Candlenut and Its Substitutes

Learn about the candlenut and its substitutes

Candlenut is one of the varieties of nuts that can be found worldwide. We can find lots of spices and herbs for cooking or other uses. This nut is an essential spice for cooking and it can be used for some other purposes. Since they are a common ingredient in so many dishes and are generally delicious when eaten on their own, nuts themselves require no introduction at all. It is a good idea to learn about this spice and its health benefits before using it in a recipe. You need to know more about this spice’s substitute so you can add it when you don’t have this spice.

what is candlenut

Candlenut: What is it?

What is candlenut? In English, Buah Keras is known as candlenuts. They come from the Aleurites Moluccanus flowering tree, which has a large reach and a massive height of about 30 meters (100 feet).

The poinsettia, a plant that many of us associate with Christmas, and the tree are members of the same family. Even though Southeast Asia is often associated with their use, they are not indigenous to the region. Its origin is unknown because it has been used for hundreds or even thousands of years throughout the world, spreading widely with each application.

The majority of people agree that candlenuts are delicious. For others, however, adding them is not an option for some reasons. It is not possible to add nuts because some people dislike their flavor or because people are allergic to them.

Additionally, they are not very common in local shops, and for some people, online shopping is not an option. The bottom line is that substitutes for candlenuts are useful to learn more about, especially if you enjoy Indonesian cuisine a lot. Due to this, you can find candlenut substitute options here.

  1. Nut Macadamia
    In the majority of situations, macadamia nuts are by far the most frequently suggested spice alternative. Because both of these ingredients are members of the same nut family, they are very similar to one another. The primary and most significant similarities between them are their general tastes and appearance. When comparing photos of them, anyone can see that they both appear very similar. The taste, which is similar to candlenuts in that macadamia nuts are relatively mild and delicate, is undoubtedly the essential similarity. Additionally, they both have a creamy texture, which is an improvement. This particular option is typically the easier to locate of the two, so getting it the next time you need this spice substitute shouldn’t be too difficult.
  2. Brazil Almonds
    The next choice we will talk about is Brazil almonds or Brazil nuts. Despite this, Brazil nuts grow in many South American cities and aren’t particularly specific to the region. It makes them widely accessible in numerous nations around the world. The substance can serve as a suitable replacement for candlenuts. There isn’t a whole lot to say about their similarities, other than that they passably resemble each other in taste and texture, making Brazil nuts an excellent replacement.
  3. The Pine Nut
    Pine nuts are still the best choice for people with nut allergies. You can choose to substitute candlenut with this pine nut. Contrary to what their name might imply, many people hold the somewhat true belief that pine nuts aren’t nuts at all. The key is that they taste and feel close enough to candied pecans to avoid completely ruining a recipe while also being safe for most people with nut allergies to consume. Therefore, if you have nut allergies, think about purchasing these instead of the other choices that have been listed here.
  4. Cashews
    Many people are unaware that cashews can be used as candlenut substitutes and are a good alternative. These nuts are by far the most widely available on this list, which is fantastic because it means that anyone should have no trouble obtaining them from a nearby dry food store. Although cashews have a slightly crispier texture, they are similar enough to be substituted. They are also very creamy, perhaps a little too creamy than candlenuts. Because the extra creaminess can sometimes be detrimental, you should probably adjust the cashew to this spice ratio depending on what exactly you’re cooking and how much you’re preparing.

What flavor do candlenuts have?

What does candlenut taste like? They have a somewhat creamy appearance and a flavor that is milder and nuttier than almonds. Their flavor is more akin to macadamia nuts. When eaten raw, they do have a mildly bitter aftertaste, but you shouldn’t do so because of their low toxicity.

candlenut fun fact

Other Names for Candlenut

The kukui nut, which is slightly toxic when raw, is used for a variety of things besides food. This nut has different names in several countries. You may find a similar spice but it has a different name. These are merely a few.

  • Malay for “Buah Keras”
  • Indonesian for “Buah Kemiri”
  • Lumbang, a Philippine city
  • Hawaii’s Kukui Nut
  • Sabah’s Godou
  • Nothing from India
  • Brazilian saffron

Candlenut Applications

What is candlenut used for? There are some uses for this spice. This spice is not only used for cooking, but for non-cooking uses as well. You can continue reading this article to find more information about this nut’s uses.

  • Enhance the Flavor. All kinds of dishes are given a rich flavor by adding Buah Keras or Buah Kemiri.
  • Give Hawaiian cooking a smokier flavor. The kukui nut has traveled far over the years, as evidenced by the fact that it is a key component of the Hawaiian seasoning INAMONA. After being roasted, the candlenuts are crushed, adding salt and perhaps some black pepper or chili to give them an earthier, smoky flavor.
  • The kukui nut’s oil is also used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic fields. It has a lot of fatty acids, which makes it very moisturizing.
  • One contentious application for it might be in weight-loss products. Numerous supplements are promoting the use of candlenuts. Naturally, many health professionals advise against overusing it due to its toxicity.
  • Kukui nuts were lit and used as torches in prehistoric Hawaii.
  • In several regions of the world, including Sabah in East Malaysia, they are also utilized in tattoo inks.

Choosing and Storing Candlenuts

Like all nuts and seeds, they have a high-fat content, which makes them susceptible to rancidity. Buah Keras, however, have a very, very long shelf life if stored properly, in my experience. You can store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark location, such as your spice cabinet.

This spice is an essential spice for cooking and some other uses. Even if it is essential, you can substitute this spice with some recommendations listed above. After you know how to use this spice and its substitute, you can buy candlenut for your needs.


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