Have you ever been to El Nido in the Philippines? If you have not, we recommend that you add visiting El Nido in your bucket list. If you have, then you likely share the same love for it that we do. We were totally blown away by the beauty El Nido has to offer. But travelling to El Nido from Puerto Princessa was no easy feat. We had to travel, by van, for 6 hours before reaching El Nido. The drive was not hard or dangerous, it was just long. Very long. What helped make time go by faster to and from El Nido was the scenery. You see stretch and stretch of rice paddies, dense greenery and happy, carefree village children playing on the side of the road. On our way back from El Nido, we decided to stop at a cashew farm and we are embarrassed to admit this, but we didn’t know cashew nut grows on trees. Cashew nut is actually seed of cashew apple and both seed and fruit are edible. You can eat the fruit portion or cashew apple when its ripe and it’s sweet and juicy. But because the fruit’s skin is fragile, it’s hard to transport it and maybe that’s why most of us are just familiar with the nut or seed part. We love cashews because cashews make a great snack and you can easily thrown in a handful of cashews in stir fries or fried rice. If you’re vegan, cashews are your friend because we heard you can use cashews to make “cheese” too!
A classic Thai dish we like is cashew nut chicken and we think this dish is a crowd pleaser. We learned to make an authentic version from Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School in Chiang Mai and we loved their recipe so much we decided to make add it to our tried and true recipe box! Even if you’re not a Thai food lover or if you’re a Thai food novice, it’s hard not to like this dish because this dish definitely has Thai flavours, but they’re not aggressive and all the flavours balance each other out. The addition of oyster sauce, a pinch of sugar and stock along with fish sauce and chili paste make for great sauce that goes perfectly well with steamed rice! So if you’re new to Thai food, we recommend trying this dish out first.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try to make cashew nut chicken at home, here’s the quick and easy recipe for you:
- 1 tablespoon of soybean or vegetable oil
- 6 whole small dried or smoked red chilies
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 bell pepper – capsicum cut into bite size pieces
- ½ medium onion cut into bite size pieces
- 1 ½ cups of lean chicken breast meat, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of roasted chili paste
- 3 tablespoons of water or chicken stock
- ½ cup unsalted roasted cashew nuts
- 2 green onion stalks cut into bite size pieces
- Place oil in wok
- Stir fry garlic in the remaining oil until golden brown.
- Add chicken slices, oyster and fish sauces, roasted chili paste and stir fry until chicken is golden brown.
- Lower heat and add water or stock and cook another few minutes.
- When chicken is cooked add cashews, bell pepper, onion, whole chilies and stir.
- Remove and serve with white rice.
If only my cooking prep looks like this all the time! Don’t you just love how everything is so organized ? My obsessive compulsive self was very happy !
Nothing like a hot, hot wok to stir fry your veggies and meat in.
We really liked this brand of chili paste and made sure we brought some home from Thailand.
What’s your favorite Thai dish? Let us know because sharing is caring!