Technique: Roasted/Tried Peanuts

Peanuts, often called groundnuts in Asia, are an essential ingredient in the Southeast Asian Pantry!

You may find peanuts tossed into a Chinese stir-fry, crushed into a Thai Papaya Salad, sprinkled on top of Malaysian Coconut Rice, or even pounded into and sprinkled on top of a Vietnamese Peanut Sauce. Most traditional kitchens that would be preparing these dishes do not have ovens. They would use a wok to bring out that deep nut flavor.

Southeast Asian cooks often roast peanuts over low heat, pushing them around the wok as they develop a rich brown color. Chinese cooks have a penchant for deep-frying nuts. Western cooks usually dry-roast nuts on a pan in the oven. Each technique produces different results. Some cooks (not me) buy preroasted nuts. At least make sure they are not coated with a seasoning mixture.
  • Most common: Pan-roasted—Uneven brown color yields rich, sweet, raw nut flavor. Constant attention necessary.
  • Also used: Deep-fried—Even, deep flavor, very rich and crunchy. Constant attention necessary.
  • Not recommended: Oven-roasted—Even color, no additional fat, and easy cleanup. Hands-off approach.