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Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts

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Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts are a local snack we all grew up eating in Hawaii. Here's where to get it, how to make it (and eat it) ^_^

Growing up in Hawaii, I always thought that boiled peanuts were a local snack.

...one of those only-in-Hawaii treats (of which there are many).

Little did I know, boiled peanut are also very popular in the South and throughout China.

What Are Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts*

Hawaiian boiled peanuts are unique in the way they're seasoned. We use Hawaiian sea salt, lots of sliced ginger, star anise, and black peppercorns. Our boiled peanuts are tender and sweet, so aromatic. They are pretty tasty devoured at room temperature, but so onolicious when hot.

*We touched on the difference between Hawaiian and Hawaii-style here. Our boiled peanuts are technically Hawaii-style, but because people often refer to this snack as Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts (and not Hawaii-style Boiled Peanuts), we'll use the phrase Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts in this post.

About Hawaiian Sea Salt

Hawaiian Sea Salt is an essential ingredient in any Hawaii kitchen. It's also one of the key ingredients in this recipe. The grains of Hawaiian sea salt are much larger than typical table salt, and it's also less salty tasting. 

My Hawaiian Sea Salt Pick:

Kosher salt will work in a pinch, but please try your best to seek out Hawaiian sea salt...it will make a big difference in the final recipe.
 

When And How Do You Eat Boiled Peanuts

Here in Hawaii, you'll find boiled peanuts everywhere. We take them to the beach and on hikes in little containers for snack, we bring them for after school treats. They make frequent appearances at potluck parties and family get-togethers. Picture a group of friends sitting around a table, cracking open and snacking on boiled peanuts (hopefully with beer on the side), and catching up on life. It's good times ^_^
 
They're great at all temperatures (chilled from the fridge, room temperature, and hot from the pot), and make a fun, interactive snack. Boiled peanuts have a texture of a just-cooked bean and you can taste hints of all the spices, plus a touch of natural sweetness.
 
We often eat boiled peanuts at home instead of popcorn (unless it's Hurricane Popcorn!) when watching movies.
 

Boiled peanuts from Ono Seafood (Oahu)

Where To Get Boiled Peanuts

You can buy boiled peanuts from many local food shops in Hawaii. I like to get them from Yama's Fish Market, Fort Ruger Market, Ono Seafood, Foodland, and Alicia's Market (fyi, all of these places also have great poke).
 
Or better yet, make your own boiled peanuts!
 

How To Make Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts

First you need to buy raw peanuts in the shell. They're typically sold in 1-pound bags. We get them in Honolulu's Chinatown though you can also order raw peanuts online.
 
Then you go home and rinse the peanuts. Rinse them well and pick out any debris or funny looking pieces.
 
My mom just got an Instant Pot, so we're making these peanuts in the Instant Pot 🙂 (For instructions on how to make it on the stove, scroll down to the "notes" part of the recipe.)
 
Put all the rinsed peanuts into the pot. Top it with the Hawaiian sea salt, star anise, ginger, and black peppercorns.
 
Note: We had red and white Hawaiian sea salt at home, so I used a mix of both. I like to use 1/4 cup Hawaiian sea salt for 1 pound of raw peanuts, but feel free to increase the Hawaiian sea salt to 1/3 cup if you prefer it more salty. 
 
The measurements for the star anise, ginger, and black peppercorns are also flexible. I suggest making it first with my measurements (recipe below), and then increase or decrease any of the spices to your liking. 
 
Add the 10 cups of water to the pot - this should be just enough to cover the peanuts. You'll notice that the peanuts float to the top, but you want them to be submerged.
 
The solution? Place something heavier on top to keep the peanuts from floating. We used a heatproof plate and put it upside down, but I've seen many different contraptions. (A popular one is placing a metal trivet on top of the peanuts and then topping the trivet with an upside-down glass ramekin.) Anything that can keep the peanuts submerged is fair game. You must keep the plate/contraption in the Instant Pot while cooking. 
 
Using the manual setting, cook the peanuts on high pressure for 45-minutes, followed by a natural pressure release. 
 
Once the peanuts are cool enough to handle, drain the liquid and remove the spices. You are ready to share and snack.
 
So easy and super onolicious! Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts recipe below ^_^
Yield: 1 Pound Boiled Peanuts

Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts

Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts

Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts are a local treat we all grew up eating in Hawaii. It's easy to eat and even easier to make! Perfect for snacks and sharing.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

    1. Rinse the raw peanuts and pick out any debris. Place the raw peanuts in a large pot. 
    2. Top with the sea salt, star anise, ginger, and black peppercorns. Cover with water. 
    3. If cooking with the Instant Pot/pressure cooker, use the manual setting, and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. 

Notes

If you are cooking on the stove (as opposed to Instant Pot/pressure cooker), soak the raw peanuts in water overnight before cooking. Add the sea salt, star anise, ginger, and black peppercorns to the pot the next morning. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes and check for doneness after 1-hour.

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Mahalo for Reading!

Julie

Saturday 19th of December 2020

Do you know anywhere to get boiled peanuts near Kona?

Kaipo Keaunui

Wednesday 29th of July 2020

I been craving these for SO LONG! These came out perfect! Tastes just like home. The only thing I did different was at the end.i turned off the heat, and I let them soak in the brine for an additional 2hrs. Mahalo nui for this recipe 🤙

Kathy

Thursday 30th of July 2020

Hi Kaipo! So happy you enjoyed the recipe! I love the idea of letting it soak in the brine for longer, will try that next time for sure ^_^ - Kathy

Barbie

Sunday 5th of April 2020

Aloha Kathy, And for those of us with no instapot how long do you suggest boiling? constant boil or what?

Kathy Chan

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Aloha Barbie! I recommend: 1) Soaking the peanuts overnight (put a plate on top to keep them from floating up) 2) Rinsing the peanuts in a few changes of water (you want the water to run clean). 3) Boiling the peanuts in the fresh water for 30-60 minutes (start testing/tasting a peanut after 30 minutes to see if it's ready). I'd keep it at light boil (medium-low heat). Hope this is helpful :) - Kathy

DMK

Sunday 24th of November 2019

Love the history! I always thought boiled peanuts were a local snack until I saw an article about southern boiled peanuts then I went looking for an article about boiled peanuts in Hawaii.

Kathy Chan

Monday 25th of November 2019

Thanks, DMK! I thought the same about boiling peanuts being a local snack for the longest time as well :) - Kathy

Jonathan R Kauhako

Tuesday 15th of October 2019

Not to sound rude because that sounds really good right now but there nothing Hawaiian about boiled peanuts .

Stacey

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

This doesn’t have pineapple in it, but local people that grew up in Hawaii are very familiar with this recipe and taste. Just because Hawaiian is in a recipe name, contrary to what most mainlanders think... does not include pineapple or umbrellas. :)

Kathy Chan

Wednesday 16th of October 2019

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for your comment. I completely get what you mean, which is why I included this paragraph in the post:

*We touched on the difference between Hawaiian and Hawaii-style here. Our boiled peanuts are technically Hawaii-style, but because people often refer to this snack as Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts (and not Hawaii-style Boiled Peanuts), we’ll use the phrase Hawaiian Boiled Peanuts in this post.

Many of non-local friends on the mainland love this snack and remember it as Hawaiian boiled peanuts, so wanted to make this post for them :)

- Kathy