This has always been one of my favourite Thai recipes. I adore cashews and the combination of flavours of hot, salty,sweet, and sour are perfection in this easy to make , but time consumig recipe.
It is said the very finest cashews in the world are grown in Thailand, mainly on the island of Phuket. They are wonderful and addictive, but I am not sure they are any better than those gorgeous giat cashews grown in Kerela, South India. It would be a difficult chpice to make.
Mamuang himaphan means cashew nut but there is an interesting translation. Himaphan's original meaning refers to the Garden of Eden, and the cashew nut looks like a small mango. The resulting pun can mean "mango of paradise", suggesting culinary heaven.
Gai Pad Med Mamuang Himaphan
1 pound thinly sliced chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
2 tablespoons Golden Mountain Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of rice wine
4 shallots thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup fresh water chestnuts, boiled and peeled*
4 ounces cashew nuts
5-20 dry red Thai chiles - to your taste
1/2 cup sweet red peppers, cut into 1/2" dice
10 crushed black peppercorns
splash of soy sauce
1 pinch salt
3 spring onions
2 tablespoons Thai oyster sauce
1 teaspoon date palm sugar
a few coriander leaves
Stirfry the cashews in hot wok for a few minutes, keep them moving to prevent burning, until they are toasted but not burnt.
Fry the dry red chiles, in a very small amount of peanut oil.
Chop up the garlic, the fried dried chiles, the red sweet pepper and the spring onion.
Crush the peppercorns.
Fry the chicken for a couple of minutes, add the garlic and the crushed peppercorns and continue frying until the chicken and garlic have taken on a golden brown color.
Stir in the soy sauce, the oyster sauce, sugar and salt and stir for two more minutes.
Add the remaining chopped chiles, spring onion and the cashew nuts and stir for another minute.
Variation: I love this served on steamed fresh spinach!
*Canned water chestnuts can be used if fresh aren't available, but the flavour of the sweet fresh water chestnuts is amazing.