Cashew nuts stir-fry ผัดเม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์ is a popular dish in Thailand and its origins are most likely the Chinese Thai population.

Chicken or seafood usually used in this dish and while the ‘protein’ can be omitted altogether we could replace the meat with other plant based ingredients. Jackfruit or tempeh are two interesting options and firm tofu or mushrooms can be used as well.

To make both jackfruit and tempeh more palatable they should be marinated and absorb the marination flavors. Tempeh has some bitterness that can be toned down by boiling it in water or stock for a few minutes before it is marinated.

Prepare all the ingredients and seasonings in advance as the stir-frying process should be quick to keep the ingredients vibrant. Start with the tempeh or jackfruit and then add first heat resilient ingredients such as onion and cashew and leave the green onions and dried chili to the end. The condiments add some liquid however you would need to moisten the wok with additional stock or water. Add a little at a time as the dish shouldn’t be swimming in gravy. The taste is savory with a little bit of heat from the chilies and subtle sweetness.

Tempeh and cashew nuts stir fry
Ingredients and preparations

Center wok:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Jackfruit or tempeh (I’m using a soybean, barley and rice organic tempeh)
  • Garlic crushed and sliced
  • Yellow onion cut into pieces
  • Coconut or white sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • Tomato puree diluted with a little bit of water
  • Light soy sauce
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Vegetable or mushroom stock
  • Deep fried cashew nuts
  • Dried de-seeded ‘Chee Fah’ chilies
  • Fresh ‘Chee Fah’ chili julienned
  • Green onion cut into pieces
  • Sesame oil
  • Cornflour dissolved in cold water

Marination:

  • Sea salt
  • Sugar
  • White pepper
  • Light soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
Method

1.Cut the jackfruit or tempeh into bite-size pieces, marinate in a small bowl with all the marination ingredients for 20 minutes.

2.In a wok, heat a little bit of vegetable oil (I like to use avocado oil) fry the jackfruit or tempeh on medium to high heat, until they start to turn brown. Add sugar, a pinch of salt, white pepper. Season with light soy sauce, tomato puree and very little dark soy sauce.

3.Quickly add the yellow onion and stir-fry. Add a little bit of stock. Add the cashew nuts and the fresh chili. Stir fry for less than a minute on high heat.

4.Throw in the dry chilies and the green onion and toss very quickly on high heat. Season with sesame oil and stir in the cornflour with a bit of water. Bring to a quick boil while stirring. Turn off the heat and serve.

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