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Thread: Thai Cashews

  1. #1
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Thai Cashews

    The cashew nut is a popular snack throughout the world, and its rich flavor means that it is often eaten roasted, on its own, lightly salted or sugared, or as ingredient in many Thai dishes.

    Cashew trees grow all over Thailand with the best found in the south. On the tree, they have no resemblance to the final product we all know.


    Picked and ready for processing.


    Thais process on a small scale as below or in large quantity processing factories.


    Peeled and ready for roasting or use in a delicious Thai dish.


    A happy Thai Hill tribe lady roasting cashews roasting on an open fire.


    Finally, one of the most popular Thai dishes.

    " Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts " or in Thai we called " Gai Pad Met Ma-Maung "

    Thai Cashew Chicken is one of many stir fry recipes that came to Thailand via the Chinese. Very popular in Thai restaurants, this famous chicken stir fry recipe is made with lean chicken breast, shiitake mushrooms, plus suey choy, bok choy, or other Chinese greens. Cashew chicken is a simple stir fry recipe that is easy to make, plus healthy and delicious. Enjoy it with Thai jasmine-scented rice or Thai sticky rice (see recipe link below) for a nutritious and satisfying meal. 
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes
    Ingredients:

    •SERVES 4
    •2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces or strips
    •1 cooking onion, sliced
    •4 spring onions, cut into thirds
    •5-8 large leaves suey choy (or other chinese cabbage), cut into square bite-size pieces
    •1/2 cup cashews, dry roasted, unsalted
    •1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced, fresh or dried (if dried, soak in hot water for at least 4 hours beforehand)
    •1-2 red chillies, de-seeded and diced (omit if you like it mild, or if kids are involved)
    •3 cloves garlic
    •marinade: 2 tsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    •1/4 cup chicken broth or white wine (or white cooking wine or sherry)
    •SAUCE:
    •3 Tbsp. white cooking wine
    •1 cup chicken broth
    •2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    •1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
    •1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce
    •1 lemongrass stalk, pale section sliced and minced, OR 2 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
    •2 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian/Chinese food stores)
    •2 heaping Tbsp. brown sugar
    •OTHER:
    •1 Tbsp. arrowroot or cornstarch powder, dissolved in 3 Tbsp. water
    •1-2 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying

    Preparation:1.Place arrowroot or cornstarch powder (dissolved in water and soy sauce) in a medium-size bowl. Add chicken pieces and stir well to combine. Set aside to marinate.
    2.To make the stir-fry sauce, pound or process sliced lemongrass in pestle & morter or a food processor until fine.
    3.Now combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl or large cup, stirring well. Set aside.
    4.In a large wok or frying pan, fry the cooking onion, garlic, and chillies (if using) in oil over medium-high heat (1-2 minutes).
    5.Add the chicken (with the soy sauce marinade) and mushrooms. Continue stir frying until chicken is cooked (2-5 minutes). When the wok or frying pan becomes too dry, add a little of the broth or cooking wine, 1 Tbsp. at a time.
    6.Add the rest of the vegetables and continue stir frying until they soften and turn bright green (about 1 minute).
    7.Finally, add the sauce you made earlier, plus the cashews. Then add the arrowroot or cornstarch powder dissolved in water. Continuing stirring until everything is well combined and the sauce thickens (1-2 more minutes).
    8.Do a taste test for salt and sweetness, adding more sugar if too sour for your taste, or more fish sauce if not salty enough (the sauce should taste tangy and a little sweet).
    9.If you prefer a darker, richer sauce, add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. more dark soy sauce.
    10.Serve with Thai jasmine-scented rice or Thai Sticky Rice Recipe.

    Enjoy!



    More Thai Recipes.

    Thai Food For Newbies
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  2. #2
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    I haven't found a cashew in Thailand yet that doesn't almost break my teeth whilst chomping.
    They are like rocks so what do they do to them to make them so hard ?
    I have a theory that they boil the fat out of them to use elsewhere, maybe i am wrong and i normally am.

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobella
    I have a theory that they boil the fat out of them
    Possible for the package ones destined to be used in cooking. Those are dry and hard. The ones grown locally and roasted retain the oil and to me taste nutty and oily as one would expect.

  4. #4
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    I have to say I didn't know they grew the stuff here, ive kind of assumed that they were imported from india. If I remember rightly the red fruit top bit, is quite edible and that the sap surrounding the cashew nut is unpleasantly corrosive as demonstrated by the photo of the lady de shelling the nuts.... the first thai I have ever seen wearing some kind of hand protection.
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  5. #5
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    Fried up in hot peanut oil, drained and then drained again on paper towels. Add a pinch of salt, some slices green onions, and a bit of diced mild chilli peppers and you have the best snack with beer ever. The wife is making some up tonight.

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    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    theres not enough salt on the fukkers. theyre rock hard too as someone said.

    Now Pistacchios..................

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    If they are grown in Thailand then why are they so very expensive in Big C?

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    ^ Great point buddy

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    There are large plantations of cashews in Isan. In fact the golf course where I play used to have 100s of trees. Some still get in the way!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushwacker
    If they are grown in Thailand then why are they so very expensive in Big C?
    because they want to make money?

    we buy ours in the market, cheap, delicious and not hard

    they are raw, nice to eat like that or you can roast them as AO said

    Norton, you forgot to point out that the nut resides in the strange bulge on top of the fruit, not in the main body

    the cashew fruit is also poisonous, although I seem to remember in Brasil they cooked it somehow - do they eat that in Thailand?
    I have reported your post

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    Get some peanut oil, roast them slowly. At the end ... Roll them in Sea salt.



    fook'n A


    Good stuff!


    If you like Brown nuts, Cook 'em slowly. Burnt ones Suck.

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    so they can use the nut shell part


    The cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a byproduct of processing cashew, is mostly composed of anacardic acids[8] (70%), cardol (18%) and cardanol (5%).[9] These acids have been used effectively against tooth abscesses due to their lethality to a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria.[10] Many parts of the plant are used by the Patamona of Guyana medicinally. The bark is scraped and soaked overnight or boiled as an antidiarrheal;[10] it also yields a gum used in varnish. Seeds are ground into powders used for antivenom for snake bites.[10] The nut oil is used topically as an antifungal and for healing cracked heels.[10]
    and to eat the fruit part, after steaming

    Attached with cashew is the cashew apple, sometimes called the 'false fruit.' The cashew apple is rich in nutrients and contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. It is eaten fresh, cooked in curries, or fermented into vinegar as well as an alcoholic drink. In parts of South America, natives regard the cashew apple as the delicacy, rather than the nut kernel popular elsewhere. Cashew apple is also used to make preserves, chutneys and jams in some countries such as India and Brazil. Cashew apples are not popular, in part because of highly astringent taste. This has been traced to the waxy layer on the skin that causes tongue and throat irritation after eating the cashew apple. In cultures that consume cashew apple, this astringent property of the cashew apple is typically removed by steaming the fruit for five minutes before washing it in cold water; alternatively boiling the fruit in salt water for five minutes or soaking it in gelatin solution reduces the concentration to palatable and acceptable levels.[

  13. #13
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    Other flavors

    I saw a bit on a travel or cooking channel once about a large Thai cashew business. They had about 10 different flavors, and exported of course. I will post a link when I find it, a famous chef went nuts over them. It made my mouth water, I will have to get some now. Pistachios are my favorite too, though. I once ate 5 pounds of them in a day while drinking beer. Not recommended, awful constipation.

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    Carrabow and Aging One got this one spot on. You have to roast them up a bit otherwise the raw ones are hard. Sometimes we add a bit of yellow curry and a touch of sugar to the oil to give them some extra kick as well.

  15. #15
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thailazer
    Carrabow and Aging One got this one spot on.
    You bet. Roast em up. Eat em hot.


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    While not directly relevant to the cashew dish.
    My old lady would never use chicken fillets, no taste. She prefers to cut the meat off the bone, the dog get the rest after cooking.

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    for those on a "thinking man's diet", you can just roast the nuts dry adding as much salt as you like

    you have to keep them moving for a few minutes until browned

    I just ate all the ones my wife had roasted!

    so just the nut and some salt, no need to add oil (or butter as some like)

  18. #18
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    Just like peanuts they are delicious with bbq plantain

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bushwacker
    If they are grown in Thailand then why are they so very expensive in Big C?
    because they want to make money?

    we buy ours in the market, cheap, delicious and not hard

    they are raw, nice to eat like that or you can roast them as AO said

    Norton, you forgot to point out that the nut resides in the strange bulge on top of the fruit, not in the main body

    the cashew fruit is also poisonous, although I seem to remember in Brasil they cooked it somehow - do they eat that in Thailand?
    So what's the price per kilo if you don't mind me asking and can you send some down this way please?
    Eliminator
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  20. #20
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    I just ate all the ones my wife had roasted!
    She does it the way I prefer. No big production. Dry roasted with salt. I often sprinkle a bit of dry chili powder on as well.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan View Post
    While not directly relevant to the cashew dish.
    My old lady would never use chicken fillets, no taste. She prefers to cut the meat off the bone, the dog get the rest after cooking.
    Largely, depends on the chicken - how the fowl is raised/produced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    for those on a "thinking man's diet", you can just roast the nuts dry adding as much salt as you like

    you have to keep them moving for a few minutes until browned

    I just ate all the ones my wife had roasted!

    so just the nut and some salt, no need to add oil (or butter as some like)
    Instead of salted nuts, an alternative would be to create a sugary caramel substance [in the same pan] while the cashews are still hot.

    ARROY!

  23. #23
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    The wife has been serving this recipe up and it is addictive:

    -2 cups of raw cashews.
    -3 tsps of Lime Juice
    -1 tsp of salt
    -1 tsp of yellow curry

    Throw it all in a frying pan and stir fry hot for about 15-20 minutes until the cashews brown well or start to blacken. Let them cool a bit and enjoy.
    Press On Regardless

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    Love hot salted cashews nuts while drinking beer, just finished planting 50 trees today.
    Figure in 3 years or so will have nuts to eat, if no money for beer can drink cashew apply wine. Jim

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    I went to a cashew nut factory in Phuket about 22 years ago.
    Saw how they were processed.
    In the shop they had about 15 different flavours.

    If you want to know why they are expensive...Go and watch the process!


    On the same subject. I once bit into a cashew fruit. What a weird sensation.

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