Kai pad med mamuang himaphan (cashew chicken)

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 pounds Chicken, cut into thin slices, and into bite sized pieces.
1 tablespoon Kratiem (garlic), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Prik ki nu daeng (red bird's-eye chilies), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tablespoon Si-ew wan (sweet soy), or Maggi's Seasoning Sauce
2 tablespoons Oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Nam prik pao (chili paste)
1 teaspoon Prikthai (black pepper), freshly cracked
3 tablespoons Nam sup (stock)
2 tablespoons Rice wine
½ cup Cashew nuts
2 tablespoons Mango, shredded
3 tablespoons Ton hom (spring onions/green onions)
3 tablespoons Prik yuet (sweet Thai chilies), or green bell pepper, julienned


Description: There is a little confusion in the name of the dish: mamuang is mango, but in the full formal Thai language mamuang himaphan is a cashew nut; the logic is as follows: himaphan refers to the Brahministic equivalent of the Garden of Eden, and the bean in which the cashew nut grows is similar to a small mango, hence the cashew is the "mango of paradise". However this leads to one of those delightful double recipes, which is a sort of culinary pun, which the Thais seem to be particularly fond of. To add an element of piquancy to the dish you can include a small amount of shredded mango - it is however quite optional if you prefer to leave it out.

The sauce includes honey as a sweetener, again the connotation is of the land of the dawn paradise - but if you prefer you could use sugar (preferably palm sugar), though the sauce won't have quite the same flavor.

Further the sauce is flavored with "sweet soy", which is freely available in Thailand, and is effectively a dark soy to which a little sweetness has been added. However you can easily substitute Maggi's Seasoning Sauce if you cannot find Thai sweet soy. Finally there is the matter of the cashews themselves. You have a variety of strategies available for cooking these: you could simply buy roasted cashew nuts (unsalted of course), or you could prepare your own. Their is no doubt in my mind that the flavor of freshly prepared cashews is far better than any pre-cooked nuts bought in the supermarket.

If you choose to cook them yourself you may simply 'dry fry' them in a wok or skillet over medium heat. This however tends to lead to localized burning and uneven cooking unless you keep them constantly on the move. You could deep fry them (and some people choose to add a few dried red chilies to the oil for flavor), but this in my opinion makes them a little too oily for the balance of the dish. Better then to cook them as indicated below.

Method: First roast the cashews: this is best done in a turbo-oven (a glass or steel container with a hot air heater/fan in the lid that produces very hot dry cooking conditions), at 300 C until golden brown.

In a wok, over medium heat, saute the garlic and prik ki nu, until the garlic is golden and the whole is aromatic, then remove and reserve the chilies and garlic.

Add the chicken and all the ingredients except the cashews, stock and wine to the pan and stir fry until the chicken just begins to cook. Add the stock and continue over low heat until the chicken is cooked, then using a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the sauce and set aside.

Add the rice wine, and reduce the sauce until a slight glaze appears (if necessary add 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder, dissolved in a little tepid water).

Return the chicken, chilies and garlic to the sauce, and add the cashews.

Make sure they are heated through.

Serving & Storage: Serve with steamed white rice.

Tease 2 tablespoons of mango into shreds with the tines of a fork (or julienne finely), cut the whites from ⅘ spring onions, and thinly slice about 3 tablespoons of the green tops. julienne the sweet chilies or bell peppers, and garnish the dish with the mango, onions bulbs and sliced tops, and the chilies.

Serves 4

Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST V3 #207 From: "Col. I.F. Khuntilanont-Philpott" <colonel@...> Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 13:33:12 +0700

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