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Savory Asian Peanut Butter

Edward Lee

Lesson time 7 min

Forget store-bought peanut butter packed with chemicals and preservatives, make your own with roasted peanuts and sesame oil.

Students give this lesson an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

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– I know you’re thinking why make peanut butter from scratch when you can just go to the store and buy a jar? Well, my answer is ’cause you’re gonna make the best damn peanut butter you’ve ever made in your life. And it all starts with the raw peanut. Again, it takes time, it takes a little bit of energy, but, when you start to think about all the things that you can do in your kitchens, start to think about the simple things, like peanut butter. We’re so trained to go out and just pick up jars of things that they’re really easy to make at home, and you can actually control the flavor of it and you can control texture, and you don’t need any preservatives because you’re making them from scratch. I’m gonna use this recipe in a savory chicken dish, so I’m gonna make kind of an Asian peanut butter if you will. So, all I’m doing is taking raw peanuts. They’re a wonderful raw product to have. If you’re allergic to peanut butter or you can’t have peanut butter, you can use so many other substitutions. Cashews are probably the best nut to use as a substitute because they have the same creaminess as peanut butter. You can make walnut butter, pecan butter. It’s kind of endless what you can do. And also, if you can’t get your hands on some raw peanuts, you can also just use the toasted peanuts that you find in the store, as well. I took them out of the shell but they still have the skin on, so what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna dry roast them, about a 450 degree oven. We’re gonna pop them in for a few minutes, they’re gonna toast up nice and then their skins will come off really easily. All right . Nice and toasted. So at this point you’re gonna want to take off the skins. So, do you see how easily the skins come off? Now, if you get a little bit of skin in there, it’s not the end of the world, but you do want to get most of that skin off. Let’s go make some peanut butter. All right, so that comes off. I’m gonna load all these guys in here. All right, all we’re gonna do now, I’m gonna start just pulsing it. The goal here is to get a nice smooth texture. Before we can run it, we gotta just kind of chop up these big pieces into small pieces. You want everything to kind of be granular, about this stage. Mm, and it’s already starting to taste like peanut butter. So what happens now is it’s really starting to get, almost turn into a paste, all right, and it’ll hold its shape if you squeeze it together. And it’s really starting to smell like peanut butter. Now at this point you’re gonna add some liquid to it. Typically, you’d use a neutral oil or maybe like a peanut oil, but I want to take this peanut butter and kind of push it towards savory versus a sweet. So I kind of want to sort of bring out the salty qualities and sort of the umami qualities of it. So, I’m gonna start with some sesame oil, about two tablespoons worth. Here’s a little bit of sorghum. Sorghum is basically a sweetener made from the sorghum cane. If you find sorghum, honey will work, but sort of in my world sorghum is, it’s something sort of halfway between honey and molasses, and sorghum’s gonna add more depth to it. And what I want from this peanut butter is to sort of be a little bit more spicy, more deep, more umami versus like a sweet peanut butter. Now at this point all I’m doing is watching it. So I’m gonna keep running it, and I want to turn this paste into peanut butter, which we all know what that looks like. And it’s gonna be a little, I want it to be a little bit chunkier, so I want to leave some texture in there. So, as it’s running, I’ve got my top open, I’m gonna just little by little drizzle a little bit of sesame oil, little bit of sorghum. I’ve got also this togarashi spice which is a Japanese spice mix. It’s got a little sesame seed, a little seaweed and some chili in there, and that’s gonna add to the savoriness that I want from this peanut butter. If I need to at the end, I might even drop in a little bit of water just to help cream it out a little bit. Here we go. Texture looks good. I’m gonna taste to make sure it’s got enough salt in there, it’s got enough spice. Mm, it’s so good. You can literally just eat this by itself. Mm, all right, we’re pretty much down on flavor. I’m gonna add just some water at the end and then we’re pretty much ready to go. And then, with the water you really want to add it just a drop at a time ’cause you just need a little bit to just bring it together. Perfect. All right, and that’s it, got some lovely peanut butter. And the nice thing about this peanut butter is it’s really as not as sweet as the stuff that you buy in jars, and this peanut butter, while you can use it for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, has got so many more savory notes to it, and you can really taste the peanut. All right and there’s your peanut butter.

About the Instructor

James Beard Award winning writer and best-selling cookbook author Edward Lee takes viewers from the farm to his restaurants and home in Louisville, Kentucky and teaches lessons on his beloved dishes including Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce, Oysters and Grits, Cabbage-Steamed Fish, and more.

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