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Feb 11, 2008 10:22 PM

Are there any peanuts or peanut products used in Japanese cuisine?

Okay, not sure if this is on the right board.......

Are there any peanuts or peanut products used in Japanese cuisine (as one would find in a North American Japanese restaurant) Our daughter has a peanut allergy and is a big sushi lover, (as we all are) I was assuming that there were no peanuts in Japanese cuisine (everytime we ask at a Japanese restaurant, they tell us there is no peanut in house) However, an allergy book listed Japanese restaurants (along with all Asian restaurants) as ones to avoid.

Can anyone think of a peanut product that might be in use?


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  1. peanut oil for frying is probably the most common use.

    depending on just how severe your daughter's allergy is, this may not be a problem. general consensus seems to be that purified peanut oil does NOT contain the protein that causes the immune response in those who are allergic..but you obviously take a risk if you can't confirm that the oil being used is pure.

    i assume she's okay with soybeans? i only ask because they're both legumes, and some allergic people have a sensitivity to related foods.

    take one of those allergy cards with you to the japanese restaurant so you can communicate the precise risks and the verboten foods/ingredients to the restaurant. they should be able to guide you in terms of what your daughter needs to avoid. as long as she doesn't order any crazy rolls with unidentified sauces, sushi [and obviously sashimi] are safe as long as you ask the restaurant to prepare them on uncontaminated surfaces with clean utensils.

    if they fry in peanut oil, she should probably just skip the tempura.

    they may also use peanut butter in some sauces [like dengaku], in place of sesame, so double-check that as well.

    1. I can't think of any in a 'straight' Japanese restaurant... peanuts are mostly used in south-east Asian cuisines. The Japanese like seaweed more. But around here there are a lot of restaurants that serve Japanese/Thai food and Thai food is FULL of peanuts.

      1. There's an Okinawan dish -- jiimamii tofu -- that involves peanuts. I've also gotten peanuts (oil? butter?) in a salad dressing at a Japanese restaurant in the US, so you may want to be careful about salads.

        1. LOL You reminded me of my friend from Brit. He is always trying to find reasons to sue people for money & He had same problem with peanuts..LOL Well,I used to work as a chef & We covered variety of cuisines from many area of Japan & I do not remember using any peanut oils. To me peanut oils are used in south east Asia & for god christsake Japanese people aren't that Toropical. Might be in Okinawa because of south boarder region tend to have many fusion cuisines more than mainland. yes, someone mentioned it here before if it's real (there are many other country origins asians pretending to be as Japanese, even in Japan) then you don't need to worry just ask the chef Do you use peanut oil ( My old chef called it -Nanking oil because it was chinese terrolists bulllocks who insist that Terrolist is good thing to do..LOL) ) who owns restrant all over the worlds & it's really hard to say what you know as a real Japanese restraunt is truly a real Japanese restaurant. my best prevention for your case is ASK THE CHEF about peanuts oil. Chinese, thai food, Korean,phiipine ,malasia uses a lot & i've seen many cook who came from those regions & telling me straight face that they are Japanese but all they say is typical japanese name as a parents name & can't even write thier names in JAPANESE WRITING..

          1. Peanuts are common in desserts, esp. mochi balls

            Peanut based snacks are also common, e.g. kaki-pi

            There might be peanut, or peanut based, sauces.

            Sometime crushed peanuts are mixed in panko.

            Peanut oil is not used very often, if at all. Tempura is usu. fried in vegetable oil.

            Try saying this just to be safe:

            Watashi wa nuts no arerugi ga arimasu.
            I have an allergy to nuts.

            kore ni peanuts ya nuts kara dekita shokubutsuyuu nado ga haitte imasu ka?
            Does this contain peanuts, nut-based vegetable oil, etc.?

            6 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Nah. I've never seen peanuts used on Moch ball in my entire life. Soy beans or beans Yes.

              Kaki-pi has unshelled peanuts but it is written clearly in English on the back of package that says peanuts in it. . Beside it's mainly made in Taiwan & China. it is mported snak from those regions.

              Nah, I've never seen or heard of Peanuts in PANKO (bread powder) in Japan. unless, someone add that taste in home or south east fusion restaurant place. Nope, in entietime in authentic Japanese restaurant I've never made anything like that.

              Perhaps ,People should suspect in case of peanut allergy because they've been to Fake Japanese restaurants or Southeast asian country restaurant places.

              1. re: maxinpains

                just because *you've* personally never seen or made certain items with peanuts doesn't mean they don't exist...and if a restaurant serves a packaged product that contains peanuts - whether it comes from Japan or some other country - the *customer* isn't reading the packaging label so they have no way of knowing about the peanuts.

                there's no need for you to be so dismissive of someone else's experience/advice.

                1. re: maxinpains

                  No, perhaps people should be suspicious of peanut allergy because it is a life-threatening allergy. The most authentic place versus the least-authentic place could well be equally dangerous. (Equally safe perhaps too, for that matter.) IMO that would have to exclude dining out at ANY Asian restaurant, 'cause it is that big a deal - from the fakest, most overhyped "Japanese Steakhouse" to the most classic, traditional dim sum house. And yep, I know that's Chinese.

                  1. re: maxinpains

                    Nah. I've never seen peanuts used on Moch ball in my entire life. Soy beans or beans Yes.

                    See pics below ... (from left to right): peanut dusted mochi, peanut crusted mochi made with peanut flour, and peanut filled mochi. [pics not mine]

                    ipsedixit: Your honor, may I have Exhibits 1, 2 and 3 admitted into evidence?

                    Judge: Yes, you may.

                    ipsedixit: Thank you, your honor. Nothing further, anymore and it would be piling on.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Mochi filled with a peanut butter-based filling has become a standard item at Mikawaya and Fugetsu-do. The thing to remember about Japanese tastes is that it's very adaptive. There are parts of it that are very traditional, and there are those with very traditional tastes, but when one considers the many adopted/adapted foods and ingredients (e.g., ramen anyone? Kit Kat flavors like camembert cheese, roasted corn and chunky peanut butter), anything is possible. It's always safe to ask, and even then, one needs to keep their guard up when it comes to potentially lethal heath issues.