These crunchy Vietnamese-inspired peanuts are glazed with a sweet, salty, spicy, and garlicky coating! It's quick and easy to prepare, and delicious as a snack or as a topping for salads, curries, and more!
If you have never tried these spicy garlic peanuts, I urge you to do so! It's so good I could eat half of the batch in one sitting!
🥜 What are Vietnamese Peanuts
Called "Đậu phộng tỏi ớt" in Vietnamese, this savory snack consists of peanuts toasted in a pan and coated with garlic, chili, and a mix of salt and sugar.
These spicy peanuts are available almost everywhere in Vietnam, from the supermarket to the local market where homemade versions are sold.
🥣 How to Make Vietnamese Peanuts
You are just 6 ingredients away from this insanely addicting snack! Here is what you will need:
- Raw peanuts - For this recipe, we will be using raw peanut with their skin on. You can find raw peanuts online, or in most produce supermarkets.
- Garlic - While you could use dried garlic, I recommend using fresh garlic for the best flavor.
- Chili - Use one Thai chili, also called Bird's eye chili. Feel free to go with half if you don't want it too spicy.
- Salt and sugar - To season, and for a balance of sweet and salty.
- Vegan fish sauce or soy sauce - For saltiness and umami. Traditionally, it's fish sauce that is used, but you can use vegan fish sauce or regular soy sauce.
First, we start by roasting the peanuts to develop their nutty flavor. Here are two ways to toast/roast the peanuts:
- Toast in a pan: The authentic recipe calls for toasting the peanuts in a pan. Since most Vietnamese households do not own any oven, the pan method is the most common. To do so, toast the peanuts for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently until peanuts are evenly toasted.
- Roast in the oven: The easiest method, and the one that gives the most consistent results. Roast the peanuts on a baking sheet in a 350°F (175°C) preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
Next, prepare the glaze:
- Sauté minced garlic and chili for a few minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Make a caramel by heating sugar and water.
- Once the caramel has taken a light golden brown color, deglaze with vegan fish sauce (or soy sauce).
- Add the peanuts, sautéed garlic, and chili, and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Stir frequently to coat the peanuts with the coating.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Finally, bake the peanuts for about one hour at 200°F (90°C). This step is optional, but it prevents the peanuts from being sticky, plus you will be able to store them for weeks in an airtight container!
While the peanuts might look sticky on the photos, due to their shine, they are not!
🌮 How to Enjoy These Peanuts
- As a snack - Perfect to fix those mid-afternoon cravings! It also makes a great snack to enjoy on the go!
- As a topping - Add crunchiness and flavor to your salads, tacos, or even curries!
- On an appetizer board - These peanuts are great served along with cocktails, cheese, and raw veggies.
These crunchy Vietnamese-inspired peanuts are nutty, spicy, garlicky, and have the perfect balance of sweet and salty! It's hard to stop yourself once you have started digging into it!
🇻🇳 More Vietnamese-Inspired Snacks
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- Rinse the raw peanuts under cold water and drain them well. Slightly pat them dry using paper kitchen towels.
- Transfer the peanuts to a non-stick skillet and toast them over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly to toast them evenly. Alternatively, you can simply roast the peanuts for about 15 minutes in a 350°F (175°C) pre-heated oven. Transfer the roasted peanuts to a bowl and let cool completely.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced chili and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add the sugar and water, and heat over medium heat until it turns into a caramel.
- Once your caramel is golden brown, deglaze the skillet with the vegan fish sauce or soy sauce. Note: the caramel will first harden and will liquify again after a few minutes. Add the toasted peanuts, salt, and sautéed chili and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly to coat the peanuts with the caramel and the aromatics.
- Transfer the coated peanuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and arrange them into an even layer. Let cool while the oven is preheating.
- Preheat the oven to 200°F (90°C). Once hot, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before transferring to a airtight container or jar. Enjoy as a snack or use as a topping for salads, curries, tacos, etc!
- Peanuts will keep at room temperature stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.