Thai Style Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry is full of flavor and is so quick and easy!
I absolutely love stir-fry. It’s great for during the week because it comes together so quickly. Spend a few minutes with the knife and cutting board to slice and dice your meat and veggies. Stir together a sauce and cook everything over a high heat. Dinner is served in under 30 minutes and it’s going to be so much tastier and healthier then carry out.
My Thai Style Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry is one of my husband’s favorites. Juicy strips of chicken breast mixed with tender-crisp sweet red peppers, green and yellow onions, mushrooms, and toasted cashews all combine with a slightly sweet and savory sauce infused with ginger and garlic.
Stir-fry isn’t difficult to prepare and doesn’t require special kitchen equipment to cook. I have a traditional wok from my local Asian grocery store, but to be honest, I seldom get it out. It’s large, and has special cleaning instructions, and I’m short and it’s at the top of my pantry…
I use a high quality, non-stick frypan like this, , more often then not. It uses less oil for the same results and I find it just easier all around.
To make Thai Style Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry, begin by preparing your ingredients. The stir-fry cooking process is so quick, that it is necessary to have everything ready before starting to cook.
For chicken based stir-fry, I prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts as opposed to tenders because of the tendon, but both will work. Since breast meat is so lean, it’s important to cook the chicken just to the point where there is no longer pink in the center. Anyway you choose to slice or dice your breast meat is fine as long as the pieces are a consistent size so they cook evenly, but I recommend slicing the chicken strips at an angle, against the grain for a really tender result. Toss in flour, salt, and pepper for better browning.
How the vegetables are sliced is up to the chef. However, slicing them in consistent sized pieces is important to promote even cooking. I usually choose long, thin slices about 1/4″ wide and 1″ to 2″ long.
The sauce ingredients are common in the Asian section of the grocery store. The less familiar ones might be rice vinegar and sesame oil which can also be found on Amazon.
Stir-fry is usually cooked in batches. Have a mixing bowl handy to transfer cooked batches into.
It also requires constant stirring. Use two wooden flat edge utensils or spoons to toss and stir to prevent overcooking. With high heat cooking and stir-frying, constant attention and frequent movement of the ingredients is a must.
For Thai Style Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry, begin by heating the wok or fry pan to a medium-high to high heat. Add the oil. Choose an oil that has a high temperature smoke point, like canola. Cook the cashews in the hot oil until golden and fragrant while stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove to the bowl.
Next, cook the chicken. This may be done in two batches if desired to help it cook evenly. Add the chicken to the bowl.
Add the yellow onions and cook 1-2 minutes. Move the onions to the outer edges of the pan or wok, and add the red peppers and mushrooms. Cook 1-2 additional minutes, add the minced garlic, and stir everything together, cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 additional minute.
The goal is tender-crisp vegetables as opposed to mushy and overcooked. Again, constant stirring is necessary to prevent overcooking.
Add the cooked chicken and cashews to the vegetable mixture. Move everything to the outer edges of the pan and add the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. Stir to combine and toss in the green onions. Serve with steamed rice if desired.
Thai Style Cashew Chicken
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup cashews - whole or pieces
- 1 medium white or yellow onion sliced
- 1 sweet red pepper sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 8 green onions sliced
- 6 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3 tablespoons canola oil - divided
- 2/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspooon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes/crushed red pepper Add additional flakes if more heat is desired.
- Slice chicken into stips, cutting at an angle and against the grain. See above picture.
- Toss chicken with flour, salt, and pepper and set aside in a bowl.,
- Cut all vegetables into consistent sized slices.
- Combine all sauce ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
- Preheat a wok or large skillet to a medium-high to high heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil and then the cashews. Tossing and stirring, cook the cashews until brown and fragrant being careful not to burn them. Remove to a mixing bowl.
- Add another tablespoon of oil and add the chicken. The chicken may be cooked in two batches if desired. Cook just until there is no interior pink as overcooking can dry it out. Remove to the bowl with the cashews.
- Add an additional tablespoon of oil and then the white/yellow onion. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then push to the outer edges of the wok/pan.
- Add the red pepper and mushrooms to the center of the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, eventually mixing with the onions.
- Add the cooked chicken and cashews to the vegetable mixture and push everything to the outer edges.
- Pour in the sauce. Bring to a boil and stir everything to combine.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the green onions. Serve with rice if desired.
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