Do you fancy a homemade Thai style dinner from time to time? Then here is the perfect recipe for you to try out right away tonight: this Thai recipe for a lush cashew chicken stir fry is so easy to make at home!
I am pretty sure that we must have eaten tons of this Thai chicken cashew while traveling around in Thailand for about 2 months.
And we still can’t get enough of this stuff.
A very important ingredient in this recipe for cashew chicken stir fry are cashews.
Cashew nuts are a type of tree nut that is native to Brazil.
They are small, kidney–shaped nuts that have a sweet and nutty flavor. Cashew nuts are widely used in cuisines around the world and often eaten as a snack.
They are a popular ingredient in many dishes, from salads and stir–fries to desserts.
Cashew nuts are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Do you like cashews?
Classic Thai Chicken Cashew
We must have eaten tons of this Thai chicken stir fry while exploring Thailand.
And not surprisingly we tried several versions of the dish as well.
So what is the very best cashew chicken that we tasted back then?
That must have been hands down at a restaurant called Fon Fon in Chalong Bay.
Because it was packed with the purest flavors and very little ingredients but most of all no exaggerated pools of that deadly sweet tourist chili sauce sprayed on top of it.
Thai cooking goes fast and so does this recipe.
At least if you prep all your ingredients in advance.
Do you fancy cooking Thai at home for dinner tonight?
Well then here is the perfect recipe to try out: this Thai recipe for cashew chicken stir fry dinner is so delicious, very little ingredients needed!
Do you love easy Thai stir fries?
Then you should also try out my Thai cauliflower stir fry for sure!
Easy Recipe for Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
Fancy a homemade Thai dinner tonight? This Thai chicken cashew stir fry is so easy to make!
- 7 oz fresh chicken breast (200 g)
- ¼ cup chicken stock (60 ml)
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 small onion chopped roughly
- 1 cup carrots (120 g) sliced
- ½ tsp cornstarch
- 1 red chili thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh spring onion or chives, chopped
- 3 tbsp cashew nuts toasted
- vegetable oil
1. Slice the chicken breast into bite size bits and transfer it to a large baking dish or bowl. Sprinkle with the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar.
2. Stir the chicken well so that it is well coated with the marinade on all sides. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Pour a little vegetable oil in a large wok or non-stick pan and place it over high heat until it is hot. Add the garlic paste and sliced chili.
3. Stir fry for a couple of seconds. Add the marinated chicken (and remaining marinade), the chopped onion and sliced carrot.
4. Stir fry the ingredients for 4 to 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Pour in the chicken stock and sprinkle with in the cornstarch.
5. Toss and stir well again. Let the stock reduce and thicken for 2 more minutes. Add the toasted cashew nuts and spring onion or chives.
7. Check the seasoning and add extra fish sauce, soy sauce or oyster sauce to taste if necessary. Transfer the cashew chicken onto plates and serve immediately.
What’s the difference between kung pao chicken and cashew chicken?
Kung Pao Chicken is renowned for its bold and spicy flavor profile, deriving its heat from dried red chili peppers and featuring a savory sauce with a hint of sweetness. It typically incorporates diced chicken, peanuts or cashews, and vegetables like bell peppers and scallions, offering a textural contrast between crispy chicken and crunchy nuts.
Originating from China’s Sichuan province, it embodies the fiery and complex flavors associated with Sichuan cuisine.
In contrast, cashew chicken is a milder dish, originating from American-Chinese cuisine, notably in the Midwest of the United States. It contains chicken, cashew nuts and vegetables like onion, scallions, carrot and bell pepper, with a savory yet slightly sweet sauce that lacks the spiciness of Kung Pao Chicken.
What is the history of cashew chicken?
Cashew chicken dates back to the early 20th century.
It is believed to have originated in Springfield, Missouri, making it a product of American-Chinese cuisine. In the 1960s, Chinese chef David Leong is often credited with creating this dish at his restaurant, Leong’s Tea House. Leong’s innovation was to combine the American fondness for chicken with Asian flavors, using chicken, cashew nuts and a savory brown sauce.
Cashew chicken quickly gained popularity in the Midwest and beyond, becoming a staple across the US. Its mild yet flavorful taste, along with its pleasing combination of chicken and crunchy cashews, has made it a favorite comfort food for many Americans, showcasing the adaptability and fusion aspects of Asian cuisine in the US.
What is the difference between Chinese-American cashew chicken and Thai cashew chicken?
They both share common ingredients in cashew nuts, chicken and vegetables but diverge significantly in terms of flavor profile and preparation.
The Chinese-American version, a creation of American-Chinese cuisine, typically features tender, battered and fried chicken pieces, stir-fried with cashew nuts, and often bell peppers and onions in a mild, savory brown sauce.
Its Thai sibling showcases the vibrant flavors of Thai cuisine with stir-fried of chicken and cashew nuts, combined with Thai chili peppers and other vegetables. Its sauce leans towards a blend of sweet, salty, and slightly spicy, incorporating ingredients like fish sauce, soy sauce and tamarind.
The Thai version is bold and aromatic in taste, while the Chinese-American rendition caters to a milder palate.
What is the name of cashew chicken in Thai?
Thai cashew chicken is known as “Gai Pad Med Mamuang Himmapan” or simply “Gai Pad Med Mamuang.” This Thai stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts is a delicious fusion of flavors and textures.
The chicken is typically cut into bite-sized pieces and stir-fried with cashew nuts, vegetables and Thai chili peppers. It is often seasoned with a savory sauce made from ingredients such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and sometimes tamarind for a hint of sourness.
Gai Pad Med Mamuang is a popular Thai stir-fry dish, celebrated for its sweet, salty and slightly spicy taste, making it a favorite in Thailand and on Thai restaurant menus worldwide.
In come the Asian flavors we need for this dish.
Do you often cook Thai at home?
Then you will also be quite familiar with Asian condiments.
What is your favorite?
I love the subtle flavor of fish sauce.
And then also the tacky umami richness of oyster sauce.
I use bother very often in my kitchen!
Easy Thai Chicken Stir Fry
What Asian condiments do we need here for our Thai recipe for cashew chicken stir fry?
Lime juice for instance, or lemon juice if you like. However I prefer lime juice because it has got something so concentrated, much more than lemon juice.
It is up to you.
And then soy sauce! That one should not be too hard to find.
A favorite of mine, fish sauce! Now that one might be more difficult. If you can’t find it, just leave it.
The soy sauce is salty enough already.
Believe it or not: sugar!
A very important ingredient in Thai cuisine. I love to use palm sugar, but dark brown sugar is also a good alternative.
We are almost at the end of our list.
Chili sauce of course, to give this dish the necessary spiciness.
And last but not least: garlic paste. Or use freshly mashed garlic that you mash up finely under the blade of your knife.
Toss it all together, plate it up and enjoy.