Transform your kitchen into a Thai haven in just 20 minutes! Our quick and delicious Thai Cashew Chicken is made from juicy chicken, fresh onions, zesty chilies, and crunchy cashews. Definitely, an unforgettable stir-fry.
Craving a quick and tasty dinner fix? This Thai Cashew Chicken brings together succulent chicken, aromatic garlic, and a generous handful of toasted cashews. It’s a flavor-packed adventure that hits all the right notes – a bit of heat, a touch of sweetness, and that satisfying crunch of cashews in every bite.
My true love affair with Thai food blossomed after going to a Thai restaurant, and I impulsively ordered the Thai Chicken with Cashew Nuts. Suffice it to say, it is the single most delicious dish on the planet. But now, I’m excited to recreate this delectable meal in my kitchen! I’ll be pairing it with a cool Thai Iced Tea for a perfect homemade Thai dining experience.
Table of Contents
Reasons to Love This Chicken
- This Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry offers a unique blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors, captivating your taste buds.
- Ready in 20 minutes, this dish is perfect for busy days when you crave a delicious homemade meal.
- This meal is great for leftovers as it tastes even better the next day as flavors meld.
- It brings the essence of Thai cuisine to your home.
- Chicken Breast: The primary protein of the dish and provides the base for all other flavors.
- Roasted Cashew Nuts: A key ingredient that adds crunch and a nutty flavor.
- Garlic: Essential for its aromatic qualities that add depth and a savory kick.
- Yellow Onion: Offers sweetness and texture.
- Dried Red Chilies: Contribute a spicy element crucial for the dish’s signature heat and flavor.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Green Bell Pepper for Green Onion: Adds crunch and a mild, sweet flavor while maintaining the dish’s color and vibrancy.
- Tofu for Chicken: For a vegetarian twist, firm tofu can replace chicken, absorbing the flavors well.
- Lighter Sauce: For a twist on the traditional recipe, try using oyster sauce for a lighter yet umami-rich sauce. Its savory depth complements the chicken and cashews.
- Maple Syrup for Brown Sugar: Maple syrup provides a unique, sweet flavor as an alternative to brown sugar.
How to Make Thai Cashew Chicken
Step #1: Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Step #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 all the cashew nuts. Fry the cashews until they turn light brown, just a few minutes.
Step #3: Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and set them on a paper towel to rest.
Step #4: 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.
Step #5: Add the chicken and continue to stir-fry until the chicken turns opaque and is cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
Step #6: Return the cashews to the pan and toss them around the pan to distribute them.
Step #7: Add the sauce to the wok and toss all the ingredients to coat them well.
Step #8: Turn off the heat and add the chopped scallions.
Step #9: Lastly, serve immediately with a side of jasmine rice.
- Lime Lift: Squeeze fresh lime juice just before serving to brighten the flavors, adding a citrusy zing that elevates your Thai Chicken Cashew to culinary perfection.
- Chicken Preparation: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces for uniform cooking and flavor absorption.
- Use a Wok: If available, use a wok for authentic stir-fry cooking and better heat distribution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Chicken thighs are a flavorful alternative to breast meat. They are juicier and richer in taste, though slightly higher in fat. You can use it in the same quantity as breast meat.
Chicken pieces should be cooked until they’re no longer pink inside and the juices run clear. Use a meat thermometer to check; the internal temperature should reach 165°F (75°C).
For a thicker sauce, mix a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and stir it into the sauce. Heat until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
Yes. Raw cashews work best.
For a tender chicken, marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce and cornstarch for about 15 minutes before cooking. It can help tenderize the meat and enhance its flavor.
To store Thai Chicken Cashew, place it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. While freezing is possible, it may affect the texture of the vegetables and nuts. For reheating, gently warm it in a microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of water if it seems dry.
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.
Thai Cashew Chicken Recipe
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 chillies - 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
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- 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 all the cashew nuts. Fry the cashews until they turn light brown, just a few minutes.
- Remove the cashews from the oil with a slotted spoon and set them on a paper towel to rest.
- Add the garlic, onion, and dried red chilies to the oil in the wok. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until you can start to smell the spicy aroma of the chilies.
- Add the chicken into the wok 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 them around the pan to distribute them.
- Add the sauce to the wok and toss all the ingredients to coat them well.
- Turn off the heat and add the chopped scallions.
- Serve immediately with a side of jasmine rice.