Peanuts, ground nuts, or earthnuts
Traditional Chinese Name:
花生 (huā shēng)
Nature: Neutral (in uncooked states), but once roasted, become warm in nature and targets the spleen and lungs
Taste: Sweet and slightly bitter
You can get started on your Chinese Soup Kitchen Pantry from this video! I will usually keep some roasted peanuts in the pantry as they do have good shelf life and have a variety of usages in soups, stews, and salads!
I LOVE PEANUTS! In all shapes and forms. They are amazing additions in soups because they compliment earthy and rich tones and bring protein and a lot of edible nutrition to a Chinese soup. These pair nicely with root and starch vegetables such as arrowroots, lotus roots, chayotes, potatoes, Chinese yam, burdock root, or gobo. There are a variety of tastes and ways to use peanuts in soups, such as raw, roasted, toasted, stuffed, or boiled. And they bring a beautiful variety to texture in the soup! Raw and boiled peanuts are amazing for supporting phlegm removal and moisturizing the lungs. They are a neutral ingredient in their raw state, but do become heaty if you’re eating roasted peanuts.
How do I prepare it?
- Raw peanuts – there are a few ways to prepare raw peanuts. I’ll wash them in warm water first and depending on how I’m using them, I will peel the peanuts out of the shell to use raw in soups. I will alternatively remove from the shell raw and pan fry in a bit of oil and salt before I use them in soups, stews, and dishes as well. There is also a third option to boil or roast them with the shell in and then remove the nuts from the shell. Try all of them to see which ones blends best with the dish you’re making!
- Cooked peanuts – this is one of the common ways to purchase peanuts in supermarkets, shelled and precooked (usually roasted or toasted). These are the ones I will have sitting around in my pantry!
What is the cost & where to buy?
You can buy raw peanuts in Asian supermarkets. They’ll come in a big bag in the produce section. They are often soft (as the outer shell hasn’t completely hardened).
- The cost for a bag of raw peanuts with about 30-40 peanuts is around $3-5 CAD.
- You can also purchase cooked and prepared peanuts (designed for cooking) from Asian supermarkets in the dried goodies section for around $3-4 CAD for a pack. Price will also vary by brand and quality.
- I don’t suggest using the “snackable” peanuts for soups. They are usually over salted, but try it! It may be tasty, too! Actually, I may just try this. LOL.
- Peanuts are used to promote the appetite
- They are an excellent source of protein with minimal bad fats (good source of monosaturated fats) and an amazing substitute for flavour, texture, and taste in replacing meats (and going vegetarian soups)
- Peanuts are great for tonifying and improving blood and Qi flow in the body
- Processed, roasted, and salted peanuts have good shelf life and can be used in a variety of soups, stews, and dishes in Chinese cuisine
Be sure to ask about peanut allergies!
- Roasted or toasted peanuts (which you buy as snacks) are heaty compared to a neutral peanut in its raw state, so just be aware of the different states depending on the soup you want to make (Here’s a great post on “How do you know what soup to make?” which will guide you to some of the logic and thinking when combining soup base, herbs, and vegetables)
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?