Do you love munching on peanuts as a snack?
If so, then I will suggest you try the Japanese peanuts at least once. Just like the other nuts, they come in handy to keep your mouth busy.
They are known for several names, such as cracker nuts, Japanese-style peanuts, and Japanese peanuts.
Don’t think of them as the regular nuts cause they’re quite unique! So, what do you think, wanna know more about these nuts?
Then keep going ahead as today I will mention all the things to know about Japanese peanuts.
Okay, let’s start our yummy, crunchy and flavourful journey.
Things to Know About Japanese Peanuts from Origin to Nutritional Value
Japanese nuts are one of the famous snacks loved by both kids and grown-ups.
Many people confuse them as a regular nut, but actually, these are whole peanuts coated with wheat flour dough and deep-fried to make a crunchy shell.
During my childhood, my grandpa and I used to snack on these nuts together while listening to folk stories. I still remember those happy moments.
He even told me the origin and history of these Japanese crunchy peanuts that I am gonna share with you now.
Are Japanese Peanuts Good For You?
Japanese peanuts are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals that our body needs to stay healthy. Japanese peanuts are rich in protein. This aids in keeping you fuller for longer and helps to strengthen muscles.
Japanese peanuts also contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, B vitamins, and fiber. Eating peanuts can help to boost your immune system, protect against cardiovascular diseases, and even reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers.
Apart from their nutritional benefits, Japanese peanuts also have relatively less fat than other nuts.
Containing mainly healthy monounsaturated fats, these fats can help to improve cholesterol and lower cholesterol.
Japanese peanuts can also assist in weight management, as they are low in calories and high in protein. This dietary stability is great for suppressing your appetite, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
Japanese peanuts can also help to improve your cognitive health, as they contain flavonoids, which are known to increase neuron levels in the brain. These flavonoids can help to increase memory, focus, and mental performance.
Origin of Japanese Peanuts
Once, I was asked by one of my foreign friends, are Japanese peanuts actually Japanese?
And to be honest, I was a bit surprised. When a snack has a country name in its title, there are few people who will even question its origin.
But, bravo to my friend as he has thought out of the box. Well, the answer to this question may surprise you just like my friend!!
Well, be prepared to be stunned cause Japanese peanuts were not invented in Japan! Instead, they originated from Mexico.
In 1945, an immigrant from Japan living in Mexico named Yoshigei Nakatani created this peanut.
All of it started during the 19th century when Japanese migration to Mexico began. Yoshigei Nakatani also immigrated there and married a Mexican woman. He used to live in a Japanese neighborhood in the capital.
While staying in Japan, he acquired the skill of making candies. So, he started to make candies here and sell them. And these candies were known as “muegano.”
Later, he modified these with a new version of salted candy called “Oranda.” It was mainly deeply fried wheat that was crispy, sweet, and salty.
As the business took off, Yoshigei decided to add some flavors to this from his home country Japan. Since soy and rice flour has a great influence on Japanese cuisine, he wanted to try using those.
Unfortunately, rice flours were a bit hard to find in Mexico, so he skipped that ingredient.
As a result, he coated a single peanut with a thick layer of wheat flour, deep-fried, and then flavored it with soy sauce, which is today’s Japanese peanuts.
He did this to honor his native land and sold these nuts for 20 years in the wholesale market. After that, he opened his own factory and named it Nippon, which means Japan.
In short, even though Japanese nuts were not created in Japan, because of the ingredients and his love for the land made it gain the name.
For your kind information, these peanuts are known as mani japones or cacahuates japoneses in Spain.
Anyway, these cracker nuts are now made with various ingredients. So it’s time to know about this matter in detail.
What’s the difference between Japanese peanuts and regular peanuts?
Japanese peanuts tend to be smaller, smoother, and rounder when compared to regular peanuts. The husks are thinner than regular peanuts, so the peanuts themselves are visible when the shell is cracked open. They also don’t have that signature “skin” on the outside of the nut; instead, they have an almost smooth texture.
In terms of flavor, Japanese peanuts are milder and more delicate. They don’t have the same salty crunch that people associate with regular peanuts, and their taste is more mellow and nutty.
The texture of Japanese peanuts is considerably softer than regular peanuts, making them easier to chew without requiring a strong jaw.
Finally, Japanese peanuts are notably sweeter than the average peanut. They have a sugary coating that adds a subtle sweetness without making them far sugary. This intrinsic sweetness also means that Japanese peanuts are less sticky than the ones found in the United States.
How Are Japanese Peanuts Made?
This question can leave those people in amusement who think that Japanese peanuts are just a variation of Japanese nuts.
Well, it kinda makes sense cause they are not aware that these are an invention of mankind.
But, you already know that these are just coated with various ingredients to make a nut more delicious.
I already mentioned what they are made of initially, but now there is a slight change in the Japanese peanuts recipe.
At present, it is often a mix of rice flour, wheat flour, sugar, and soy sauce that makes the crisp and crunchy layer around the nuts. Also, roasted peanuts are poured into the pot of flour with added color to make them look like candy, which is done to appeal to the young consumers.
When you bite on them, the crispy shell will crack, and the only word that will come out from your mouth is “yummmm.”
So, don’t even think of eating them sneakily in classrooms or offices cause the other will notice the cracking sound, and you may have to end up sharing.
And if the teacher catches you, then what are you gonna do? Well, I think if you explain to him the nutrition facts of Japanese peanuts, maybe you can get relieved from the interrogation.
Now the question is, how!! Right?
To know, you need to go through my next segment.
Nutritional Benefits of Japanese-Style Nuts
Apart from being delicious and crunchy, these nuts are also highly nutritious. They are rich in minerals, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. Also, they contain Niacin and vitamins.
Therefore, eating these nuts helps in terms of proper blood flow and is also good for your brain.
So, do you know the answer that you have to say to your teacher, or do I have to give you a hint?
Okay, just say that as studying is brainstorming, you are eating Japanese nuts so that your brain can function correctly!!
Anyway, it’s not the end yet. What’s more, these cracker nuts are enriched with a good amount of calories.
One serving of Japanese peanuts contains about 140 calories. Also, it includes 15 grams of carbohydrates, 50 mg of sodium, and 6 grams of fats.
In fact, there is no cholesterol at all, and they are rich in iron too. So, if you are a cholesterol patient, you can eat them without having any worries.
But, Wait!! Wait!! There is something you need to know.
Eating Japanese peanuts in a large quantity at once can be bad for you, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
So, does that mean these nuts will make you gain weight?
Alright, I will give you a detailed answer now.
Are Japanese peanuts good for diabetics?
Japanese peanuts have some favorable features that benefit diabetics.
- For starters, they’re low in calories while still being high in protein, making them an ideal snack option.
- Studies have shown that eating peanuts can also help to lower the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, making peanuts a desirable snack for those who already have the condition.
- Japanese peanuts have a low glycemic index rating. Glycemic index (or GI) ratings are used to measure the amount of carbohydrates in a food and determine how quickly they can raise blood sugar levels.
- Because Japanese peanuts are low GI, this means that they’re a great option for diabetics because they can be consumed without having to worry about any major spike in blood sugar levels.
- Finally, Japanese peanuts also have a lower fat content than a lot of other snacks. This is key for diabetics, as foods and snacks that are high in unhealthy fats can significantly raise blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Are Japanese Peanuts Good for Weight Loss?
These are one of the nuts that are a great choice for keto dieters as they contain calories and proteins.
In case you are on a diet and craving some evening snacks, then these nuts might be a good option for you.
However, remember that overeating anything will make you gain weight, and so do Japanese nuts. So, you should eat them by maintaining quantity.
You can include this as a post-workout snack for some protein.
Yet, if you have a strict goal to lose weight, I will recommend picking something else as a snack instead of these crackers.
You may eat fiber-rich food that won’t raise your blood sugar level and make you feel fuller for an extended period.
Since Japanese peanuts are enriched with fiber and have a taste that will make you crave more and more, it would be better if you try to avoid them. And a good alternative is smoked soybeans which are full of protein and fiber.
By the way, people with certain health conditions should refrain from eating these nuts. Check out the details below.
Who Should Avoid Eating Japanese Nuts
It goes without saying, if you are allergic to peanuts, say a big no to them.
If you’re not sure of being allergic to it or not, then look for symptoms like a weird tingling sensation in the throat, runny nose, skin abnormalities like irritation, redness, itchiness, and swelling.
So, stay aware, and keep solutions close as you never know if you will experience something like these.
Another thing to be conscious about is the amount of sodium you consume. Although one serving of these nuts has only 50 gm of sodium, which is far less than the normal amount of consumption per day, eating more than a few handfuls can lead to high blood pressure.
Moreover, Japanese peanuts contain wheat (which includes gluten). Hence, you need to avoid them if you have celiac disease or a wheat allergy.
Instead, I will suggest you try some gluten-free foods in Japan. And you may check this article to get a detailed guide about this topic.
Anyway, nowadays, there are varieties of Japanese nuts available on the market. And they even come in different flavors.
So, let’s find out which one can make your taste buds happy!
How to Make Japanese Style Peanuts at Home?
The store-bought nuts are delicious, but they may taste even better when you make them yourself.
All the ingredients that will be needed to make this snack are easy to find at home. You just need to have some peanuts, and you are good to go.
Today I will share Japanese peanuts made with two syrups. You may try both or at least one.
Common ingredient for both recipes:
- One kg of red shelled raw peanuts
Required ingredients for first syrup for Japanese peanuts:
- Half cup of water
- One spoon of baking soda
- One tablespoon of salt
- Two cups of wheat flour
- One cup of refined sugar
Step for making first syrup:
- Take a pan and pour half a cup of water into it. Add the baking soda, salt, and sugar, then mix them properly until they dissolve.
Step for preparing the peanuts with the first syrup:
- Place the raw peanuts on a large baking sheet. Then, gradually moisten the nuts with the reserved syrup until they are well moist.
- Now, slowly sprinkle the wheat flour over the peanuts.
- Place them in a sieve and shake until the excess flour is removed.
- Then, take another baking dish, place the nuts, and spread well.
- Put the dish in a preheated (250 degrees) oven for 25 minutes until dry. You need to stir the nuts from time to time.
- Remove from the oven when the peanuts are lightly brown and crispy.
- Reserve for eating later or dig into it after cooling down.
Alright, here is another recipe with a different syrup.
Required ingredients for second syrup:
- Half cup of light soy sauce (American type)
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- ½ tablespoon of butter
- ½ teaspoon of monosodium glutamate
- ½ teaspoon of salt
Steps for making second syrup:
- Take a pan and pour the soy sauce, water, and sugar. Then add the butter, monosodium glutamate, and salt into the pan and mix well. Allow the mixture to boil.
- Leave the pan on the fire until the sauce thickens.
Step for preparing the peanuts with second syrup:
- Follow all the steps mentioned for the last peanuts preparation; just use the second syrup instead of the first syrup.
The nuts made with both syrups taste extremely delicious. Now, all you should do is prepare them and immediately quieten your cravings.
Alright, our fun and flavorful journey have come to an end. And it’s time to say the final words.
Types of Japanese Peanuts
Japanese style nuts have evolved after the invention and are no longer limited to classic shapes and flavors.
At present, they come in diverse shapes, textures, and tastes. Even the coating evolved from wheat flour and rice to ikan bilis flour and seaweed.
According to the taste, you will find wasabi and umami (savory) flavors, which taste rich if you pair them with some salsa valentina hot sauce to bring out its Mexican origins.
Japanese nuts also have taken place in the gourmet food list in the other parts of the world because of their crispy, crunchy, delicious sweetness with a punch of savory and spicy hotness.
Also, it is commonly found in Japanese food festivals, and we local people never miss a chance to eat them while roaming around. And, of course, you will find the nuts in the supermarket or convenience store too.
Okay, without any further ado, let’s explore some available Japanese peanuts options in the market.
De La Rose Japanese Nishiyama Peanuts
These are a bit different from the other Japanese peanuts as they are seasoned and toasted to give a diverse flavor and texture.
It is made with rice flour coating and has a unique and spicy taste. So, if you want to spice up your body, then they are good companions.
And to buy a packet of this goodness weighing 900 grams, you will have to spend around $10 (USD) only.
Isn’t it a great deal? Well, you will know its value after trying them out.
You can also give these to your guest, but I can’t assure you if any will be left in the packet for you!!
By the way, in case you are not a fan of spicy crackers, then look for the other options.
Manzela Japanese Style Peanuts
These peanuts are highly popular all around the US because of their convenient packaging, low price, and mouth-watering taste.
As this brand is renowned and well-loved, they have production units all over Mexico. And keeping it there helps to maintain the originality of the flavor in these Japanese peanuts.
While talking about the taste, they have light spice and crunchy shells.
Island Snacks Japanese Peanuts
The island snacks are rich in iron, and one single serving contains 140 grams of calories.
They come in a size that is easy to carry around; hence you can pack them as a snack companion for your traveling or put them in the lunch box for your kids or yourself.
They have a yummy and fresh taste that will make you wonder why natural nuts don’t taste as heavenly as these!
Sabritas Japanese Peanuts
These crunchy peanuts are made with unbleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, sugar, modified food starch, soy sauce, and salt. With every bite, you will be mesmerized with the yumminess.
While watching movies at home with your family, partner, or friends, try to keep these as a snack.
If you ask for my suggestion, I will tell you to sneak some packets for yourself cause I think they are going to eat up all of the nuts in a blink!
By the way, are all these talks making you crave some peanuts now?
Japanese Peanuts: FAQs
Are you supposed to eat the shell on Japanese peanuts?
You can eat the shell on Japanese peanuts. The shell is just a coating over the nuts, made with wheat flour and then deep-fried.
Do Japanese peanuts have carbs?
0.25 cup of Japanese nuts contain 17 gm total carbs, 15 gm net carbs, 5 gm fat, 5 gm protein, and 130 calories.
In this writing, I have informed you of all the things to know about Japanese peanuts.
I hope you will try them either by purchasing from the store or making them yourself.
Lastly, have a crunchy snack time with your loved ones.