Tina’s Mexican Peanuts

Tina's Peanuts with BeerI’ve cooked some sumptuous meals in the last 2 weeks, but they have been for other publications and/or they were the recipes of other people. Sadly, therefore, I have left you guys out in the cold. And, in my real life, I have been eating garbage and repeats. By garbage, I mean wonderful fast food indulgences like Smashburger. It has been so long since I could be bothered to eat a “fast food” burger, but this one (86 the special sauce and tomatoes) is pretty great. I like tomatoes, mind you. I just don’t eat them on sandwiches. I know. Silly. But still…

We packed in one more trip for the summer, this time to CO to visit my dad and his wife, Melody. And we were so spoiled that I didn’t cook one thing, save to pass along the easiest appetizer in the world, Tomatoes with Sea Salt and Herbes de Provence. Repeat. You’ve seen that one. Shucks.

My computer hard drive is about 99% full. No more room at the inn. I am on the cusp of hooking up a new computer which might mean I never ever get email again starting tomorrow and I might just have a nervous breakdown. I’m pretty sure the nice folks at Dell, or Pitts, will save the day just in time. I just totally moved one kid room into the room which was our office…which means I have also moved an office. This turned into a re-carpeting project. And if you are going to put new carpet in a room, you HAVE to repaint before the new carpet comes in. Did I mention that my car went kaput on the top of a mountain in New Mexico? And, I just figured out that I need to recode and record every single one of my recipes to whip them into shape for the Google Search Bots. It is called “rich snippets”…don’t ask. Ford starts school TODAY. In other words, I have been a completely bad blogger, and a slightly bonkers mother. And I’ve been eating nothing but peanuts and drinking nothing but coffee. Can you tell I need to cut down on the coffee?

Tina's Peanuts BagsI like peanuts. So, in case your world is as ding-batty as mine, and you don’t mind a little MSG every once in awhile, I’ve got a little trick for you. As you know, a few weeks ago I was in Cuernavaca. My friend Tina arrived a few days behind the rest of us. When she showed up, she had a box of supplies that included sodas, Mexican beer, and 3 bags of nuts. She is sort of a pro at the whole hanging out in Mexico thing. Now that I recall, I sort of wish I was there again right now with a Mexican Coke and the nuts, human and otherwise.

She tossed them together in a bowl and called it good and now it is my new favorite thing. Mix it and set it out. Friends will love it. It might be the perfect football watching food. But if you tell them where you got the ingredients they might think you have lost your ever-lovin’ mind. Why? Well, basically, the less swanky the convenience store, the more likely you will find the right mix. I’ve taken photos of the bags so you can see what I found most recently but the upshot is that you are looking for equal parts chile pepper flavored peanuts, lime flavored peanuts (“limon”) and then these marvelous things called cacajuates japoneses. Cacajuates japoneses, or “Japanese Peanuts” in Spanish, are just roasted peanuts with a crunchy coating made of cornmeal or wheat flour, soy sauce and MSG. And they are slightly sweet. Or something. They are still kind of a mystery to me, actually. But, they are really tasty. The problem I’ve run into, which is not a problem for me but might be a problem for you, is that the cacajuates japoneses I’ve found all have MSG. So if you have a sensitivity read the labels. Blue Diamond actually makes a lime flavored almond that is a pretty great substitute if you want to avoid the MSG. This is what I had to do when I “made” this in CA recently because I’m not sure you are even allowed to possess MSG in California. Believe me, I tried to find the MSG laced cacajuates, but couldn’t. You can play around with the mix, but just stay close to the concept. Mix them. Eat them. Have beer or other cold drinks on hand. This post would look better if I had taken the time to go to a better grocery store that has Mexican snack foods. Cooler packages. But I had to go with what the gittin’ store at the corner had available. And it was dandy, so I sacrificed novel photos for convenience.

Tina's Peanuts SabritasDo you remember when I mentioned…did I mention…that ages ago barkeeps in the Northeast used to set out American caviar in bowls for patrons because it was so salty that they would buy more drinks? That is what these nuts do…albeit in a much much much cheaper fashion. You will need a beverage. Isn’t it just bizarre that caviar was once treated as casually as a bowl of nuts? But anyway…

Thanks, Tina!

Maybe when things settle down in a week or so, I’ll get back with something slightly more…ummm…dinnerish…or healthyish.

Tina's Mexican Peanuts
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: variable
A great mix of simple stuff available at your local convenience store.
  • 1 part chile flavored peanuts
  • 1 part lime flavored peanuts
  • 1 part cacajuate japoneses
  1. Mix and serve.


  1. Anne Mullen says

    We’ve found wasabi-flavored things a big seller this summer, even among the kids. Wasabi peas started it, but wasabi-soy flavored almonds are also yummy. Beware the bottoms of the containers: more wasabi = more kick.

  2. Barbi Norton says

    Kelly – I swear I was just polishing off a bag of Corn Nuts while reading this post – haha! Sometimes we all just need a little “nutty junk” in our life to keep us sane…:-) I’m going to try this “recipe” , the cacajuates japoneses sound especially interesting.


  3. Anne says

    Awe…..I saw that you had Tina’s Mexican Peanuts, and I went to the market below my apartment and bought raw peanuts, which I am sprouting and then will bake low temp150* for a long time to dry out, and then I was planning on making your mix. In The States, I live in New Mexico, and I can easily pick up the bags of the peanuts there, tho I do have an issue with msg, a little won’t kill me. I live in Tibet, where I am now, 8 months of the year. Every four months I come home to see my family, friends, and patients, I am a Dr of Asian Medicines, with a specialty in Tibetan Medicine, aka why I am here. I am more than a tad sad but, such is life. I’ll make up my own spice mixes, and call it a deal. I make different spiced nuts, after doing the salt soaking(sprouting) to release the enzymes that are in nuts,beans, seeds, and then dry them as it makes the nuts highly digestible, and delicious. it is an extra step, a big one, but, worth the effort. a friend turned me on to your site as we bought vanilla beans here(Madagascar) and are making Vanilla from your recipe, I am going to try Vodka,bourbon as well as cognac and see how the flavors change…..and now I’ve joined the ranks. I enjoy reading your recipes and musings. All the best.

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