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Boiled peanuts

I was reading a blog post on boiled peanuts. Has anyone ever done this or tried them?

They called them "Vietnamese' edamame.

It sounds intriguing!

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  1. they are lovely and addictive. who is the "they" that called them vietnamese edamame?

    "they ain't vietnamese, and they ain't edamame.... discuss." linda richman's southern sistah. ;-D

    peanuts are new world legumes. so they cannot be "vietnamese." and edamames (soybeans) have a similar texture to the boiled peanut, but taste greener (toward a fresh lima flavor). imo, the peanuts have a better flavor.

    here is my post and some other info on boiled peanuts. better than caviar, i tell ya!
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/430248 the canned ones are not good exemplars, so don't get those. have to be fresh -- from green (raw) peanuts in the shell. takes 6 hours to boil, with lots of salt. the official snack food of south carolina!

    btw, i like your blog's beauty section!

    1. It surprised me how much I enjoyed them. I'd never had them-we were talking about them in my office one morning and everyone else agreed they were a must-try. My boss ran an errand and came back with a hot paper bag that he tossed to me. He got them from the guy parked up the road. Warm, salty and moist. I missed that crackle when you bite down on a peanut shell to open it, but these are their own kind of tasty.

      1. Bought fresh from a stand on the side of some Southern backroad, they are heaven! My Yankee friends at home make faces, but they just don't know.

        I've tried making them myself--don't know what I did wrong, but they weren't so good. Somebody sent me some in a can, and those were vile. I've just about given up--I will enjoy them when I visit the folks in Alabama, and the rest of the time, go without, and dream...

        8 Replies
        1. re: MsMaryMc

          I am assuming you live up north since you enjoy boiled peanuts when you visit Alabama. If so, did you use green peanuts or the dried ones in the store? You can boil dried peanuts but they definitely are not as good as using green peanuts. Green peanuts have a very short shelf-life but can be frozen for enjoyment all year. I live in Indiana and unless I order green peanuts ($17.99 per bushel plus $25 or so in shipping costs), I can't get them here.

          As a child in Georgia, my dad would get peanuts from local farmers. He'd bring the whole plants home on the back of his pickup truck and we'd all stand around the tailgate pulling the peanuts from the roots. Then wash them in big wash tubs several times until all the dirt was removed and put into a large pot with very salty water. Cook until the peanuts are soft.......have to keep testing and tasting to ensure they have enough salt, but not too much! Oh those are the best!

          1. re: alliedawn_98

            Maybe that was the problem--I bought them raw in the grocery store, but I don't think they were green. I live in Washington, so the chances of finding green peanuts here are probably pretty low. Oh well--another excuse to visit the folks down south!

            1. re: MsMaryMc

              MsMaryMc, I've ordered them online. Feridies is one source.

              Be careful, they're addictive.

            2. re: alliedawn_98

              Where do you order you green peanuts by the bushel? I would do almost anything for some at a reasonable price. I live in AZ and have been craving them like crazy. I grew up in the panhandle of Florida and they grow the small "seed" peanuts for the farmers there. They sell them at the ballgames and local roadside stands. They are SO much better than the jumbos but I would settle for those if I could get them. Please reply ASAP

              1. re: chriscv

                chriscv, look on chowhound for a thread on boiled peanuts to order.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/430248 -- a couple of sources mentioned there.

                a thread mentioned feridies, but the poster said they were the larger peanuts.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Thank you so much. I happend on this website by chance and cannot tell you how happy I am to find it. You seem to be one of the better bloggers, as well. I look forward to reading more of your input.

                  1. re: chriscv

                    welcome chriscv. chowhound is fun, and we're usually a friendly bunch -- esp. on home cooking!

                2. re: chriscv

                  Obviously, it is different for you being in AZ but here in LA I just go out and buy 'em come August when the green ones start to come in (when I was a boy it was later in the year I think). And I only make them with the green peanuts so it is seasonal. I'd be leery of getting them by the bushel other times of the year. There is no law against boiling up a fully mature peanut but it ain't the same. Besides, it is more fun when you buy them still moist with some dirt on them.

            3. Boiled peanuts are popular in Hawaii as well. One of my uncles who owned one of those family-run grocery stores there did a lot of special items - boiled peanuts being one of them - that's pretty much how these types of businesses compete with the bigger competition on the Islands. I'm guessing boiled peanuts came to the Islands during the War, like alot of other things now considered typical Hawaiian food. I can easily see some GI from the South showing the locals what to do with a sack of contraband peanuts that mysteriously disappeared from the PX.

              3 Replies
              1. re: bulavinaka

                typical recipe for boiled peanuts in Hawaii includes star anise. I am pretty sure that they predate WWII here, but I could be wrong on that.

                2 pounds raw peanuts
                2 tablespoons hawaiian sea salt (not the red kine)
                1 whole star anise

                boil for 30-60 minutes, let stand for an hour more.
                drain, then serve warm, chilled, or freeze for later (in the shell).

                so good

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  You're probably right - I can also see it being brought from the Indian subcontinent via the Portugese, or maybe even from the Chinese. I can't picture a Southerner wrapping his head around star anise back then...

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    kaimukiman, that's very similar to my mom's prep. both she and my dad had boiled peanuts as a side dish at meal time when they were growing up, mom in taiwan and dad in shanghai and hong kong. they are in their 50s and 60s and think of it as a 'traditional' chinese dish, so i suspect the hawaiian version was brought over by asian laborers, prior to WWII, as well.

                2. Chew on That, they're wonderful, and not at all hard to make. You need to start with reallllly good green peanuts, though.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: dolores

                    Like other posters, I grew up with boiled peanuts in Hawaii and never knew they were also enjoyed in the South until I moved to the mainland for college. I am curious about the green peanuts - stupid question, but are they actually green? What do they look like after being boiled? I have never made boiled peanuts and I am curious whether the boiled peanuts I've had in Hawaii were made with green peanuts or not...

                    1. re: akq

                      A green peanut is a fresh peanut from the plant. It hasn't been dried out. They just look brown when boiled like a dried one. The difference is in taste and texture. When boiled, a green peanut will soften up more like a pea while a dried peanut won't have the moisture and will be more mealy.

                  2. I love boiled peanuts but I haven't had any since I left Florida. I used to buy them by the sack from a road side vendor and they were fantastic. If you haven't tried them you are missing out. Roadside food should have its own category! :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Docsknotinn

                      My first (and so far only) taste were exactly that- FL, road side, hot and good.
                      If they were not freshly made and hot, I don't think I would have liked them as much. They kind of smell funky at room temp.
                      I also love road side food adventures. Drive 5 miles in any direction around here and you'll find boiled peanuts guys, orange stands, peach stands, tomato stands, watermelon from the back of a pickup- and what made me laugh when I first saw them- men in trailered boats selling "fresh shrimp" - they dangle shrimp on a long piece of wire to entice customers. Something about 99*, no shade and shrimp from an igloo cooler on the back of a boat scares me. I have never pulled over to see if this is the case but that's what I imagine. But that's another topic...

                    2. Yeah, I too don't know how they got that name for them. According to the Wikipedia article they got their start in the South of the U.S. sometime in the 19th century and were called goober peas. And they've since been embraced abroad by the countries of Nigeria, the Philippines Indonesia, China and Australia. In the Philippines and Indonesia they're popular street food. I've worked with quite a few Filipinos in the past who loved them and would bring batches into work for all to enjoy. I thought they were great.

                      1. if you want to try a good chinese style prep, boil raw, shelled peanuts with the skin on, preferably, in salted water and a few star anise. (i like mine strong, so i'll drop in three or so, in a medium-sized pot.) boil until tender -- about an 1 hr, but times are flexible. just do it to taste. drizzle a little bit of toasted sesame oil over it, if you like, before serving. if you boil off most of the water, the resulting liquid makes a tasty "soup" when served with the peanuts. it's great as a side for congee or just white rice.

                        i'd love to hear about the vietnamese version. does it also use star anise?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: cimui

                          Chinese boiled peanuts and some Remy Martin go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            two of my favorite things. why didn't i think of that?!

                            1. re: cimui

                              Who needs pretzels and Chex mix, right? :-)

                          2. re: cimui

                            Ooh yeah, the star anise makes them. Used to get these as a "xiao chi" free appetizer at the Aristocrat Mongolian BBQ in Taipei back in the day.

                          3. Not interested. I tried some for the first time while in Chinatown in Honolulu last week. Both my daughter and I thought the peanut was a legume better suited to be dry roasted. Preferably with salt. Happy I tried it, though.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: madgreek

                              its an acquired taste.... i wasn't just thrilled the first few times i tried them. then came to appreciate them, how they were soft without being mushy, the interplay of flavors.... the cool salty juice in my mouth...

                              1. re: madgreek

                                Yep, I love all things peanut except for the boiled peanuts. Sons went to FSU in Tallahassee and came back loving them...I tried them once and just couldn't appreciate soft peanuts...it was a textural thing. Interesting history of this food...it goes back to the Civil War days when there wasn't enough food for the soldiers, though since the peanut came here from Africa, they might even have a longer history.

                                1. re: Val

                                  actually, it is believed that they originated in brazil or peru, traveled back to spain, then from spain to africa, then back to u.s. a very fascinating history: http://www.goodearthpeanuts.com/histo...

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    I don't think we were discussing the origin of the peanut itself, but rather the origin of the the technique of boiled peanuts and that in the U.S. it has been a cultural practice in the Southern region of the country since the 19th century.


                              2. Thank you everyone for the feedback, recipes and contribution! The original place I read about them at was: http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.c...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Chew on That

                                  hey chew, try making some. but that photo in your reference is not boiled peanuts.

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    I took a look at that also. They indeed may be boiled peanuts. But they look to be made from mature peanuts most likely of the Virginia variety and not from semi-mature green peanuts from which boiled peanuts are meant to be made. Accoding to the Wikipedia article I C & Pd in my last response, the smaller Valencia variety grown in gardens and small batches such as in the South make for a better flavored boiled peanut.

                                    1. re: crt

                                      hmm .... i guess the photo didn't change, but those do look like peanuts (albeit whiter than the boiled peanuts i know).

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        i think they're raw in the photo. and i don't agree that smaller peanuts are tastier or preferred in boiled peanuts. i like nice big virginia peanuts!

                                2. Alton Brown did a spot on how to make boiled peanuts in "Good Eats" episode that I caught - I think it was last night. Could have been the night before, but I think it was last night.

                                  1. I lived in Lagos, Nigeria for a year (1987-88) and they are a popular snack sold by street vendors. Boiled with salt, straight up.....delicious!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: huruta

                                      Oh I love boiled peanuts as I can eat them better but I tried using already dried peanuts and they never really got as soft as the ones I have had in North Carolina coming home from our yearly trip to Myrtle Beach. I wish I could find the green raw ones here but as I only have a Giant Eagle and a Walmart here in Western PA I can't seem to find a store that sells them.

                                    2. LOVE boiled peanuts!! They're just about impossible to come by here in the northeast. Got hooked on them from my South Carolina-bred grandparents. They live in MD now, but anytime they make a trip back south to visit family, I request a few pounds!!! Luckily, they freeze pretty well :)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: hypertomatoes

                                        LEsherick and hypertomatoes, you can order green peanuts online. A source I've used is Feridies.

                                        1. re: hypertomatoes

                                          Just got back over T-giving weekend in Alabama and came across some of the best I've had. Only problem is fighting over them w/ my teenage son. We live in Virginia and wonder if the green goobers can be purchased in state and, most importantly, when is the harvest season (I fear it's come and gone). -boiled peanut lover Cape

                                          1. re: Cape

                                            Peanuts are harvested in the fall. I used to have family in Dothan, Al. Driving through that area in the fall you could smell peanuts even in a car or house - the sheer number grown in the area is astonishing!

                                        2. OK, stupid question, but I did read thru the posts: Do you eat them shelled or unshelled?

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: adamshoe

                                            Unshelled- and they are wonderful!

                                            But since you brought it up, peanuts, like anything else in the south, can be deep fried- and you can eat those shell and all! Good roughage!

                                            1. re: Clarkafella

                                              Maybe I should rephrase, since I'm more confused....do you eat them with the shell on, or do you remove the shell? Sorry to be so clueless..... Adam

                                              1. re: adamshoe

                                                adamshoe, boiled peanuts are boiled with shell on, eaten with shell off.

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  Thank you!!! Wouldn't wanna be munching on the shells and having everyone snicker behind my back.... Adam

                                                2. re: adamshoe

                                                  The ones I've had are boiled in the shell, but you take the peanuts out of the shell to eat (don't eat the shell).

                                                  1. re: akq

                                                    Now I might have been born and raised in FL but my family are all from the south and some people do eat the shells, well more of chew and suck on the shells, then they spit them out! All boilded peanuts are boiled in their shells.

                                                    I love boiled peanuts and I will half the shell, eat the nuts out and then give the shell a little chew, I DO NOT swallow the shells.

                                            2. These are popular snacks from hawaiian delis. They're slightly crunchy but soft also. Boiled peanuts. MMM...salty

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: kirinraj

                                                I absolutely love boiled peanuts. Years ago there used to be many peanut stands on many corners here in south Florida. There are none now. Then I tried making my own with green peanuts and they turned out great. Now the problem is finding green peanuts. Most places carry the raw ones but not the green ones. Anyone in Palm Beach county know of any places ?

                                                1. re: HotMelly

                                                  As I noted, you can order them online. Feridies is one source.

                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                    dolores, do they send you the green ones frozen, since it is past harvest season?

                                                    do they use jumbo "virginia" peanuts?

                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      alkapal, I can't recall. I can't remember when I ordered them, but I don't think they were frozen.

                                                      Yes, the peanuts were the amazing large size they don't sell up here.

                                              2. They're wonderful and more legumey, in a snacky sort of way, than roasted peanuts. Very popular at roadside stands in season in the South. If you search around the site, you'll probably find an old thread where I was looking for a recipe for boiled peanut pie - had it once ages ago and it was so good I (still) need to track it down and make it.

                                                1. I usually try to have on hand shelled, raw peanuts from the Indian grocery store. So easy to make, they are tasty, healthy snacks & everyone loves them when I serve them with wine/cocktails at parties. If I have time, I'll chop red onion really small & toss with nuts along with some salt, bit of chopped green chilli & squeeze of lime (Indian style). If I'm just serving plain boiled peanuts, I don't salt (& I'm a saltaholic).