A few years ago I visited Thailand with a couple of friends. We traveled from Bangkok to Koh Samui and then up to Chang Mai and had the most amazing time doing it all. While in Chang Mai we attended a Thai cooking class taught by some locals. They took us to the market to buy ingredients before taking us to their home where we learnt to cook Green Thai Curry, Pad Thai and this little dish, Thai Cashew Chicken.
While my amazing tan faded and the blue elephant print trousers I bought developed holes, this recipe has stuck with me all those years. And for good reason! The dish is flavoured with oyster sauce, soy sauce and garlic. Mixed with the amazing flavours of the toasted cashews (literally the most tasty little things and my favourite in this recipe) this simple dish becomes the most flavoursome weeknight meal to add to your repertoire. The original recipes calls for onion, baby corn and mushroom, but I’ve upped the veg game with some extra peppers and sugar snap peas because apparently veggies are meant to be pretty good for you?
I would advice cooking all of the chicken and veggies independently to ensure they stir fry properly. If you end up throwing them all into the wok together they’re going to steam instead of stir fry and you might find things aren’t evenly cooked through. I always have a bowl next to my hob to throw all the cooked ingredients in once they’re done. Then it’s just a case of throwing it all back in the wok to add the sauces and serving it in a bowl with a few fancy garnishes. Boom.
How do you stir fry?
Firstly make sure all of your ingredients are prepared and ready to go. That means chopping any meat or veg, measuring out any sauces and having any accompaniments such as rice or noodles cooked. Stir frying is a quick process and you don’t want to be caught out chopping up veg while you’ve got food cooking/burning on the stove. Preparation is key!
Woks were made for cooking like this, but if you don’t have one a big frying pan would work just as well. A high heat is required when stir-frying – get your wok nice and hot before adding anything else in. In this particular dish cashews are stir-fried without any oil as there is no risk of them sticking to the pan. Oils that can withstand a high heat are best used in this type of cooking, that includes oils such as groundnut, vegetable and (believe it or not) olive oil. Then it’s time to get cooking!
Once the oil is nice and hot start by cooking protein (such as meat, tofu or tempeh) with flavourings such as garlic and ginger. Once cooked I remove this from the wok and put it to the side in a bowl. Allow the wok to come back up to temperature before stir frying the vegetables one to two at a time, removing them to the bowl once done. This is to ensure the pan isn’t overcrowded and that the vegetables cook evenly and quickly. Start with harder veggies such as carrots through to softer veggies like sugar snaps and mushrooms. Once everything is cooked, add it all back to the pan to warm through and add any sauces, noodles and rice before dishing up!
If you try this Thai Cashew Chicken or have any questions let me know in the comments!Print
This Thai Cashew Chicken is ideal for a quick and simple weeknight meal, packed with veggies, cashews and chicken it’s also super tasty too!
- 100g cashews
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 1 dried chilli (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 150g mushrooms, sliced
- 100g baby sweetcorn, cut in half
- 100g sugar-snap peas
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce
Wholegrain rice to serve.
- Heat a wok over a medium heat. Dry fry the cashews for 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn! Remove the cashews from the wok into a bowl.
- Add the groundnut oil to the wok and stir fry the dried chilli for 1-2 minutes if using. This flavours the oil. Remove the chilli from the wok and add to the cashews while leaving the oil in the pan.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir fry the chicken and garlic for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the wok into a bowl.
- Add the onion and pepper to the wok and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the wok to a bowl.
- Stir fry the mushrooms in the wok for 3-4 minutes until they have released most of their liquid and begin to take on colour. Remove from the wok to a bowl.
- Finally add the baby sweetcorn and sugar-snap peas to the work and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, before adding all of the vegetables, chicken, chilli and cashews back to the pan.
- Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce to the pan and mix everything together. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until everything is piping hot. Serve on top of wholegrain rice and enjoy!
Keywords: Stir Fry Recipes, Thai Recipes, Cashew Chicken Recipe, Asian Recipes, Quick Dinners