Subtly sweet and highly versatile, peanut oil – also known as groundnut oil – is a healthy oil that brings a mild nutty flavor to dishes.
What if you can’t find any? Or what if you have allergies? Don’t worry… for those who have peanut allergies or for those who can’t find peanut oil, there’s a peanut oil substitute for just about any recipe, whether deep frying, sautéing or baking.
What is peanut oil?
A type of vegetable oil made from the seeds of the peanut plant, peanut oil has a subtle nutty flavor. It’s good for baking and sautéing, but is particularly good for high temperature frying, due to its particularly high smoke point.
Peanut oil has plenty of health benefits, making it the oil of choice for many health-conscious foodies.
Unlike some oils, peanut oil doesn’t become infused with the ingredients in which it’s cooked. Although it’s quite mild, its flavor is a bit more pronounced than many other oils. The slight nutty sweetness can bring a delicious element to the right dish.
What dishes are normally cooked using peanut oil?
Peanut oil is a favorite oil in Asian cuisines. It pairs well with meats like chicken or beef, especially in noodle based or sweet and sour dishes.
It’s also great for deep frying, especially with recipes like spring rolls.
What are the different types of peanut oil?
There are a variety of different types peanut oil available:
Refined – this type of peanut oil is highly processed, with the proteins that cause allergic reactions removed. Refined peanut oil doesn’t have the same strong aroma as other types
Cold pressed – this unrefined type of peanut oil is in its most natural state, with a pleasant nutty taste and aroma
Blend – this type is a hybrid of peanut oil with other types of oil, including sunflower oil and vegetable oil
What is the smoke point of peanut oil?
eanut oil has a very high smoke point of around 232ºC/450ºF.
The ‘smoke point’, or ‘burning point’ of an oil is the temperature at which the fat in the oil begins to break down and turns to smoke.
If you heat an oil above the smoke point, the taste will be affected and the nutrients within the oil will be destroyed. Heating an oil beyond its smoke point can also produce harmful free radicals in the oil.
That’s why some oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, aren’t suitable for cooking at high temperatures.
What dishes can you cook with peanut oil?
Peanut oil is best used in stir-fries and other noodle dishes, with complementary flavors. Here are just a few fantastic recipes that you can use peanut oil with. Many of them call for sesame oil to be used, although peanut oil would work just as well.
- Miso eggplant – a delicious vegan starter, this quick and easy recipe shows just how amazing eggplant can be
- Yasai itame – a Japanese stir-fry that’s packed full of flavor, yasai itame makes the perfect quick and easy midweek meal. Healthy, tasty and so very simple, cook this great recipe just once and it’ll become a firm favorite
- Yuk sung – a fresh and tasty dish that can be whipped up in less than half an hour, yuk sung is a classic Chinese wrap that brings fresh flavors for a light and refreshing lunch
- Bami goreng – a spicy noodle dish that’s hugely popular in Southeast Asia, bami goreng is Asian street food at its finest. Healthy ingredients, heaps of flavor and a super quick cook time… what’s not to like?
- Shrimp in oyster sauce – a classic Chinese recipe that tingles the taste buds like nothing else. If you’re a fan of shrimp, you have to try this recipe
- Chicken in oyster sauce stir fry with mushrooms – another fantastic stir-fry, this recipe brings an irresistible mix of flavors for a healthy, quick and delicious lunch
- Vegan chop suey – an American/Asian favorite that’ll bring the zing along with a rich mix of flavors, this is a vegan dream of a lunch. It’ll have your taste buds dancing like there’s no tomorrow
- Marmite chicken – if you’re a marmite fanatic, or you just love rich umami flavors, this is the recipe for you. It uses the classic British ingredient to create a lusciously tender chicken dish that’s simple, healthy and gloriously tasty
- Lamb stir fry – a mouth watering mix of ingredients make up this quick and easy stir-fry, the perfect recipe to break up a busy week. It’s a sure-fire hit with the whole family