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Chinese Style Pan-Fried Peanuts

by Shirley
Published: Last Updated on
Chinese Style Pan Fried Peanuts

Pan-fried peanuts are such a traditional & classic food item in China

People enjoy the pan-fried peanuts as an appetizer item to go with a beer, a side dish to go with porridge, a garnish for a dish such as Kung Bao chicken, or an everyday snack to munch on.

While I roast my peanuts most of the time, I do make these traditional Chinese-style peanuts from time to time. Their richly aromatic flavors are irresistible, especially when it is Kung Pao Chicken time.

Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken {Easy Delicious Family Style}

How to make Chinese Style Pan-Fried Peanuts Perfectly Every time

Simple Ingredients

You will need raw skin on Peanuts, avocado oil, and an optional pinch of salt to make this delicious dish.

raw skin-on peanuts

The red skins of peanuts are eye-catching. It also prevents peanuts from burning too easily during the frying process.

Batch size and oil needed for the recipe

For a family of four, I usually make a batch using 2 cups (approximately 340 grams) of raw peanuts at a time. This shall provide sufficient volume to make a Kung Pao Chicken dish and some extra to snack on.

I use avocado oil for all my frying and some baking needs. Avocado oil has a high smoking point and has a neutral taste & flavor. For the amount of 10.6 oz peanuts, a quarter cup of avocado oil is all you need.

Wash & rinse peanuts and air dry them in advance

washed & rinsed raw peanuts

Use a strainer to wash & rinse peanuts well, but do not scrub. We’d like to leave the skins un-touched as much as possible. After rinsing, leave the peanuts in the strainer to drain the residual water, and then spread onto a large plate to air dry.

dry rinsed raw peanuts on a large plate

Use a quality hard-anodized frypan plus a pair of wooden or bamboo spatulas

Chinese style pan fried peanuts

A quality hard-anodized fry pan can handle the heat better, and it requires much less oil compared to alternative pan choices.

A 12-inch frying pan is just the right size for the peanuts in this recipe {2 cups} to spread across the base surface nicely during the frying.

Use a pair of wooden turners to toss peanuts during the pan-frying process.

Make a small batch at a time

Fried peanuts taste much better when freshly made, I highly recommend making a small batch at a time. You can make this fairly quickly with ease, as long as you have learned a few tips and tricks.

Tips & Tricks for How to make Chinese Style Fried Peanuts yummy and healthy:

Tip No.1 is to use a minimal amount of oil just to cover the peanuts

toss and cover peanuts in the fry pan with a minimal amount of oil

Add the air-dried peanuts to the hard-anodized frying pan. For 2 cups of peanuts, you will need about 2 tablespoonfuls of avocado oil.

Tip No.2 is to mix the room temperature oil with peanuts first before pan-frying

Use a pair of bamboo or wooden spatulas to toss and mix well before you turn on the heat to medium. Spread out the peanuts in the pan and let it cook for 2 minutes. Then use a pair of bamboo spatulas to continuously toss and turn for about 6 minutes.

Last but not least is to use medium heat all the way through for an easier pan-frying process

It is truly straightforward to pan-fry a yummy Chinese Style Pan Fried Peanuts. Toss the peanuts with just enough room temperature oil first, and then turn the heat to medium and pan-fry for 8 minutes.

For the first two minutes, you just spread out the peanuts, lay them flat, and let them cook. Following that, use a pair of bamboo spatulas continuously toss and mix, like mixing a salad for 6 minutes. That’s it.

Turn off the heat, and let the peanuts stay in the pan to cool down to room temperature before storing them in an air-tight glass jar.

Chinese Style Pan Fried Peanuts

The actual active cooking time is merely 6 minutes. However, the air-dry process takes time after washing the peanuts. I usually wash the peanuts one day ahead of the cooking.

Don’t forget to make the traditional & classic Kung Pao chicken.

Do you like traditional Chinese food cooked in a healthier way? Make sure you check out these recipes too.

Chinese Style Pan Fried Peanuts

Chinese Style Pan Fried Peanuts Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 9 minutes

Fried peanuts is a traditional, classic, and well-liked dish in China. It is crunchy and has a rich aromatic flavor. People enjoy it as a side dish to go with porridge, or an appetizer to go with a beer, or add it as a garnishing item for popular dishes such as Kung Pao chicken.


  • 340 g {2 cups} raw peanuts (skin-on)
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground Himalayan pink salt, optional


  • Rinse the peanuts using a stainless steel colander and let them air dry.
    dry rinsed raw peanuts on a large plate
  • Add the peanuts to a hard-anodized frypan along with 2 tbsp avocado oil. Toss and mix well.
    toss and cover peanuts in the fry pan with a minimal amount of oil
  • Turn the heat on medium, spread out the peanuts, and cook for 2 minutes.
    pan fry peanuts
  • Set a timer for 6 minutes, and use a pair of bamboo spatulas to toss the peanuts continuously.
    Chinese style pan fried peanuts
  • You will notice the peanuts start to turn reddish. You shall also start to hear the popping sounds of the peanuts, which is an indication they are ready. Turn off the heat. spread out the peanuts and wait for them to cool to room temperature before storing them in an air-tight glass jar. Use in the next 2 weeks.
    freshly pan fried peanuts in the pan
  • Eat as is or add to Kung Pao Chicken or Noodle Salad.
    Chinese Style Pan Fried Peanuts


  • Allow sufficient time for the peanuts to air dry after you wash them.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 11g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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