Peanuts with Cilantro & Scallions

Full of “good fat” and lots of protein, peanuts are a frequently proferred snack in China and a great addition to a vegetarian Chinese meal. They frequently appear as a side dish at my in-laws house, sometimes dressed as in this recipe, and sometimes just fried and salted. This dish can be made spicy or you can leave out the chilies. I’ve used roasted nuts in place of the usual fried ones to cut down on the fat in the recipe.


  • 4 oz roasted unsalted peanuts (this works best with the “Spanish” type that has the red skins intact, but plain would work too)
  • 2 ea scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 6 stems cilantro, chopped stems and leaves
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 ea small red chilies, minced or cut into rounds (optional)


  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar, brown or raw cane is best
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar is also okay here
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl
  3. 10-15 m before serving, add the dressing to the ingredients and mix gently.

do ahead:

This dish is best on the first day it’s made: although leftovers will refrigerate okay, the peanuts get a bit soggy. If you wanted to make this ahead, combine the garlic and chilies with the dressing ingredients up to a day in advance and refrigerate. The scallions and cilantro will lose a bit of their vibrant color, so don’t add those yet. 10-20 m before serving, prepare the scallions and cilantro, add to the peanuts and toss with the dressing.

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