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cashew chicken on white plate
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4.19 from 106 votes

Thai Cashew Chicken

Thai Cashew Chicken is tender bites of chicken in a savory and slightly sweet sauce. It's better and healthier than take-out, made in 30 minutes, and full of crisp toasted cashews.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Chicken
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: 30-minute meal, fakeout takeout
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 377kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef


  • Wok or skillet



  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup Water
  • 2 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dark Sweet Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional - skip if you don't want the dish to be spicy)
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground White Pepper (optional)

Cashew Chicken:

  • ½ Yellow Onion, sliced
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 3 stalks Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, chopped
  • pinch Salt
  • 1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Raw Cashews (or use roasted and unsalted cashews)
  • ¼ cup Cooking Oil (like vegetable or peanut oil)
  • Rice, for serving


  • Make sauce:
    Whisk together garlic, water, light soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Whisk in cornstarch. Add red pepper flakes and white pepper (if using). Set aside.
  • Prep ingredients:
    Slice onion and bell pepper and combine. Chop green onions. Dice chicken and toss with a pinch of salt and flour.
  • Set onions / peppers, green onions, chicken, sauce, and cashews near the stove. Place a paper towel on top of a plate and set that near the stove.
  • Heat cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
  • When oil is hot, add cashews and saute until golden brown and toasted, 1 to 2 minutes (watch carefully to prevent them from burning). Set cashews on paper-towel lined plate. Leave oil in the wok.
  • To remaining oil in wok, add chicken. Let chicken cook for 2 minutes without stirring (this will help it to brown on the bottom).
  • Continue cooking, turning occasionally, until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes total.
  • Transfer chicken to the plate with the cashews and return wok to heat.
  • To any remaining oil in the wok, add onions and bell peppers.
  • Saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. (Add a splash of water if the pan starts to look dry.)
  • Pour sauce over onions and peppers.
  • Simmer until sauce starts to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add green onions, chicken, and cashews to pan. Cook everything together for 1 minute to coat in sauce.
  • Serve over rice.


I recommend using a Thai brand of light soy sauce as it will give the dish the most authentic flavor (and is what we used to test this recipe), but light soy sauce is closest to the type of Japanese or Chinese soy sauce that you most likely already have in your pantry or fridge. I find that the closest match to Thai light soy sauce is the low sodium version of mainstream brand like Kikkoman.
Dark Sweet Soy Sauce - Don't have this on hand? Instead of the dark sweet soy sauce, use 1 tablespoon light soy sauce whisked with 1 tablespoon brown sugar.


Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 978mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 664IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg