Candlenuts

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Ingalls Photography

Candlenuts (Aleurites moluccana), known as kemiri in Indonesia, are a common ingredient in Padang cooking. The oil-rich nuts, native to Southeast Asia, are mildly toxic when raw and are never eaten out of hand. Instead, they're finely ground and incorporated into flavoring pastes for cooked dishes like Padang-style chicken curry, to which they lend body, richness, and a subtle nutty flavor. In the U.S., candlenuts are typically sold in seven-ounce bags at Chinese and South Asian markets. Look for shiny, dust-free nuts (older ones have a dry powdery appearance). Tightly wrapped, they can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.