China’s boiled peanuts

The first time I tasted boiled peanuts was in China in 1999. Since I was use to oil-roasted and salted peanuts, it took time for me to acquire a taste for the Chinese way of cooking peanuts.

Although archeologists have dated the oldest known domesticated peanuts to Peru back about 7,000 years, it was Portuguese traders in the 17th century who introduced peanuts to China.

Peanuts then became popular there and are featured in many Chinese dishes, often being boiled, which enhances the health benefits of the peanut.

What scientific studies have proven about the boiling process is that peanuts prepared this way are preserved and the presence of phytochemicals are enhanced having the same qualities as antioxidants, which are noted for protecting the body’s cells against heart disease, diabetes and several different forms of cancer.

In fact, a 1990 Harvard study determined that women who ate five ounces of more of nuts per week were only 65 percent as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease as women who avoided eating nuts.

Another study in 2007 at Alabama’s A&M University’s Department of Food and Animal found that the health benefits for boiled peanuts were far healthier than oil-roasted, dry or raw.

The Chinese boiling process brings out and enhances the health benefits of the peanut.

In fact, the Chinese eat more boiled peanuts than any country.

However, in the US, the states of Florida, Mississippi, George, Alabama, and North and South Carolina also have a tradition of eating boiled peanuts.

Today, China leads the world in peanut production with about 40% of the crop followed by India, which produces about 19% of the globe’s peanuts. Sources: ehow and tititudorancea


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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6 Responses to China’s boiled peanuts

  1. I like boiled peanuts. It’s a different flavor, but pleasant. I miss the salt though.

  2. geo says:

    I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your blog.
    It appears as though some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen.

    Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them
    too? This might be a problem with my internet browser because
    I’ve had this happen previously. Many thanks

    • What browser are you using. I use three: Google Chrome, Firefox (about 49% of the time each) and maybe 2% of the time I use Explorer where I run into problems.

  3. Choi Siu Yan says:

    The book “Herbs of Southern Dian” (滇南本草, Dian is Yun Nan) written by Lan Mao (蘭茂1397-1470) in 1436 (Ming Dynasty, republished by Yun Nan People’s Publishing Company in 1975) and the book “History of ChangShou County” (常熟縣志, 1503) already recorded about peanut. In fact the same name for peanut can be found in some earlier books in Tang and Yuan Dynasty even though it was not sure whether the plant described in those older books was referring to the current peanut or not. Portuguese arrived Sri Lanka in 1505, Malacca in 1511 and Spaniard Magellan arrived the Philippines in 1521. That means peanut was introduced to China before the arrival of European.
    Some carbonized peanut was found in Zhe Jiang by archaeologist in 1958. Carbon dating show that it was about 4700 +/- 100 year ago. In 2007, archaeologist found peanuts in the tomb of Han dynasty (around 2100 years ago).
    Remarks: The above information were found in the book “Revelation from the Xuan De Gold Medal” (宣徳金牌啟示錄) by Lee Siu Leung (李兆良).

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