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Fire up those Nuts!  These Sichuan spicy nuts are the perfect compliment for beer or a cocktail.  They are different, delicious, and addictive!  My ‘Spicy’ friends beg for them.  Simple snack- powerful flavor!  Great for parties.

These ‘Mala’ peanuts are a popular and growing snack in China.  Originally found in the Chongqing and Sichuan regions.  These nuts may leave you with a delightful tingling sensation on your lips.   Like that first great kiss-but a lot more zing!

Nuts and tingling lips- I could really go down a rabbit hole with this one!

mala spicy peanuts
5 from 1 vote


Spicy Sichuan or Mala Peanuts
Prep Time20 mins
Resting Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: fire nuts, hellfire nuts, Mala peanuts, Sichuan, spicy peanuts
Yield: 8
Author: Wai Yu Mun Ching


  • wok


  • 4 Sm-Med Dried Chillies(Arbol), seeded and snipped into small pieces
  • ½ cup Cooking oil
  • 1 Tsp Green Sichuan Peppercorns (Ground)
  • 5 Bay leaves
  • 1 Tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 cups Raw Peanuts (blanched/ without skins)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt


Prepare Dried Chilies

  • Cut the top off of the dried chili pepper
  • Use scissors to open the chili pepper, and dispose of the yellow seeds
  • Snip the pepper into small pieces over the wok
  • Repeat with the remaining peppers

Prepare the Sichuan Sauce

  • Add the oil, ground Sichuan peppercorns, Bay leaves, 5 spice powder, and Honey to a cold wok
  • Add the nuts to the wok, and turn the stove to medium heat
  • Stir the nuts frequently and cook for 8 minutes
  • Turn the stove off, and continue to stir the nuts for the next 3 minutes
  • Let the nuts cool in the spicy wok oil for 15 minutes
  • Drain the nuts in a metal colander
  • Salt the nuts
  • Place the nuts on a paper towel to drain
  • Serve with a Beer or a delicious cocktail


Purchase blanched, raw peanuts- the skins are already removed- and you are saved a long soaking/massaging process

Be careful with handling chilis.  The natural capsaicin from the pepper activates a protein in your cells to sense heat- and may cause a stinging sensation.  Consider wearing gloves and be sure not to touch your nose or mouth while cooking with peppers.  Wash your hands well after handling.

There are 6 different kinds of dried chilies.  This recipe uses one of the hottest.   If you substitute a milder chili, you may need to add chilies to achieve a similar flavor.

You are cooking with hot oil.  Take care that the nuts are cool before you taste

Kosher salt can be substituted for sea salt.

Nuts of HELLFIRE: Use 6 Small to Medium Chilis

Mix It Up:

Try adding a little orange or lime zest for a different twist

Consider topping some of your favorite dishes with Fire Nuts- Fantastic on noodle dishes or salads

Absolutely delicious on a Hot Fudge Sundae

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