04 Apr2011

Roast Your Own Nuts…

by Marketman

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.



  1. Jeff says:

    wow! sarap!

    Apr 4, 2011 | 1:38 pm


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  3. millet says:

    one of my favoritest foods of all! i can graze through a kilo in two days (without anyone noticing it) when they’re this fresh!

    Apr 4, 2011 | 1:42 pm

  4. Carole Frenche says:

    Apr 4, 2011 | 1:54 pm

  5. jake says:

    i am from the province, i remember, picking, sun-drying, and roasting our own cashew nuts.
    we also have cocoa trees. my grandmother would make hot chocolate she’ll put the the pan roasted cashew with cocoa that were also hand-picked, sun dried and pan roasted, and grind it using a hand mill. it’s the best hot chocolate, the texture is so rustic and you can feel the love that went through the process… i miss home… i miss lola…

    Apr 4, 2011 | 1:58 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    jake, food memories are pretty intense, aren’t they? Carole, that was too funny, of course I had to click on the link. millet, kasoy is definitely up there on my list of nuts…

    Apr 4, 2011 | 2:00 pm

  7. Doddie from Korea says:

    MM, I just sent a kilo of cashew nuts to my Dad. The korean ones are super big (in size) and just as sweet. Problem is, my Dad is now hoarding them and refusing to share with his siblings. LOL

    Apr 4, 2011 | 4:56 pm

  8. Footloose says:

    If you have lots of broken bits of this fresh cashew nuts and have the perverse patience not to pop them into your mouth as is, you can make nougatine. Caramelized sugar, butter and chopped cashew nuts. The still hot mixture is turned into a marble slab, spread, flattened and cut into batonettes which are then wrapped in cellophane. The best parts, the scraps and misformed batonettes are eaten right away or smashed to garnish ice-cream or ground finer into a paste that puts Nutella to shame.

    Btw, if you find yourself around the Columbus Circle area of NYC, Nougatine, a Jean-George restaurant serves a really good value prix fixe lunch.

    Apr 4, 2011 | 5:15 pm

  9. marilen says:

    He, he – my first chuckle this morning ”roast your own nuts’

    Apr 4, 2011 | 8:14 pm

  10. Gerry says:

    I recently had some fried cashews and the frying removed all the flavor. I felt like I was eating peanuts. The whole cashews in the Ben Thanh Market in Saigon was quite good. The cost for a kilo 2 years ago was around P400.

    Apr 4, 2011 | 8:17 pm

  11. Miguel A. says:

    Tinatawag din namin yan na balubad.

    Noon bata pa ako ay pinagbabawalan kami ng matatanda sa pag-ihaw ng buto ng kasuy dahil magkakabulutong daw ang mga alagang manok. Now I wonder if that has any scientific basis.

    Apr 4, 2011 | 9:12 pm

  12. atbnorge says:

    @Miguel A, nagkakabulutong ang mga manok kahit hindi panahon ng ihawan ng kasoy, hahaha. Yeah, one wonders :))

    The lovely smell is wafting up to here, MM. Wonderful post.

    Apr 4, 2011 | 9:49 pm

  13. millet says:

    there was a store i frequented in the SFO area that sold cashew butter (like peanut butter)…it was too, too much goodness! come to think of it, i never got to try it with bread..it always went as far as the spoon lang, and down my gullet.

    Apr 4, 2011 | 10:37 pm

  14. monique ignacio says:

    Casuy from Palawan are divine! Have you ever tried them when making pesto? Now this bowl must be from Jon Pettyjohn. It sure looks like his signature ash glaze…

    Apr 4, 2011 | 10:53 pm

  15. jdawgg says:

    As a child growing up in the islands, I remember my uncle use to just burn the shell until fire went out, as soon as it cooled off just crack’em open with something hard and voila freshly roasted cashew nut. One thing to remind you folks, is avoid roasting the cashew around poultry otherwise get ready to make tinola, fried chicken or inihaw. Marketman, have you tried using the ripe cashew fruit as a souring agent for “siningang na bangus” or any other fish? It gives it a tangy, sort of sweet and the aroma. It really makes good tasting flavor when added to sinigang.

    Apr 4, 2011 | 11:47 pm

  16. jack says:

    sarap naman!

    Apr 5, 2011 | 2:53 am

  17. Marketman says:

    jdawgg et al, the roasting of the shell burns off a particular kind of acid, which is probably where the old wives tale? comes from about chickens and warts… but I am not sure if it is really true. Other than inhaling of the fumes causes their demise, just as it would for humans if you inhaled enough of the fumes… I haven’t tried the fruit in a sinigang, that would be quite interesting. monique, more on the ceramic bowls in a few days… millet, cashew butter, next post. Footloose, I am tempted to make the nougatine for breakfast!

    Apr 5, 2011 | 7:00 am

  18. jigs says:

    Your title cracked me up!

    Apr 5, 2011 | 10:12 am

  19. chinachix says:

    roasted cashews are my favorite pabili/pasalubong. Even at PhP 500-600/kilo, this is still cheaper than when I shell out $2 for a 100g packet at the local asian grocery when I really really get the craving for it.

    I’ve always had it plain though; should be interesting to try adobo and garlic flavors.

    Apr 5, 2011 | 12:13 pm

  20. tonceq says:

    YUM! my love for nuts knows no bounds! I enjoy evey variety whether it be hard, soft, dark or lightly colored! A kilo wouldn’t even last that long! Oh, and I mean that in a literal sense! :)

    Apr 6, 2011 | 4:05 am


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