Thai Cashew Chicken

This Thai Cashew Chicken recipe is an easy stir-fry recipe that is so flavorful! This Thai cashew chicken stir fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

Thai Chicken with Cashews is my very, very, very favorite dish of all time.

This Thai Cashew Chicken recipe is an easy stir-fry recipe that is so flavorful! This cashew chicken stir-fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

Whenever someone asks me what my last meal would be, I don’t even hesitate. Thai Cashew Chicken, every single time. Add a cold glass of Thai Iced Tea and I’m in absolute heaven.

When I was going to university, a good friend kept telling me about this Thai restaurant he was going to and I kept turning my nose up at it. I’d never had Thai food, and I was not really that interested in trying it.

He finally convinced me to go one time when I was really, really hungry and would have eaten anything, and I’m SO glad he did. My life was forever changed!

This Thai Chicken recipe is an easy stir-fry recipe that is so flavorful! This cashew chicken stir-fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

Being a first-timer, my friend had me order Pad Thai (which I also adore), but my real love affair with Thai food happened during a visit home with another friend.

We went to this Thai restaurant and I ordered the Thai Chicken with Cashew Nuts on a whim.

Suffice it to say that it is the single most delicious dish on the planet.

Sadly, that restaurant is now CLOSED. I know you can’t see me right now, but I’m making a really pathetic sad face.

And now I’m making a happy face because I remembered that I can make this deliciousness at home! Yay!

This Thai Chicken with Cashew recipe is an easy stir-fry recipe that is so flavorful! This chicken cashew stir-fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

Just look at it! It’s glistening. It wants to be consumed.

Don’t be afraid of the dried red peppers – they just add a bit of heat to the sauce then serve as a garnish. I’ve taken an adventurous nibble of the peppers from time to time, but I’d caution you to just let them be pretty on your plate and not eat them.

The other kind of “strange” ingredients you need would be Fish Sauce and Sweet Dark Soy Sauce.

You can buy these in any Asian grocery mart, and I can sometimes find it in large supermarkets on the Asian foods aisle. 

Here’s a link to the brand of Sweet Dark Soy Sauce I use and here’s the fish sauce I buy on the regular.

This Thai Chicken and Cashew Nuts recipe is an easy stir-fry recipe that is so flavorful! This cashew chicken Thai stir-fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

You might notice the fork and spoon shown in the pictures. The lovely Nicole over at The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie emailed me recently asking about my experiences in Thailand.

One of the things I shared with her was that Thais never eat directly off of a fork because it is considered “crude” (like eating steak directly off of a knife here in the States).

Instead, they hold the fork in their left hand and use it to scoop food onto the spoon held in the right hand, then eat directly off of the spoon.

I like to eat Thai food this way at home because it makes me feel special.

If you’re looking for something delicious to go with this stir-fry, I’d highly recommend a cool, refreshing Thai Cucumber & Cashew Salad. It goes so, so well with this one!

One last piece of advice before I hand this cashew nut chicken recipe over to you: when I say “Stir-Fry”, I mean “stir, THEN fry.”

The purpose of stir-frying is to let the ingredients fry and get a lovely brown color before you stir it to keep it from burning. Let the food fry for about 30 seconds at a time before stirring it, and make sure you are using medium-high heat.

If you stir it too much, or fry it over too low of a heat, this Thai cashew nut chicken recipe won’t turn out right. The chicken will poach from the steam and be white rather than brown.

Nobody likes white, poached chicken.

I use this wok whenever I cook stir-fry. If you don’t have a wok, just use the biggest sauté pan you have.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

Here is the easy way to make this Thai Cashew Chicken recipe.

Assemble the ingredients. Please note that the exact amounts for each ingredient are listed in the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken - Thai Cashew Chicken Ingredients

First, we will make the sauce. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot enough to produce a sizzle when a drop of water hits it, add in all of the cashew nuts. Fry the cashews until they turn light brown, just a few minutes.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and set them on a paper towel to rest.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

Add the garlic, onion, and dried red chilies to the oil. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until you can start to smell the spicy aroma of the chilies.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

Add in the chicken and continue to stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque and is cooked through (about 4-5 minutes).

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

Return the cashews to the pan and toss to distribute around the pan.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken
Add the sauce to the wok and toss all of the ingredients to coat them well.

How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken

Turn off the heat and add in the chopped scallions.

This chicken cashew nut stir fry recipe is an easy recipe that is so flavorful! This cashew chicken stir-fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

Serve this Thai chicken cashew stir fry immediately with a side of jasmine rice.

This Thai chicken cashew stir fry recipe is an easy recipe that is so flavorful! This cashew chicken stir-fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

Okay, you’ve paid your dues by reading through all of this so I will reward you with the Thai chicken stir fry recipe. Stay hungry, my friends.

This Thai Chicken Cashew recipe is an easy stir-fry recipe that is so flavorful! This cashew chicken stir-fry combines chicken, yellow onion, green onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and toasted cashews for a delicious meal that is ready in 20 minutes.

If you love Thai food and Thai cooking as much as I do, then check out my post on 10 Kitchen Essentials for Thai Home Cooking.

I’d love for you to keep in touch! You can enter your email address below to get new recipes sent to you. Join me on Facebook and Pinterest!!

Here’s the Recipe!

Thai Cashew Chicken

Thai Cashew Chicken

This Thai Cashew Chicken recipe is an easy stir-fry that is so flavorful, combining chicken, onion, dried red chilies, garlic, and cashews.

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Stir-Fry

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 finger-length dried red chilies (such as chile de arbol), seeded and cut into halves
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin pieces (about one large chicken breast - hold your knife at an angle and slice against the grain to get the thinnest pieces possible)
  • 1 green onion, cut into 1” lengths

Instructions

  1. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot enough to produce a sizzle when a drop of water hits it, add in all of the cashew nuts. Fry the cashews until they turn light brown, just a few minutes. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and set them on a paper towel to rest.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, and dried red chilies to the oil. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until you can start to smell the spicy aroma of the chilies. Add in the chicken and continue to stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque and is cooked through (about 4-5 minutes). Return the cashews to the pan and toss to distribute around the pan.
  4. Add the sauce to the wok and toss all of the ingredients to coat them well. Turn off the heat and add in the chopped scallions. Serve immediately with a side of jasmine rice.

Nutrition

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 153|Total Fat: 6g|Saturated Fat: 1g|Trans Fat: 0g|Unsaturated Fat: 4g|Cholesterol: 48mg|Sodium: 694mg|Carbohydrates: 6g|Fiber: 1g|Sugar: 4g|Protein: 19g|

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

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Did you make this recipe?

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November 8, 2013 | Last Updated on June 17, 2021 by Linda

82 thoughts on “Thai Cashew Chicken”

  1. We made this the other day. It tastes great, but the portions are teeny tiny. Your recipe says yields 4, so we doubled it for our family of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids ages 11, 9, 4, and 1) and it was barley enough to feed everyone. We’ll definitely be making it again but we’ll quadruple it this time

    Reply
  2. This was AMAZING! I’ve already made it twice this month. I had to buy the dried chilies from Amazon, but it was well worth it! What great flavor. I subbed coconut aminos for the dark soy and agave nectar for the brown sugar (that’s what I had on hand)…and my whole family loved it!
    The first time I made it I doubled the recipe and the second time I quadrupled the recipe so we wouldn’t have to fight over the leftovers. 😀
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Hi Angela,

      Thanks for sharing your changes and your way to keep from fighting over the leftovers! 🙂

      – Linda

      Reply
  3. Chicken added with cashew does gave me a great taste that I can’t still forget. Such a vital recipe for homemaker like me

    Reply
  4. This was delicious! I doubled the sauce recipe, added a little Thai chili paste, and added 2 Tbsp of oyster sauce. Perfection!!! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  5. This recipe was delicious and even my picky husband loved it ! He said it tasted very much like tje cashew chicken we order at our favourite restaurant. (That was a big compliment to this dish!)

    Reply
  6. Hi!! I just needed to say thank you so much for such an easy cashew chicken recipe!! I fell inlove with this dish when I was in Thailand and haven’t been able to recreate it very well. This recipe was BOMB! I made it vegetarian though since I have recently began eating a more whole-foods, plant based diet.

    So for anyone out there wondering if this would taste good vegetarian, it is super delicious!! I used soyganic smoked sriracha tofu blocks and ended up doubling(almost tripling) the sauce recipe since I added a bunch of extra veggies. My boyfriend definitely approved— although he wasn’t a fan of the coconut ice cream I served him for dessert! Lol. You win some, you lose some.

    I am so glad I came across your recipe– it was so simple to make and had such amazing flavor. Thank you! I think this is going to be a regular meal in our house.

    Reply
  7. Hi, thank you for the recipe – I keep getting this at the local Thai restaurant but wanted to make it at home! Some people have mentioned that it is a close recipe – our local restaurant has one of the ingredients in their menu description: “Stir fried vegetables with crunchy cashew nuts and soya oil chilli paste” – perhaps that might be the missing ingredient to try??
    Also want to recommend Vietnamese dishes to all Thai food lovers – a lot of their dishes have the similar intense flavour profiles with a fish sauce base, but with added freshness from adding herbs and lemons. Here is one dish I love – Bun Cha (grilled pork and noodles)

    Reply
    • Hi again: update – I made the dish, and following some of the comments, I doubled all the sauce ingredients, which flavoured the rice amply. I think I could even triple it for sauce lovers lol. Anyway, I found the soya oil chilli paste I mentioned earlier – a thai product (not the chinese ones) sold in a jar at the local asian grocers, and tried using it in place of the sweet soy sauce – and it tasted the same as my local Thai restaurant! The paste itself practically tastes like this dish(and which, according to the packet you can use for lots of recipes; even spreading on toast lol)! I’ve been spending so much money buying their grilled pork-belly version of this, now I can make it at home anytime I want! The cashews were delicious cooked that way; I sliced up some pork belly, and added sliced carrots and broccoli as I didn’t have water chestnuts (which I would like to try!). Thanks againx

      Reply

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