Peanut oil is a type of vegetable oil that is produced from the seeds (the edible nuts) of the peanut. Also known as ‘Arachis’ or ‘groundnut’ oil, it is very popular and is commonly used in diverse worldwide cuisine mainly because it’s a neutral option that works well in most recipes. In particular, peanut oil is a South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Chinese cuisines staple. As such, it is a fantastic ingredient for any Asian-inspired dish as well as stir-fries. Peanut oil is very versatile. It can be used in many other forms of cooking, including sautéing and baking, but especially in frying (and deep-frying) thanks to its tolerance for high temperatures (a high smoke point of around 450° Fahrenheit that prevents it from quick burning). When used for frying, peanut oil does not absorb flavors from the ingredients fried in it; instead, it lets the food sear in its natural juices. So, when cooking many different ingredients, peanut oil is the go-to option since it will ensure that each ingredient maintains its own unique flavor. Although known as a neutral-flavored oil, peanut oil offers a mild and sweet nutty flavor, depending on its processing and the variety used. Some of these varieties include Cold-pressed peanut oil (Known as virgin peanut oil. Very light in flavor), Gourmet peanut oil (which has a deep and intense flavor. Great for dishes in need of a nutty flavor such as stir-fries and Refined peanut oil (Mild in flavor) is the kind used by restaurants for frying chicken and French fries. An additional perk of peanut oil is that it includes the health benefits of peanuts, making it an antioxidant that is packed with vitamin E.
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