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Nov 6, 2012 02:16 PM

Raw/green peanuts in Chinatown?

I bought some raw peanuts from the farmers market last weekend and boiled them. Love boiled peanuts, but a lot of the nuts were rotten/moldy. I remember the fruit stands in Chinatown offering them at certain times of the year for super cheap. Anyone know if raw peanuts are there now for me to buy and boil in massive quantities? It IS peanut season, right? Given the colder weather and the post-hurricane lack of subway in my neighborhood, I don't want to make the trek to come back peanut-less.

Any other variations to boiling them in salt and frying the boiled ones in duck fat (yum!) are also welcome. Good peanut fat cancels out bad duck fat, right?


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  1. I'll keep my eyes peeled for peanuts in Chinatown - I expect to make a shopping trip there tomorrow to replace a mess of stuff I had to throw out due to the stupid hurricane. But in the meantime, I wanted to thank you for the heads up re Greenmarket peanuts. Did you by chance get inspired by NYMag's "in season" column last week?

    10 Replies
    1. re: small h

      I got inspired while I was in New Orleans last month and had some... never knew it was a southern thing! I always thought it was a Chinese thing since I grew up eating boiled peanuts. I DID get re-inspired by the NYMag column as well and think that was the actual catalyst to make me buy some.

      Good luck replenishing your food supply, although I'm hoping you already did so b/c it's definitely snowing heavily outside right now!

      Re: the farmer market peanuts... I'm not sure if it's just b/c it's post-hurricane, but they were definitely not good quality. There were also fewer vendors, probably b/c they were relocated from Union Sq to 23rd and B'way I think.

      1. re: jen223

        If you're still in the market, I bought raw peanuts this afternoon from the place on the southwest corner of Grand & Chrystie - $2/lb. I have boiled them and am now in the process of eating them. All of them. I am filled with self-hatred. And peanuts.

        1. re: small h

          Thanks!! I went today and bought 2lbs, realized I had bought already roasted peanuts, and went back to inquire about the raw ones. The guy had to get someone to get them for me, but now I'm a happy owner of 2lbs of raw peanuts (at $2.50/lb vs $1.60 or $1.80/lb for the roasted ones... Guess the price went up!)

          I will similarly be filled with peanuts and self hatred, but I will be happy. Thanks for the tip!

          1. re: jen223

            You're welcome! Mine were really good - not a single clunker in the batch.

        2. re: jen223


          Forgive the brief tangent, but can you recall where, in New Orleans, you encountered boiled peanuts? I love them, but have only had them in the Carolinas, never in NOLA. If they're showing up in NOLA, it's a new thing.

          1. re: BrooksNYC

            We had them while dining at Cochon for lunch. I don't see them on the menu now, but they were a delicious although curious topic for the non-southern and non-Chinese people in my group!

            1. re: jen223

              Thanks, Jen. As someone who grew up in New Orleans, I can tell you that boiled peanuts would be a curiosity to many, if not most New Orleanians as well! They were a revelation to me when I first sampled them in Charleston, SC at age 47. "Where have these been all my life?" was my thought at the time.

              Do the Chinese boil peanuts with spices of any kind? The ones I had in Charleston were mildly peppery.

              1. re: BrooksNYC

                interesting! i guess we were just lucky that we bumped into them while we were at cochon.

                growing up, my family just boiled them with salt, but i know i've heard people using star anise and chili peppers (dried).

                1. re: BrooksNYC

                  You are right that boiled peanuts wwere not a New Orleans or even Louisiana "thing." I was surprised a few months ago to see that Link had them on his menu. Although I did not have any (I make my own) I expect he was doing his with crab boil which would give it the Cajun Touch he stands for. In the 1960s and 1970s you found boiled peanuts in Mississippi and a few places in the Feliciana Parishes, boiled in salt only. The crab boil touch began to appear in the late 1980s as I recall. The star anise has been a Laotian touch in my experience.

                  Efforts to popularize them in the last 20 years have met with extremely limited success. And I wouldn't be caught dad eating some from a can. Ones I made at home and froze? Well,, OK, but I believe in the seasonal thing.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    There's an otherwise middling restaurant in the Quarter that boils baby potatoes and seafood together to good effect. The potatoes, which soak up the crab boil seasoning, are delicious. If I ever attempt boiled peanuts at home, I'll certainly add a bit of crab boil to the water.

                    Chili peppers and star anise sound great to me as well.

        3. I saw them there today, actually! At least a couple of the stands along Canal had them. Didn't get a look at prices or anything, but they were there today, and in what most people, at least, would describe as massive quantities.

          1 Reply
          1. re: versalgoodness

            Oh good! I'm glad there's still enough for me to get maybe 5 lbs. Although I hope for the vendors' sakes that they're not there today... not looking good outside my office window right now!