Hahaha. I couldn’t resist that title for the post. We were in Palawan recently and we visited our “suki” cashew nut manufacturer/wholesaler/retailer and managed to convince them to sell us a kilo of freshly shelled, not even sun-dried, and certainly not dry-roasted or deep fried cashew nuts. While we also love their adobo and garlic roasted cashew nuts, I wanted an unflavored nut to play with in the kitchen. At PHP500-600 a kilo, these are pricier than say imported cashews from Vietnam or India, but they are proudly locally grown, totally organic, hand-collected and possess a wonderful naturally sweet flavor.
Back in Manila, I turned the oven on to say 350-375F and spread the nuts on a baking pan and put them in the oven for say 5-10 minutes before tossing and turning the nuts around. You MUST keep an eye on them as they can burn easily. Once the edges are slightly golden brown and an amazing aroma is escaping from your oven, remove the nuts and immediately remove them from the hot pan onto another pan or plate to cool. Simple as that. We didn’t bother to add salt or any other flavorings.
Once the nuts cooled, they became nice and crisp and possessed a clean flavor, with a hint of sweetness. Place them in an airtight container and leave them on your kitchen counter in plain sight. You will be tempted to have a few every single time you enter your kitchen. Totally addictive, fairly healthy and brilliant in their unadorned form. A kilo’s worth rarely lasts more than two weeks in our household. Use them in cookies, sans rivals and other desserts or even in savory dishes like Chinese stir-fries with cashews… So the next time you are visiting a province with nuts… cashews, peanuts or pili nuts… bring some home to roast on your own.
P.S. Depending on which mall you might buy these retail, roasted/flavored cashew nuts can range from about PHP700-1,200 per kilo. The cheaper ones tend to be imported and bulk-purchased and were likely cooked months ago… while some of the premium ones like whole cashews from American brands (that source them in India) are HEAVILY processed and nearly immersed in salt and probably lots of other preservatives for them to maintain a lengthy shelf life.