Sriracha Cocoa Cashews

February 16, 2012
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8 to 12
Author Notes

Looking for a road food snack that'll keep you awake on long trips? This zingy snack will keep you alert! The Thai spice mix paired with the rich cocoa flavor and the crunch of the cashews is a real winner. I cheat a little bit by using pre-made sriracha sauce -- you get all that deliciously nuanced flavor and heat in one handy bottle! You can add a sweet, fruity element, too, with the candied ginger and mangos, but it's fine with just the nuts, too. —vrunka

Test Kitchen Notes

A road trip to visit family presented me with the perfect opportunity to test this interesting recipe. The combination of fresh ginger, lime zest, sriracha, and cocoa is amazing! I took liberty with the "to taste" instruction for sriracha and used about two tablespoons of my homemade sauce based on edamamae2003's recipe ( What can I say? I like it hot! I'd suggest adding the candied ginger (and mango if using) immediately after removing the cashews from the oven so that it incorporates with the nuts and glaze. —ArdorFarm

What You'll Need
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon grated galangal (or ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 4 cups cashew halves
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 cup diced candied ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced dried mangos (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
  2. Beat the egg white and water together until light and frothy.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all but 2 tablespoons of the cocoa, the sugars, galangal, salt, cayenne, and lime zest. Make sure it’s well combined.
  4. Fold the nuts into the egg whites and then add the sugar and spice and sriracha. Combine well.
  5. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet. A silpat will be helpful, but if you don’t have one, use a sheet of parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and add lime juice, then sprinkle with the rest of the cocoa powder. Return to oven just for a couple minutes to dry out a bit. Allow to cool completely (5 to 10 minutes) before serving. If using, toss in the ginger and mango at the end.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SophieL
  • Hilarybee
  • DessertByCandy
  • QueenSashy
  • Kt4
I love experimenting in the kitchen and learning new techniques.

15 Reviews

SophieL July 26, 2016
I would rate this as just ok - the sriracha and cayenne flavors were lost in the cocoa and sugars, more cashews were needed to use up the egg white-spice mixture and the baking time needed to be increased to dry out the nuts. Even so, however, my guests said they enjoyed them. I will try this again with a tad more sriracha, at least a cup more cashews, and I will combine the wet ingredients (sriracha and grated ginger) with the egg whites, then add the nuts and dry ingredients. Also I will use two baking sheets to spread out the nuts (especially since I am increasing the quantity) and increase the baking time. Not giving up on this recipe yet!
JohnL August 29, 2014
Should raw cashews be used in your recipe? I was wondering if that might have something to do with Carolyn's Bloomer's comment.
Carolyn B. May 10, 2014
This is the first food52 recipe of many I've tried that was a total disaster. I halved the recipe but otherwise followed it meticulously and the results were inedible -- very bitter and no redeeming flavors coming through. The candied ginger and mangoes added somewhat of a bright offset to the bitterness, but did not bring it to an acceptable level for serving to company. Haven't a clue as to what went wrong.
vrunka May 11, 2014
how disappointing! so sorry to hear they didn't come out. I don't know what happened, but the only thing I can think of since you said it was bitter is that maybe too much lime pith got in with the zest?
Snafu06 October 14, 2013
I made this for a party and they were snapped up immediately. The whole crowd (a wide variety of picky eaters) loved them. Thanks for posting it.
vrunka October 14, 2013
so glad these turned out well!
meraviglia July 19, 2013
I made these last night and the spicing is delicious! However, there was a lot of spice/cocoa/egg white mixture so I added more nuts to "absorb" some of the extra liquid and then I left them in the oven for even longer than you said and they are still kind of soggy. Any idea on what I did wrong? And anything I can do today to fix them? Do you think I can put them back in the oven to dry out some more? thanks!
vrunka October 14, 2013
sorry I'm only seeing this comment now. I know I'm too late to help with that batch, but in case that happens again, I think you're pretty safe leaving the tray in the oven until the liquid evaporates. Just to be on the safe side maybe go down to 200 degrees.
Hilarybee July 11, 2013
so these are crack. I saw the recipe and made it as soon as I got home. We've already eaten a whole bunch--no mangoes or candied ginger yet. But next time. A keeper, for sure.
vrunka July 11, 2013
So glad you enjoyed them! The fruit is a nice addition, but definitely not required! Thanks for trying out the recipe!
DessertByCandy July 11, 2013
Road trip next weekend! This is so coming with me.
vrunka July 11, 2013
They should be company on the road. Enjoy!
QueenSashy July 4, 2013
I had my eyes on this for a while, cannot wait to try it out!
Kt4 June 21, 2013
Sounds fascinating! Moments like this I wish I could tolerate anything spicey. Good luck!
lapadia February 19, 2012
Love cashews, love chocolate and spice; love this recipe! :)