I recently visited a cashew nut factory and saw their tom-yum flavoured cashew nuts. Their nuts, are the kind made with a coating of cooked flour and flavours with the nut in the center. There's a much better way to make the spicy tangy tom-yum nuts than that, it takes only 3 ingredients and produces a more intense flavoured nut, without the flour coating.
The trick is to use the soup flavouring powder from a pack of Mama Noodles, Tom Yum flavour! This has the dry powdery consistency and the strong concentrated flavour you need to season the nuts.
100 gms Plain Cashew Nuts
1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
1 Packet Mama Tom Yum Instant Noodles
3-4 Kaffir Lime Leaves (optional)
1. Start by dry-frying the cashew nuts to to toast them. You can also put them in an over and toast them that way. Watch them closely, they'll burn easily, a few minutes in a dry pan with the heat low, and they need to be turned regularly. Once they're brown enough, turn off the heat.
2. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan and mix with the nuts so they get a thin even coating of the oil. The oil is needed to stick the powder to the nut.
3. Take the soup sachet from a packet of Mama Tom Yum flavour noodles, and sprinkle some of the powder over the nuts. Turn them, and sprinkly some more. I used 2/3rd of the sachet powder for 100gms nuts, you can use the whole sachet for a stronger flavour if you prefer.
4. Set aside in a bowl and leave to cool.
5. (Optional) Take the kaffir leaves, slice out the central stalk and cut the leaves into bite-sized shreds.
6. Place a little oil in a pan, a cm of oil is enough, turn on the heat and get it medium hot.
7. Drop in the leaves, they take only 10-20 seconds to crisp up and cook. Once cooked remove them from the oil immediately and place them on kitchen paper to drain the oil. It's best to be ready with some tongs or spatula before you put the leaves in the oil, since they don't take long.
8. Mix with the cashew nuts.