walked down the south side of Canal street, I noticed the cart vendors had green peanuts for $2 a pound. Lightbulb flashing, I bought a pound of them and decided to repurpose the brine to cook the hourglass shaped beauties.
Back at home I used Kian’s cooing method along with my brine to boil the peanuts. I tasted a few last night, but they were bland and unmemorable, so I left them in the brine overnight as Kian instructs to see if they’d be better in the morning.
I woke up and headed straight for the stock pot this morning. Cracking open a peanut, I found two satisfyingly salty, plump peanuts, which were promptly redirected into my mouth. It didn’t take long before I moved the whole pot over to the table and was popping one after the other, until table was littered with shells, and my hands and face were covered in brine from the shells, which have a tendency to squirt.
I did eventually get myself to stop, but not before I contemplated pulling a beer from the fridge to go with the peanuts…
- 1 pound peanuts fresh green
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 2 star anise whole
- 1 clove garlic mashed
- 2 chilies thai (sliced in half lengthwise)
- 3 cups water
- Thoroughly rinse any extra dirt off the peanuts.
- Add all the ingredients into a covered pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the peanuts sit in the brine overnight.
- The next day, drain the peanuts and serve. Refrigerate any uneaten portion.