mala spicy peanuts

FIRE Nuts (Spicy Asian Mala Peanuts)

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FIRE Nuts (Spicy Asian Mala Peanuts)

Fire up those Nuts! Spicy Asian Mala Peanuts – These Sichuan pepper spicy nuts are the perfect compliment for beer or a cocktail.  They are different, fragrant, and addictive!  My ‘Spicy’ friends beg for them.  It may be a simple crunchy snack, but powerful flavor!  Great for parties, Lunar New Year, Chinese New Years 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!

What are Mala Peanuts?

Mala peanuts, also known as Sichuan Mala peanuts, are a popular snack in China that originated in the Sichuan province. These peanuts are flavored with a spicy and numbing combination of Sichuan peppercorns and chili peppers. Sichuan peppercorn plants flavor the Mala peanuts with a distinctive flavor and a tingling sensation that is unique to this snack. The word “Mala” comes from two Chinese characters, “Ma” and “La,” meaning “numbing” and “spicy,” respectively.

Mala peanuts, peanuts are first roasted and then coated with a mixture of Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, salt, sugar, and other seasonings. The peanuts are then fried to complete the cooking process. The end result is a snack that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a spicy and numbing taste that lingers in the mouth for a long time.

In China, Mala peanuts are not only enjoyed as a favorite snack but are also a popular ingredient in various dishes. They are often used as a topping for noodles and soups, or mixed in with vegetables and meats. Mala peanuts add a new dimension to the taste of these dishes, making them more flavorful and spicy.  Commercially Huang Fei Hong sells a version of these homemade Chinese peanuts.


What is Lunar New Year?

The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is the most significant traditional holiday in China and is celebrated by Chinese communities around the world. The Lunar New Year is a time of family reunions, feasting, gift-giving, and paying respect to one’s ancestors.

The holiday typically lasts for 15 days, and each day is associated with different traditions and customs. The lead-up to the Lunar New Year is an exciting time, with households busy with preparations like cleaning, decorating, and shopping for new clothes and gifts.

Family members gather to share a feast that symbolizes unity and blessings for good luck and prosperity in the coming year.  The Lunar New Year is often marked by colorful parades, lion and dragon dances, fireworks, and street fairs, which attract locals and tourists alike.

These festivities are an opportunity to witness the vibrant culture and traditions of China firsthand. During the Lunar New Year, it is customary to exchange red envelopes filled with money as gifts, which represent good fortune and blessings for the recipient. It is also common to visit temples and light incense for blessings and to ward off evil spirits.


Spicy Asian Mala Peanuts

mala spicy peanuts
5 from 45 votes


Spicy Sichuan or Mala Peanuts
Prep Time20 minutes
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: fire nuts, fried peanuts, green sichuan peppercorns, hellfire nuts, infused peanuts, Mala nuts, Mala peanuts, Mezcal and red chili cocktail, Sichuan, spicy peanuts, Szechuan pepper, Szechuan peppercorns, white pepper, whole sichuan peppercorns
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 Ground Sichuan Peppercorns
  • 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 simmer for 8 minutes
  • Turn the stove off, and continue stirring 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 peanuts on paper towels to drain
  • Serve in a beautiful small bowls
  • Serve with a Beer or a delicious cocktail


Spicy Asian Mala Peanuts

  • For delicious Asian Peanuts, purchase blanched, raw peanuts – the skins are already removed- no need to soak.  Blanched peanuts can be purchased in quantity at Costco.
  • Be careful with handling chilis.  The natural capsaicin from the chili 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.
  • Nuts infused by chilis:  There are 6 different kinds of dried chilies.  This recipe uses one of the hottest- spicy and numbing peppers!  If you substitute a milder chili, you may need to add chilies to achieve a similar flavor.
  • You are cooking with hot oil to make the nuts delicious and crisp.  Take care that the mala fried peanuts are cool before you taste
  • Sprinkle Kosher salt for sea salt if you would like to substitute
  • Sichuan Salty & Spicy Peanuts – These nuts can have a slight mouth-numbing effect (It’s part of the charm!)  Have some delicious beer nearby!
  • Chinese New Year Nuts:  FIRE nuts are the perfect Chinese New Year appetizer, or Chinese New Year gift- January 27 2023 – Year of the Tiger
  • These Mala peanuts are vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free- Perfect for special dietary cuisine
  • Store Fire Nuts for up to 2 weeks. Cover the peanuts in an air-tight container.  This specialty food makes a great gift.
  • Always a good idea to ask about Peanut allergies…



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
  • Sprinkle some spice and crunch on a Hot Fudge Sundae- Amazing! My favorite snack


Perfect Pairing

Bourbon mixed drink with fall flavorsWicked Bitchcraft

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