Give your stir fry night a new twist with this Thai Cashew Chicken. It’s an easy dish that’s bursting with layers of flavor and texture.
Just a little chopping, mix up a sauce, and a quick stir fry is all the effort needed to put this tasty and nutritious dinner on the table.
Sounds like a great weeknight dinner option!
Stir fry dishes are some of our favorite meals. They’re so quick, and so delicious.
This Thai cashew chicken is another great one to add to your recipe collection. It can be a great answer to the age old question, “What’s for Dinner Tonight?”
What Makes This Chicken Stir Fry Thai?
There is a lot of overlap among Asian stir fry dishes. Although some are very specific to one region, others have variations from country to country.
Cashew chicken is one such dish. If you frequent Chinese and Thai restaurants, you’ve surely noticed a dish so named on both menus.
Although many ingredients are common to both cuisines, two of them make this recipe uniquely Thai.
One is red chili peppers, which are a Thai staple. The other is the liberal use of fish sauce, which is not as common of an ingredient in Chinese food.
- Chicken – boneless skinless thighs or breast, cut into bite sized pieces and coated in cornstarch, salt and peppers
- Veggies – onions, bell peppers, scallions
- Garlic – Fresh is best.
- Red chilis – we used dried red chilis this time. If you find some Thai bird eye chilis in your local Asian market, they are a great alternative (use 3-4 of them, roughly chopped).
- Sauce – oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar, water
- Cashews – Roasted.
How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken
First, toss your chicken with cornstarch, salt and pepper. Give it a sauté in a hot wok until just cooked through. Add garlic, give it a good stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Push the chicken mixture to the edges of the wok.
Add diced onions, bell peppers, white portion of scallions, and red chilis. Sauté for a minute or two.
Mix chicken and veggies together, stir in cashews, and cook till veggies start to soften.
Stir in prepared sauce, cook for a couple of minutes.
Add green portion of scallions, and give everything a good stir. Serve over hot rice, or your favorite Asian noodles.
Can This Recipe Be Made With Other Meats?
Certainly. Try it with thinly cut strips of flank steak or pork loin or tenderloin (see our Pork Stir Fry post for tips on how to make stir fried pork very tender).
If you prefer, you can use chicken breast instead of thigh meat. However, rather than cutting it into chunks, we recommend slicing it into very thin strips, against the grain.
We can also see this working very well with shrimp. Give them a quick sear, about 1-2 minutes per side, then remove to a plate when cooking the veggies so they don’t over cook. Add them back in at the end.
Tips and Tricks
- High Heat is Key: Using medium-high heat for your wok ensures that your chicken gets a nice sear and the vegetables stay crisp. It’s essential for that authentic stir-fry texture.
- Pre-Mix the Sauce: Having the sauce mixed and ready before you start cooking is crucial. Stir-fry is a quick process, and you won’t have time to measure ingredients once you start.
- Cut Uniformly: Ensuring your chicken and vegetables are cut into similar-sized pieces allows for even cooking.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Wok: Cook in batches if necessary. Overcrowding will cause the ingredients to steam rather than fry, losing that desired texture.
- Adjust the Heat: Feel free to modify the amount of red chilies to suit your heat preference. The recipe is quite adaptable to different spice levels.
- Serve Immediately: Stir-fries are best enjoyed fresh off the stove, so try to time your cooking so it’s ready just as you’re about to eat.
Storage and Leftovers
You can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Then just re-heat on the stove top over medium heat, or in the microwave.
You can also freeze it for up to 2 months, again in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. Great meal prep option!
Cook this Thai cashew chicken the next time you crave stir fry. Just a few varied ingredients will give your dish all new flavors.
Once you try it, you just may find yourself going the Thai way more often!
Be sure to check our other cracking Asian Recipes on GypsyPlate, and come back again for all the new flavors coming to you. We’re always cooking up new recipes for you, from all over the world. So be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, so you stay in the loop. See you soon!
Thai Cashew Chicken, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Try these other great Asian inspired dishes!
Bun Cha (Vietnamese Pork & Noodles)
Katsudon (Japanese Pork Rice Bowl)
Gado Gado (Indonesian Salad)
Vietnamese Chicken Curry
Giniling (Filipino Picadillo)
Thai Basil Fried Rice
Filipino Pork Adobo
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into bite sized chunks
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion, cut into chunks
- 2 colored bell peppers, cut into chunks
- 4 dried red Thai or Asian chilies, cut into chunks
- 4-5 green onions, cut into 1 inch lengths, white and green parts separated
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce (optional)
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp rice or regular vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and keep it aside.
- Toss chicken pieces with cornstarch, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a wok on medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken and sauté until just cooked through. Add garlic, give it a good stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Push the chicken mixture to the edges of the wok. Add diced onions, bell peppers, white portion of scallions, and red chilis. Sauté for a minute or two. Mix chicken and veggies together, stir in cashews, and cook till veggies start to soften.
- Stir in prepared sauce, cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add green portion of scallions, and give everything a good stir. Serve over hot rice, or your favorite Asian noodles.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 346Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 138mgSodium 1213mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 31g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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