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How to peel pistachios

How to peel pistachios | Janice Lawandi @ kitchen heals soul

Recipe testing for cookbooks has taught me a few things, and this is one of those things. Before this year, I had no idea that peeling pistachios was an option. I didn’t know how it was done, nor that the method is different for pistachios than it is for hazelnuts (not that I can eat hazelnuts, but I still at least know how to peel those).

how to blanch and peel pistachios | Janice Lawandi @ kitchen heals soul

To remove the skins/peel of hazelnuts, usually you toast them in the oven, then pour them onto a kitchen towel, cover them, and then rub them like mad. The peel rubs right off into the kitchen towel. Pistachio skins tend to be a little clingier, so the method is different.

To peel pistachios and remove their skins, heat a large pot of boiling water and drop them in when the water comes to a rolling boil. Let the pistachios boil for about a minute or so, at which point you will notice the peels lifting off. Strain out  the nuts and drop them into an ice bath immediately to chill them. The goal here is not to boil the pistachios til they are mushy, after all. When the pistachios are thoroughly chilled, the peels should just lift off. This is a slow, tedious task. I suggest you peel them while watching Netflix. You can also rub the blanched pistachios in a kitchen towel to loosen the skins, and then the skins might just rinse off at that point. How you choose to get the peel off in the end is your choice, but the point: to skin a hazelnut, you toast it, but to skin a pistachio, you blanch it.

I let the peeled pistachios air dry on sheets of paper towel, and I use them within a day.

ground pistachios | Janice Lawandi @ kitchen heals soul

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3 Responses to How to peel pistachios

  1. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate July 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    It’s sure easy in theory but I bet it is time consuming. I think for the most part I am ok keeping the skins on! haha

  2. Brazilian May 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Alternative method: grow your fingernails. 😉

  3. Barbara September 19, 2017 at 8:44 am #

    This was extremely helpful – thank you very much!! I was on my last nerve peeling them right out of the shell, and your post was the first thing that came up when I googled. My pistachios turned out exactly the way I wanted them!! Rather than laying them out on paper towels to dry , I lightly toasted the blanched peeled pistachios for a few minutes in the toaster oven to dry them out because I needed to use them right away in biscotti. Thanks!

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