11 easy and delicious Asian-inspired Sweet & Savory Nut recipes that go beyond roasted spiced nuts.
If you've a ton of nuts left over from making classic Chinese nut cookies- traditional peanut cookies, old-fashioned almond cookies, cashew cookies, old-school walnut cookies, sesame brittle and what not- here are some sweet and savory nut recipes to help you use up your stash!
Peanuts were introduced to China by Portuguese traders and they're locally known as: Changshengguo ("long-life fruit"), Didou (meaning "earth bean"), Qiansuizi (meaning "thousand-year-old offspring") etc... As you can see, many of their names are related to life!
At traditional Chinese weddings, nuts are usually included as the word "peanut" in Chinese 花生 is a homonym for giving birth and thus symbolise fertility. In the past, the wedding bed would have some nuts on it, but since it's 2022, why not feature some of these Asian sweet and savoury Nut recipes on the menu instead?
Nut allergies, in particular to peanuts, can lead to anaphylaxis and severe shock so always check guests' dietary requirements before preparing a nut dish! Symptoms of a nut allergy range from hives and swollen lips to nausea or a tight feeling in the throat.
Asian slaw with cashews
Ikan bilis and kacang goreng
Another easy peanut recipe would be to fry the nuts with ikan bilis (anchovies) and sliced garlic- this crunchy topping keeps for weeks at room temperature (in an airtight container) and is delicious with rice, noodles, porridge or on its own!
Just make sure the oil is hot enough before frying (there should be bubbles forming around your wooden chopsticks when you insert it into the oil) and fry the nuts before the ikan bilis, as they turn the oil black easily!
Chinese Braised peanuts
This is a peanut dish that you see at almost every bak kut teh restaurant. It's also a great side dish for Teochew porridge.
Tip: to get the peanuts as tender as possible, a slow cooker, pressure cooker or instant pot would be very handy!
You wouldn't be able to tell that many Singaporean curries contain nuts. They actually use candlenuts, or buah kemiri in the local language, as a binder for the curry sauce. If you can't get this, macadamias or 1 of the other substitutes in the link will do in a pinch!
Zucchini noodles with cashews
Spicy Thai noodles with peanuts
Sweet potato curry
Using peanut butter to cook Asian food can be a little controversial as purists frown on it.
However, as long as you use pure peanut butter - the pricey one in the supermarkets LOL- with no shortening or other additives, it can make for very delicious yet easy to make Asian-inspired nut recipes!
Cashew Garlic Sauce
And if you still have cashews left over after the Asian slaw, give it a whizz with garlic and a bit of water in the blender to get a creamy yet vegan garlic sauce!
Korean sweet pancakes (hotteok)
Another of my favourite nut recipes is Korean sweet pancakes, or hotteok. They're pretty much pan-fried bread filled with nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar. Heaven! The type of nut is pretty flexible and you can use walnuts, peanuts or even sunflower seeds!
Traditional Singaporean muah chee
Vegetarian Hup Toh Soh
CNY Peanut cookies
Note: these addictive cookies are naturally vegan.
If none of these caught your eye, and you're still hunting for a savoury CNY snack, why not give one of these a try:
Which of these savory nut recipes was your favourite? Tag me on social media (@greedygirlgourmet) if you make any of them!