Daily Archives: September 24, 2005

Stir-fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts


I was quite excited recently to see three new food shops that had opened near my house. That kind of thing doesn’t happen that often. I had been watching this row of shophouses being built and then one by one each owner opened a food shop. At the moment there are three in a row. The ones on either side sell noodles. Nothing exciting about that because there are noodle shops everywhere. However, the middle one had a sign saying “gaeng gup khao” meaning curry with rice. I love curries. (You probably know that already.) The food shop opposite where I live sells curries and soup for take-away. It only costs 15 baht each but they are quite often disappointing. The meat is often miniscule or just bony. If I buy there I have to add my own meat.

So, this morning I set off down the road to investigate what curries they had for sale. I wasn’t disappointed. They had a really nice selection. The sign said 20 baht for one dish with rice and 25 baht for two. Very reasonable. I chose a curry and a chicken dish and indicated that I wanted to take it home by saying in Thai “sai toong” ( ใส่ถุง ). This literally means put in a bag. However, many people say “sai haw” ( ใส่ ห่อ )for when they want take-away. This means wrap in banana leaves which they used to do a lot in the olden days. Even though plastic bags and foam boxes are used more often today, people still stick to the old words. Thee two big bags cost me 45 baht baht. More expensive than the other shop, but just take a look at the picture below and you can see I got value for money. Aroy!


The dish I got was called stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts or gai pat met mamuang himmapaan ( ไก่ผัดเม็ดมะม่วงหิมพานต์ ) in Thai. Actually they didn’t have cashew nuts which would have made it a bit more expensive. So they substituted with normal nuts. They also added tomatoes which gave it a kind of sauce and sheen that dry versions don’t usually have.

This dish is quite easy to cook. As usual, I won’t give you the amounts because Thai people don’t usually measure anything. Fry some garlic in a pan until golden brown. Then add the finely sliced chicken and cook until ready. Add the onion, cashew nuts, fried dried chilis and spring onion. Stir well. Season with fish sauce, dark soy sauce and a pinch of salt. Garnish with some coriander and fresh red chili.

This is really delicious. I often order this dish when I go to restaurants to eat with friends.

How Thai are you?

Our guest writer Nal posted a question a while back on what constitute Thainess. Well, the recent Miss Thailand World shananigan brought up the topic again at the Nation:

“Defining this thing called ‘Thainess'”.

Back in the 1996, “Cindy” Sirinya Vinsiri won Miss Thailand World title. She doesn’t look Thai at all. I mean, the girl’s eyes are green…or was it blue…or grey?. Doesn’t matter. They ain’t “black eyes”. But she’s born and raised in Thailand. Obviously she speaks, reads, and writes Thai. Take away her looks and she’s as Thai as, well, yours truly. (May be I’m even less “Thai” that she is with my opinionated big mouth. I don’t know her personally so I can only assume. Hehe.)

But seriously. What is a Thai? The article asks a lot of questions on that and it is indeed a subject to be explored.

I’m considered myself all Thai, but is my being “liberal/progressive” make me an American or less of a Thai? Is a Thai-Australian, raised in Australia, who could barely speaks Thai but won Miss Thailand World pageant Thai enough? Why is Tiger Woods considered Thai to us even though he counts himself more of African-American? Is Thai born and raised who has premarital sex and lives with a boyfriend Thai? Is Wit a Thai since he speaks Thai and loves the country? Could Master Bruce of Fong Naam be considered Thai because he pretty much is one?

A thought provoking Friday read, indeed. Now, back to work for me. 🙂