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LOCATION: Recipes >> Asian >> Kai Pad Med Mamuang Himaphan (Cashew Chicken)

Print this Recipe    Kai Pad Med Mamuang Himaphan (Cashew Chicken)

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 precooked 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 to cook them as indicated
below.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken, cut into thin slices, then 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
1/2 cup cashew nuts

Garnish:

2 tablespoons mango, shredded
3 tablespoons ton hom (spring onions/green onions)
3 tablespoons prik yuet (sweet Thai chilies) or green bell pepper, julienned

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 4/5 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, sliced tops,
and the chilies.

Serves 4

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