Thai Cashew Chicken


Thai Cashew Chicken is a staple in Thai cuisine that is beloved for its rich and complex flavors. This dish features tender, succulent chicken pieces stir-fried with crunchy cashews, vibrant bell peppers, and aromatic garlic, all coated in a luscious sauce made from soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and hoisin sauce. The combination of these ingredients creates a harmony of sweet, salty, and slightly spicy notes that tantalize the taste buds.

One of the key components of Thai Cashew Chicken is the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. The freshness of the vegetables, the crispiness of the cashews, and the robust flavors of the sauces all contribute to making this dish a culinary delight. The inclusion of ingredients like garlic, ginger, and chili adds depth and warmth, making it a perfect comfort food that is both satisfying and nutritious.

In Thai culture, meals are often shared, and dishes like Thai Cashew Chicken are typically served family-style, allowing everyone to enjoy the variety of flavors and textures. This dish is incredibly versatile and can be easily adapted to suit different dietary preferences, making it a great choice for any meal. Whether you’re preparing a quick weeknight dinner or a special meal for guests, Thai Cashew Chicken is sure to impress with its delicious taste and beautiful presentation.

Not only is this dish delicious, but it is also quite simple to prepare. With just a few basic ingredients and a bit of time, you can create a restaurant-quality meal at home. The process involves toasting the cashews to bring out their natural flavor, cooking the chicken until it’s perfectly browned and tender, and then stir-frying the vegetables until they are just crisp-tender. The sauce is then added, coating everything in a rich, savory glaze that ties all the elements together.

In this article, we will guide you through each step of the process, providing detailed instructions and tips to ensure that your Thai Cashew Chicken turns out perfectly every time. Whether you are new to cooking Thai food or a seasoned chef, this recipe is a fantastic addition to your culinary repertoire. Get ready to enjoy a mouthwatering dish that captures the essence of Thai cuisine and brings a taste of Thailand into your kitchen.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (use low-sodium if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (for thickening)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving


Step 1: Toast the Cashews
In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the cashews until they are golden brown and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Step 2: Cook the Chicken
In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Step 3: Sauté the Vegetables
In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and sliced onion. Cook for about 2 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the red and green bell peppers and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the peppers are tender but still crisp.

Step 4: Prepare the Sauce
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, honey or brown sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Stir well to mix all the ingredients.

Step 5: Combine Chicken and Vegetables
Return the cooked chicken to the skillet with the vegetables. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, stirring well to coat everything evenly. Add the cornstarch mixture to the skillet and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Step 6: Add Cashews and Green Onions
Stir in the toasted cashews and chopped green onions. Cook for an additional minute to heat through.

Step 7: Serve
Serve the Thai Cashew Chicken hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and accompanied by cooked jasmine rice.

Cooking Note

For an extra layer of flavor, marinate the chicken pieces in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and a bit of ginger for 30 minutes before cooking. This will infuse the chicken with additional flavor and make it even more tender.

Serving Suggestions

Thai Cashew Chicken pairs beautifully with:

  • Steamed jasmine rice or brown rice.
  • A side of steamed or stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, snap peas, or bok choy.
  • Fresh spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce for an appetizer.
  • A light cucumber salad dressed with rice vinegar and sesame oil.


  • For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with tofu or tempeh and use a vegetarian oyster sauce.
  • Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less crushed red pepper flakes to suit your taste.
  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best flavor, especially the garlic, bell peppers, and cilantro.
  • If you prefer a thinner sauce, reduce the amount of cornstarch or omit it entirely.

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cooking Time:

15 minutes

Total Time:

30 minutes

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 450 per serving
  • Protein: 25g per serving
  • Sodium: 800mg per serving


Q1: Can I use other nuts instead of cashews?
Yes, you can substitute cashews with peanuts, almonds, or walnuts. Just be sure to toast them first to enhance their flavor.

Q2: Is there a substitute for fish sauce?
If you don’t have fish sauce, you can use soy sauce or a combination of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce as a substitute. The flavor will be slightly different but still delicious.

Q3: How can I make this dish gluten-free?
To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce (tamari) and ensure that the hoisin and oyster sauces you use are also gluten-free.

Q4: Can I make this dish ahead of time?
While Thai Cashew Chicken is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the chicken and vegetables ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. Reheat in a skillet before serving, adding the sauce and cashews just before serving.

Q5: What if I don’t have all the sauces listed?
If you don’t have all the sauces, you can still make a flavorful dish by using a combination of the ones you do have. Soy sauce and hoisin sauce are the most essential, but you can experiment with what you have on hand.

Q6: Can I add other vegetables to this dish?
Absolutely! Vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and snow peas would make great additions. Sauté them along with the bell peppers for extra color and nutrition.


Thai Cashew Chicken is a flavorful and easy-to-make dish that brings the vibrant tastes of Thai cuisine to your home. The combination of tender chicken, crunchy cashews, and a rich, savory sauce makes this dish a favorite for many. It’s not just the taste that makes this dish special, but also its versatility and the ability to customize it to your liking. Whether you prefer it spicier, sweeter, or packed with more vegetables, you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.

This dish is also a great way to introduce yourself or others to Thai cuisine, as it encompasses many of the key flavors that define Thai cooking. The use of fresh herbs, the balance of sweet, salty, and spicy, and the inclusion of a variety of textures make Thai Cashew Chicken an excellent representation of what makes Thai food so beloved worldwide.

Additionally, Thai Cashew Chicken is a wonderful dish to prepare for gatherings. Its vibrant colors and enticing aroma make it an appealing choice for entertaining. Plus, it pairs well with a variety of sides and can be part of a larger Thai-inspired meal.

By making this dish at home, you can control the quality of ingredients and customize it to be as healthy as you want. Using fresh, high-quality chicken and vegetables ensures that you’re getting the best nutrition possible. Opting for low-sodium sauces and incorporating plenty of fresh herbs and spices can also make this dish a healthier option compared to takeout versions.

In summary, Thai Cashew Chicken is not only delicious and easy to prepare, but it also offers a taste of Thai culture and cuisine that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or a group of friends, this dish is sure to be a hit. Enjoy the process of making it, savor the incredible flavors, and share this delightful meal with those you love.

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