Cashew nuts are commonly used in Thai cuisine, and this fried chicken dish is a very popular use.
- 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 5-mm (¼-in) thick slices
- 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all‑purpose) flour
- 6 dried long red chillies
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic cloves
- 115 g (4 oz/¾ cup) roasted cashew nuts
- 90 g (3 oz/1 cup) button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 tbsp julienned ginger
- 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5-cm (2-in) lengths
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) chicken stock
- 1½ tbsp nam prik pao (see Note)
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
- 1½ tsp caster (superfine) sugar
- steamed jasmine rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Heat the oil in a wok or a deep heavy-based frying pan over medium heat until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 30 seconds – approximately 180°C (350°F). Dredge the chicken in the flour and fry for 5 minutes, until golden all over but only par-cooked. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towel.
- Using the same oil, deep-fry the dried chillies until they crisp up and darken, about 1 minute. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towel.
- Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the oil and return the wok to the heat. Stir-fry the garlic until golden and fragrant, then add the cashew nuts, fried chillies, mushrooms, ginger and spring onion. Stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, pour in the stock to deglaze the pan, then add the remaining ingredients except the rice. Increase the heat to high and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes before adding the chicken and stirring for 15 seconds. Remove from the heat and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
• Nam prik pao, also known as Thai chilli paste, can be purchased at national supermarkets and Thai grocers.
Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99