Chinese Celery and Peanut Salad

5 from 1 vote
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This Chinese celery and peanut salad is perfect to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. The peanuts are braised in a savory liquid until tender and flavorful, then mixed with carrot, celery and nutty sesame oil for a hearty warm salad. It is easy to put together and the peanuts become even more flavorful the next day. {Vegan, Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chinese celery and peanut salad is a classic homestyle dish that is served as an appetizer, often paired with beer. The peanuts always start out raw. They get simmered with plenty of aromatics and spices. Cinnamon, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns are used to create a warm flavor profile, with ginger and garlic to add plenty of aroma. 

If you’re used to crispy peanuts, this dish might sound strange since you’ll be braising the peanuts in liquid. But if you keep an open mind and give this a try, you’ll be delighted to find that the boiled peanuts have a crunchy yet tender texture and are bursting with flavor. 

Celery and peanut salad ingredients

Cooking with raw peanuts

In China, we almost always cook with raw skin-on peanuts and it’s quite difficult to find the processed ones. That’s why many traditional recipes such as this peanut salad are usually made from raw peanuts with skin on. For this recipe, I’ve tried cooking both skin-on and skinless peanuts, but I found that the skin-on peanuts absorb more flavor and yield a better result.

Peanut skins also have a ton of health benefits as well. They contain potent antioxidants, almost double the content of the peanuts themselves. And recent research studies suggest that boiled peanuts have two- and four-fold increases in certain nutrients.

Other ingredients

You will need a few spices and aromatics for braising the peanuts, to infuse them with a very rich and savory flavor. If you have a tea infuser, I highly recommend putting the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise in it, so it will be easy to fish them out later. 

Once the peanuts are cooked, you only need a touch of seasoning to bring everything together. If you do not wish to make the peanuts into a salad, you can even serve them in the braising liquid as a snack or appetizer.

Cooking process

Cooking the Chinese celery and peanut salad is super easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Boil the peanuts with aromatics and spices
  2. Quickly blanch the carrots
  3. Cook the celery very briefly
  4. When the peanuts are cooked, remove the aromatics and spices. Mix the peanuts and veggies together with the seasonings.

Afterthought

Chinese celery and peanut salad is a humble and simple dish. I really like the fact that you can prepare it ahead of time and serve it over the next couple of days. It makes a great appetizer or a snack, and it’s delicious and very nutritious as well.

Make it a complete meal with

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This Chinese celery and peanut salad is perfect to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. The peanuts are braised in a savory liquid until tender and flavorful, then mixed with carrot, celery and nutty sesame oil for a hearty warm salad. It is easy to put together and the peanuts become even more flavorful the next day. {Vegan, Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chinese Celery and Peanut Salad

5 from 1 vote
This Chinese celery and peanut salad is perfect to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. The peanuts are braised in a savory liquid until tender and flavorful, then mixed with carrot, celery and nutty sesame oil for a hearty warm salad. It is easy to put together and the peanuts become even more flavorful the next day. {Vegan, Gluten-Free Adaptable}
To make the dish-gluten free, use tamari to replace soy sauce.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: homestyle
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Braising

  • 1 cup raw skin-on peanuts (*Footnote 1)
  • 2 green onions , cut into 2” (5 cm) long pieces
  • 2 slices ginger , sliced
  • 1 clove garlic , smashed
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Salad

  • 1/4 carrot , diced
  • 1/4 cup Chinese celery , sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (or chili oil)

Instructions

  • Add the peanuts into a medium-sized pot with 4 cups of water. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add the rest of the braising ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. Once done, discard the braising spices. Drain and transfer the peanuts to a bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the carrot. Cook until just starting to turn tender, 1 minutes or so. Add the celery to the same pot of water. Boil for 30 seconds, or until just turning tender. Drain and run the veggies with cold tap water to stop the cooking. Transfer to the same bowl with the peanuts.
  • Add the soy sauce and sugar. Mix well. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve at room temperature.

Notes

  1. Skin-on peanuts yield a better texture and taste. But if you cannot find them, skin-off raw peanuts work as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 4.5g, Protein: 6.4g, Fat: 12.4g, Saturated Fat: 1.7g, Sodium: 59mg, Potassium: 193mg, Fiber: 2.2g, Sugar: 1.3g, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Kgesb says:

    5 stars
    This is it! Thank you, Maggie for posting this! It was excellent and just as I remembered. I’m up for more recipes w cooked peanuts!

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      So happy to hear you cooked it and thanks for leaving a positive review! I like this one as well 🙂

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