This Thai Cashew Nut Chicken is our favorite one wok chicken dinner! Golden nuggets of chicken tossed in a sweet sauce, and flavored with sweet dried chilies and green onion. Of course, the crunchy golden cashew nuts are where this dish gets its famous name- and boy are they good!
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I worked for years as a head chef in Israels top kosher Thai restaurant- Kapao Thai food.
In Thai, cashew chicken stir fry is called Gai Pad Med Mamuang. The owner of the business, a dear friend of mine, studied authentic Thai cooking in Thailand. He was obsessed with Thai food!! We didn't even have knifes available for diners because - he said- in Thailand you don't eat with a knife. LOL.
We cooked lots of delicious Thai food: Authentic Green Curry , Phad Thai, Spring Rolls and tapioca, but this stir fry was one of the most popular dishes – and possibly my favorite!
What to love about Thai Cashew Nut Chicken:
- The extra sauce to flavour all your rice! The best part!! The sweet sauce for this dish is made of pantry friendly ingredients- more suitable to the home cook, and easy to find.
- This dinner comes together in just 20 minutes.
- Prep ahead- you can make this whole dish and simply re-heat to serve, or prep the vegetables, chicken, and sauce, and cook it fresh the day of.
- You’ll love the authentic Thai flavor!
Thai Stir Fry Sauce
For the easiest Thai Stir Fry Sauce use soy sauce and hoisin sauce/mushroom sauce as the base, and add rice vinegar, brown sugar, and ketchup for sweetness and tang.
Choose between hoisin sauce and mushroom sauce as the base for this recipe. I’ve made it with both and they taste equally delicious!
Buy on amazon (link to hoisin sauce), or check in the asian section at your local grocers.
TIP: Look for Hoisin Sauce, Mushroom Sauce, or Mock Oyster Sauce. If you do not have any of these you can substitute with bottled teriyaki sauce in a pinch.
Traditionally, cashew nut chicken recipes call for tamarind, a tangy condiment very popular in Thai cooking- used also in Pad Thai. Most home cooks I know don’t have this in the house, so to substitute it we use vinegar and ketchup. The flavor is amazing!
Ingredients for Cashew Nut Chicken
To make the most incredible, authentically That tasting cashew nut chicken you will need:
- Chicken Breast or Thigh, thinly sliced
- White Onion, cut into large chunks
- Minced or Crushed Garlic
- Sweet Dried Chili
- Spicy Chilli (optional)
- Roasted Cashews
- Green Onion
How to Make Thai Cashew Nut Chicken
TIP: Prep all the ingredients for your cashew chicken before beginning. Chop the onions, dice the scallions, get out your sauce ingredients- then all you have to do is throw it into the wok!
- Start off by sautéing garlic in your wok, just until fragrant, before adding the chicken.
2. Cook the chicken until slightly crispy, add onions
3. Add our sauce, as well as a couple sweet dried peppers. Don’t worry these aren’t spicy at all, but they add an extra layer of flavor, so don’t skip them. Let the sauce bubble for a minute or two.
4. Add roasted cashews and green onion, and serve hot!
Don't have a wok? Now is the time! I recommend this Lodge Cast Iron Wok on Amazon.
Roast your own Cashews
To roast your own cashews preheat the oven to 350 degrees. place the cashew in a single layer on a baking dish and roast for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Check after 10 minutes to prevent them from burning.
The cashews are added at the end of this stir fry, so they must be pre-roasted for optimal crunch. Buy roasted cashews or do it yourself.
Roast the cashews: There is a popular method of frying cashews before adding them to your wok, but I find that roasting gives the same golden color and crunchy bite, with less oil. You add them at the end, when your stir fry is about to be finished, along with a handful of sliced green onion.
You’ll love how easy this Thai dish is to prepare, how fast it all comes together, and what little clean up there is after!
Need more dinner ideas? Check out our favourites:
I hope you love our Thai Cashew Nut Chicken! We would love to see you on Instagram, where everyone shares their favourite photos- seriously my favourite thing to see!! Enjoy this recipe and happy cooking!
Thai Cashew Nut Chicken (20 minute recipe)
- 3-4 Tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
- 4 chicken breasts cubed (1.5-2 lbs)
- 2 sweet dried chilies
- 1 onion diced into large chunks
- 2 TBS roasted cashews
- 2 TBS green onion chopped, to finish
- 4 TBS soy sauce
- 4 TBS mushroom sauce otherwise called mock oyster sauce
- 3 TBS brown sugar
- 2 TBSP ketchup
- 1 TBSP rice vinegar
- 1 tsp black soy sauce/dark soy sauce
- 4 TBSP water
- Heat a wok and add oil. When hot, add garlic and let cook for 30 seconds.
- Add chicken cubes and cook 3-4 minutes, until cooked through.
- Rip each chilli into three and add all six pieces.
- Add onions and cook for 2 more minutes. You want the onions to retain their shape and a slight crunch so don’t overcook at this step.
- Turn off the heat and add all sauce ingredients directly into the wok.
- Turn heat to high, toss continuously and cook until sauce has thickened just slightly, another 1-2 minutes. Add cashews and green onion, give a final toss, and serve hot with a side of jasmine rice.
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