Thai Cashew Salad

Thailand is in the top 10 of cashew growers worldwide. Cashews appear in a wide variety of applications, from roasted nuts to purees in sauces. This unusual cashew salad from Thailand makes a nice snack, but can also be served as a side dish or appetizer. Enjoy.

Yum Med Mamuang
Thai Cashew Salad

2 shallots
1 scallion (green onion/spring onion)
1 stalk lemongrass
1 Tbs. coarsely chopped Chinese celery leaves
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium-sized jalapeño
1/2 medium-sized sweet red pepper (want about as much red pepper as jalapeño)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 lb. raw large whole cashews

Dressing:
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar

Slice the shallots thinly. Slice green onion thinly, including 1 inch of the green tops. Thinly slice the tender midsection of the lemongrass. Seed and de-vein the jalapeño and red pepper, and chop finely. Combine all vegetables and herbs in a bowl. Prepare the dressing by stirring together ingredients until sugar is dissolved.

Pour oil into a frying pan (or wok) and heat slowly to 325 degrees (you’ll need a deep-frying thermometer to make sure you don’t get your oil too hot). When the oil is hot, add the cashews and fry, stirring frequently, until light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuts to paper towels to drain. Then, while still warm, add nuts to the bowl of vegetables and herbs, and toss well. Pour over the dressing, and toss again.

Transfer the salad to a serving platter or individual plates and serve. Serves 4–6.

Notes: It’s okay to substitute ordinary celery leaves for Chinese celery leaves.

Raw cashews are generally easiest to find in health food stores or stores that have bulk grocery sections, such as Whole Foods. However, if you can’t easily locate raw cashews, you could just warm roasted, unsalted cashews in a couple of tablespoons of oil—but be careful, because they go from golden to burned pretty quickly. Once they are warmed through, treat as you would the fried cashews.

Copyright ©2010 Cynthia Clampitt

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1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Food, Recipes, Travel

One response to “Thai Cashew Salad

  1. This sounds healthy and tasty. I would like to try this 🙂

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