02 Jul2010

Boiled Peanuts

by Marketman


Did your parents ever tell you that you couldn’t buy boiled peanuts or corn from street vendors because they probably used dirty water and you could end up in the hospital with typhoid? Geez, my parents were big on street food cooties. Forget the fact that the water probably did reach the boiling point which would have killed off most germs, but we never argued with the logic at the time. It was easier to settle for a bag of Chippy (local corn chips) at the next possible moment, replete with artificial flavorings, colors, fat etc. We didn’t eat boiled peanuts or corn on the street. But we often had it at home. And this is truly one of the simplest, most nutritious and satisfying snacks you can have. Take a whole bunch of freshly harvested peanuts and wash them well to rid them of any remaining soil clinging to the crevices of the of the shells — NOW HERE LIES THE REAL RISK, I would think, contaminated soil left on the peanuts boiled in the water that might, just might eventually taint the peanuts inside somehow… Then bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and boil the peanuts for a few minutes until done.


Eat them warm or allow them to cool completely and they will be easier to peel and eat. I prefer to eat these as is, without added salt or anything else… Yum. :)



  1. mary grace says:

    classic movie dvds, warm boiled peanuts and ice cold coke and i’m set for the canada day long weekend afternoons.
    I would soak the peanuts in warm water for about 30 minutes to further loosen up any dried dirt before boiling them. It’s a personal assurance for me that I’ve cleaned them well. Just the thought that it may not only be contaminated soil but could be contamination while in transport or in storage.
    Your pictures look like peanuts in a pensive mood.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 6:07 am


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  3. Connie C says:

    A few minutes of rolling boil and that’s all MM? A guest did just that and I did not think it was cooked enough. Later on in the day, she had the “runs”. My help insists peanuts should be boiled for some 20-30 minutes which we always do whenever we have the occasion.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 6:12 am

  4. Roberto Vicencio says:

    I get my, and my wife’s, boiled peanuts and boiled corn fix from my side of the street vendor in Teresa, Rizal. A big coffee can’s worth costs me about 40 pesos and is enough to keep me in good graces till my next screw up.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 6:14 am

  5. jack says:

    hmmm interesting there are also times that we also buy boiled peanuts and corn from the street side vendors in Teresa, Rizal like Roberto Vicencio :) i also like to eat boiled peanuts while im at the ordinary bus going home from work.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 6:37 am

  6. Footloose says:

    This reminds me of the lively Cuban tune The Peanut Vendor where you can hear him calling out:

    Maní, maní, maní…
    Si te quieres por el pico divertir,
    Cómprame un cucuruchito de maní…
    Maní, el manisero se va,
    Caballero, no se vayan a dormir,
    Sin comprarme un cucurucho de maní.

    And I assumed all along, mani is indigenous Filipino.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 6:54 am

  7. Guits says:

    Definitely a comfort food for me. Boiled peanuts are not something I could pass up on when I see them on the counter at the Filipino Bakery here in the city where I live.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 6:54 am

  8. betty q. says:

    We don’t have the luxury of buying fresh peanuts here so I have to content myself with buying the ones that comes in sacko-sacko? …harvested maybe in 19kopong kopong. So, I have to soak them first in warm water overnight before boiling, rub the shells with salt till they are practically white and boil away. But for some reason it takes forever to cook them so I have resorted to using pressure cooker. It works for I like boiled peanuts on the softer side not al dente. Since the ones we get here are tasteless, I add kosher salt and sugar to the boiling liquid.

    But 2 summers ago, I planted peanuts in my plots and to my amazement when I pulled out the plant, they were laden with peanuts everywhere though the tops were not that lush.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 7:53 am

  9. sister says:

    It’s what touches the peanuts AFTER boiling that you have to be concerned about, like handling or contaminated containers.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 7:54 am

  10. solraya says:

    Have you tried eating them raw? Tastes good and supposed to be healthier.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 8:23 am

  11. millet says:

    when i was a kid one of our staff used to bring us freshly-harvested peanuts, and we liked to eat them raw despite my mom’s warnings that we would get bum stomachs. i remember the huge quantities of water used to wash the dirt off them, and sometimes the peanuts had to be scrubbed with a brush to get the dirt of the nooks and crannies. mom liked to boil them till they were very, very soft, almost mushy, and they were always sweet.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 8:34 am

  12. cora says:

    when we were young we used to eat boiled peanuts and corn from the street vendor and never get sick or we’re just lucky….but now i think twice before buying boiled corn from the street vendor,too much information makes you scared sometimes.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 8:42 am

  13. mbw says:

    the only downslide i can think of is when people buy boiled peanuts (whether in the bus or jeep), they tend throw the shells outside. Bigger mess…when they have consumed all of it, they follow the plastic bag out of the window as well.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 9:10 am

  14. junb says:

    Now I remember I don’t normally buy them outside as we have a normal supply coming from the province…..in fact most of the street food memories I have was home made till I was in High School influence by street vendor outside our school :)

    Jul 2, 2010 | 9:17 am

  15. marz says:

    Nice post MM! When I was in high school, I remember my sisters and I planted peanuts at the backyard. It was not a lot but it was a good experience to harvest and cook it ourselves =)

    Jul 2, 2010 | 9:42 am

  16. thelma says:

    boiled peanuts and ice cold coke…yummy!

    Jul 2, 2010 | 11:09 am

  17. Joy says:

    This reminds me of my Lola. She would always boiled peanuts for a afternoon or evening snack for her or us. I remember her sitting by the tv with a pile of peanuts and another pile of peanut shells quitely enjoying her McGuyver.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 12:02 pm

  18. Boots of Tibet says:

    This reminded me of boiled peanut vendors outside the gates of the public school I went to. They packed ’em in old newspapers formed into cones….Now there goes a string of fond memories of my childhood.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 12:35 pm

  19. Mikey says:

    Try adding a few chunks of “tawas” to the pot. They’ll come out whiter when cooked.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 1:48 pm

  20. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Dang dude…I would think eating boiled peanuts from the street vendors would be a healthier alternative than Chippy. You know what they say. Mom is always right.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 1:59 pm

  21. cusinera says:

    I remember when I was in grade 5 or 6 in the Phil., I’ve visited my uncle’s parents in Tarlac and they have a peanut farm. All I see was rows and rows of plants but no peanuts…I have to ask my Uncle’s mom if they haven’t fruited yet….shock..horror (ang bobo ko! LOL!), she explained to me that the peanuts are under the ground and doesn’t hang on the plants like normal fruit or vegetable:)

    Jul 2, 2010 | 2:27 pm

  22. junb says:

    In China, Boiled or fried peanuts (Without shell) are served as an appetizer. That is where I learn my skill in holding chopstick :)

    Jul 2, 2010 | 4:01 pm

  23. EJ says:

    Footloose, when I visited Chile, it also struck me that they call peanuts “mani”. We probably got the word from South America via the galleon trade. The Spanish word for peanuts, as you probably know, is “cacahuete”.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 5:28 pm

  24. odie says:

    I remember my mother telling me to eat boiled peanuts while reviewing for my quarterly exams, “pampatalino” daw kasi ang peanuts:)

    Jul 2, 2010 | 8:58 pm

  25. Mom-Friday says:

    My family also loves boiled peanuts. We do it exactly as you did here, PLUS we put a few tablespoons of rock salt in the rolling boiling water before we put in the peanuts, to give it some taste. Same with boiling sweet corn.
    Off topic, just want to thank you MM for your tocino recipe. Your recent post got me really excited to finally make it at home so thanks a bunch! :-)

    Jul 2, 2010 | 9:33 pm

  26. Mimi says:

    It does take forever to boil peanuts to the cooked stage like what the street kariton sells… I use my pressure cooker to boil peanuts too.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 9:36 pm

  27. Mo says:

    After boiling, allow the peanuts to cool down, then shell them and chill in the refrigerator. Cold, crunchy peanuts…great snack food and lasts in the fridge for days.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 10:01 pm

  28. Lannie says:

    MM, with this post, balik agad ako to my childhood! LOL. Same thing, mom would never let me and my brothers buy boiled peanuts and corn from street vendors. Eto pa… sorbetes, flavored shaved ice, anything from the corner bbq vendor. For some weird reason, TAHO was ok though :)

    As of THIS moment though, I would die for some Chippy! I still remember when they used to be available in plastic jars/bottles(?) in addition to the the pouch sizes.

    Jul 2, 2010 | 10:03 pm

  29. Tricia says:

    I boil fresh penuts first then when cooked, I either dry them under the sun or dry them in the oven. I love the chewy, makunat texture. Winner!!!

    Jul 3, 2010 | 1:19 am

  30. Meg says:

    I love boiled peanuts, but watch out, overeating them can cause gout attacks.

    Jul 3, 2010 | 2:34 am

  31. atbnorge says:

    @Robert Vicencio & Jack, I also used to buy boiled peanuts and corn in Teresa, Rizal and don’t forget the DUHAT and SINGKAMAS!…This makes three of us who’d been on the same route!

    I ate peanuts even when they were raw or just sun dried. I learned to appreciate healthy home cooked afternoon snack from my maternal grandmother thus making me a mom who doesn’t like bags of chips in the house.

    MM, it’s wild strawberry season here and it’s heaven!

    Jul 3, 2010 | 3:37 am

  32. kaye says:

    Lannie, when I was kid, I saw something on a television show (I’m not sure if it was 5 and up, Chikiting Patrol or another kiddie program) that Taho wouldn’t form if the container or the ingredients are dirty. I guess that’s true because they were interviewing a Taho vendor / maker.

    Yeah, parents wouldn’t allow their kids to buy food in the streets. Same as my mom.

    Wow! Peanuts and Coke! Yum Yum! :)

    Jul 3, 2010 | 5:11 am

  33. Clarissa says:

    Like Junb, I used peanuts before as practice in learning how to use chopsticks when I was a kid!

    I think the peanuts sold on the street was more of the the “nabilad sa araw” kind of problem. On my trips to and from school before, I pass by Valle Verde area where they sell the nuts. The traffic was so bad I ended up buying some peanuts and didn’t heed any warnings about it. I was miserable after that. My tummy was upset for a while.

    Jul 3, 2010 | 7:31 am

  34. ta says:

    When I have a craving for boiled peanuts and it is not in season,I buy the dry roasted peanuts with the shell from Chinatown and boil it for one hour.It’s really good.

    Jul 3, 2010 | 11:31 am

  35. letty says:

    The best to boil peanuts is ..wash then soak died peanuts over night w/ salt ..then discard old water ..use fresh water boiled them for and hour till tender..

    Jul 4, 2010 | 5:02 am

  36. EbbaBlue says:

    I am really glad that now there’s alot of different Asian Supermarket close by my area (I live in Houston, Tx). I get to buy boiled peanuts from these groceries, usually still piping hot. And also they sell fresh harvested peanuts too, mostly planted by the Vietnamese in the area. About fifteen years ago though, (there’s not much Asians in the community), I boiled peanuts myself and share them to my officemates; not only they were leary eating it, but some of them actually told me directly that it was something they wouldnt eat again. It was something new to them. Now in North Carolina in was a different story. They love boiled peanuts there, but they cook it way, way soft and mushy, and also too salty.

    Jul 4, 2010 | 11:12 am

  37. Jake Speed says:

    I never really thought about the dirty water that was used til you mentioned it :). But there were times I was compelled to buy a cup or two from the lads with their cariton brimming with boiled peanuts, meandering through the cars in the metro traffic.

    Jul 5, 2010 | 7:14 pm

  38. maddie says:

    I used to buy anything from street vendors and eat food sold by manangs and what we would call “la constra” for carenderias at construction sites beside our office building. But that was many moons ago until i got hepatitis which scared the hell out of me.

    I still love eating boiled peanuts but only of the homemade kind.

    Jul 6, 2010 | 5:34 pm

  39. Mila says:

    My father and I were the boiled peanut fanatics at home. He’d buy them in Sta. Cruz, and we’d demolish a pound of the stuff while watching tv or reading.
    I remember how thrilled I was to find boiled peanuts for the first time in the US one year. Little things like that make a place more like home. Now, if only I could find some darn chicharon here in China.

    Jul 10, 2010 | 12:43 pm


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