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A plate of Sichuan spicy peanuts
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5 from 3 votes

Sichuan spicy peanuts (Mala peanuts, 麻辣花生)

Hot, fragrant, crispy and powerfully mouth-numbing, Sichuan spicy peanuts are an addictive snack that can be easily made at home.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Nuts, Sichuan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Wei Guo


  • 200 g raw peanuts 1.5 cups (see note 1)
  • 120 ml cooking oil 0.5cup
  • 15 dried chilli or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn see note 2
  • 5 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper


Prepare the peanuts & chillies

  • Soak peanuts in water for 2 minutes. Then drain and pat dry.
  • While waiting for the peanuts to be soaked, cut dried chilli into pieces with a pair of scissors (keep the yellow seeds).

Fry the peanuts

  • Pour peanuts into a cold wok / frying pan, then pour in oil. Turn on the heat to medium-low.
  • Frying the peanuts for about 13 minutes (see note 3). Stir from time to time. They are done when the colour of their skin darkens . Taste one if you are not sure. They shouldn’t have any raw taste yet they shouldn’t have a burnt taste either .
  • Transfer the peanuts to a plate lined with kitchen paper (to soak up excess oil).

Season the peanuts

  • Leave enough oil to cover the bottom of the wok (discard the rest). When the wok cools down, stir in dried chilli, Sichuan peppercorn and bay leaves. Fry over medium-low heat until fragrant (do not burn).
  • Turn off the heat. Add in fried peanuts. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and ground Sichuan pepper. Shake around the wok, then dish out.

Serve & store

  • Leave to cool completely. Enjoy immediately or store in an air-tight container for later consumption. The flavour will be more intense after a day or two.


1. For nutritional reasons I prefer peanuts with the skin on. You may use skinless peanuts. If so, please skip step 1 (soaking the peanuts).
2. You can use either green Sichuan peppercorn or regular red Sichuan peppercorn. To learn more about this unique spice, please read my guide : Sichuan Pepper (花椒): Your Questions Answered.
3. Frying time may vary depending on the size of the peanuts, as well as the power of the heat. Adjust accordingly.