Traditional recipes

Cashew chicken stir fry recipe

Cashew chicken stir fry recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Chicken stir fry
  • Chinese chicken stir fry

This delicious stir fry recipe features cashews, green pepper and water chestnuts. Perfect for a midweek supper - it's ready in under 30 minutes!

519 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (500g) pack chicken breast chunks
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 (220g) tin water chestnuts, drained and sliced
  • 100g cashews

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:25min

  1. Dissolve the cornflour in the chicken stock, and stir in the soy sauce, ginger and chilli sauce; set aside.
  2. Heat half of the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Stir in the chicken; cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the wok, and set aside.
  3. Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the wok, and stir in the onion, green pepper, cashews and water chestnuts. Cook and stir until the chestnuts are hot, and the onion has softened, about 5 minutes more. Stir up the sauce to redistribute the cornflour, then pour into the wok, and bring to the boil. Add the reserved chicken, and stir until the sauce thickens and the chicken is hot.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(271)

Reviews in English (221)

Used different ingredients.we used peanuts instead, just cause we had them already-08 Jan 2009

Used different ingredients.I wanted to use up some veggies in my fridge so used some green pepper, carrot, mushroom and mange tout with the chicken and cashew nut as in the recipe. I kept the sauce the same but served it with egg noodles and it was delicious-12 Jan 2010

Loved it! I tweaked it a little by adding a fresh chilli to the sauce along with some chilli powder & course black pepper. I added a little beef stock pot to the sauce & omitted the ginger (not a huge fan of ginger). For the veg; I added mushrooms, spring onions & a chilli and substituted the green pepper for a red one. I covered the chicken with a little black pepper, soy sauce & garlic granules for extra flavour. The only issue I had was that when I added the sauce it turned into a sticky, gloopy, thick mess instantly. I'm not sure if I added too much cornflour. It was easily rectified by adding some boiling water & it turned out absolutely amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it - thanks Once finished, I served on a bed of rice & added a squeeze of fresh lemon. Lush!-19 Mar 2013

  1. In a bowl add the ingredients mentioned for sauce mix.
  2. Mix well everything and keep aside.
  3. In another bowl,add the chicken pieces,clean.
  4. Add the ingredients mentioned and mix well and keep aside.
  5. Heat a pan/skillet/wok,add the sesame oil and vegetable oil.
  6. When its hot,add the chicken pieces and immediately stir fry till cooked well.
  7. Keep this aside.
  8. In the same pan,add the ginger,garlic and onion.
  9. Stir fry till soft.
  10. Add the sauce mix to this and let it cook for few seconds till it slightly thickens.
  11. Next add the chicken pieces and toss well to coat the chicken with sauce mix.
  12. Finally adjust salt and add cashews,chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
  13. Serve with rice or noodles of your choice!


Did you make this recipe?

Quick note on cashew chicken

Before we get into this recipe, I just have to quickly share something with you.

I’m a huge fan of Thai cashew chicken, but in Thailand I very rarely order it.

Because it’s one of those dishes that’s very hit or miss. Oftentimes if you order it at any random street food stall in Thailand, it comes as a few pieces of chicken and cashew nuts, in a lumpy sweet and sour sauce.

But the version I love, which you’ll occasionally find in Thailand at nighttime Thai Chinese stir fry restaurants, which is crunchy, and salty, and full of caramelized onions and crispy cashews, is the version I really love.

This recipe will show you the authentic latter version, no shortcuts, but still very easy and quick to make, with ingredients you can probably find at your local supermarket.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need

  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 250g/9oz brown or basmati rice or quinoa
  • 125g/4½oz cashews
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 225g/8oz each), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 peppers, mixed colours, cut into strips
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces
  • 2-3 red chillies, deseeded (if preferred for less heat) and cut into long strips
  • 3cm/1¼in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 100ml/3½fl oz chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce (alternatively use soy sauce)
  • large handful basil leaves

First cook the rice. Put the five spice in the bottom of a medium pan over a low heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until you start to smell the aromas, then add the rice or quinoa along with a little salt and cook it according to the pack instructions.

Meanwhile, put the cashew nuts in a large wok (without any oil) over a medium heat and toast for about 3-4 minutes, giving them a shake from time to time until golden-brown all over. Then tip them onto a plate and set them aside.

Heat the oil in the wok with the heat turned up to high. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and stir-fry for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown. Add the peppers, spring onions, chillies and ginger, and cook for 2-3 minutes keeping the pan moving so nothing burns. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Place the cornflour in a small bowl with two teaspoons of cold water and mix to a smooth paste. Add to the stir fry along with the stock and hoisin sauce and let the sauce bubble away for 1-2 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Toss the toasted cashew nuts into the pan and check that the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat.

The rice or quinoa should be cooked by now and so drain, season to taste with salt and pepper and then return to the pan to keep warm if necessary.

Spoon the rice or quinoa onto each serving plate. Spoon the stir fry between them and rip up the basil leaves to scatter over. Serve the chicken stir-fry immediately.

Cashew chicken stir fry recipe - Recipes

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Simple Cashew Chicken Stir-fry

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and cook until caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Add chicken and sesame oil to cook for another 5 minutes, tossing constantly.

Add coconut aminos, red bell pepper, snow peas, zucchini, and cashews to cook an additional 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, give it a toss, and it's ready to serve! Enjoy!

what I used to make this recipe


This looks super delicious and really easy to make! Can’t wait to try it !

This looks amazing, but I’m a little confused about cooking with Toasted Sesame Oil. I have read that it is not for cooking, but for flavoring. Either way, sure sounds wonderful.
Thank you for all of your recipes.

Great recipe but when I tried my chicken turned out wet and a lot of moisture accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Can you give me any tips on getting it more like the pictures?

You might want to let the chicken brown a little bit more in the pan before adding in the vegetables. Mine turned out as you described, but I didn’t mind. The recipe turned out really well!

The recipe calls for cashews, are these roasted or unroasted cashews?

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In a bowl or mixing jug, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, sugar and cornflour, then set aside for later.

Select the SAUTE function, press START, then add the oil and allow to heat. Add the cashews and cook for

1 minute until golden, then remove and set aside on some kitchen roll.

Add the onion and stir regularly for

2 minutes it begins to soften. Add the chicken and continue to stir for a further

Add the broccoli, mangetout, pepper and soy sauce mixture and stir to combine.

Close the lid, select the BAKE function and adjust the time to 10 minutes, then press START.

When the program has finished, open the lid and stir in the cashews before serving.

How to Make the Best Cashew Chicken at Home

One of the most important steps of stir-frying begins before you even take the wok out. Stir-fry is all about quick cooking, and how your vegetables and proteins are diced and sliced plays an essential part in the success of the the final dish. Proteins and vegetables should be uniformly cut to insure even cooking, and this step is especially important in ding ( 炒肉丁) dishes.

What exactly is a "ding" dish? Most likely you've already eaten one or two. The most popular one is Kung Pao Chicken the second most popular is this one—Cashew Chicken. If you think about these two dishes, besides having chicken as their main protein, there is something else that's similar about them. It's the way the vegetables and protein are diced, specifically in a cube shape. That basically sums up what a "ding" dish is. It's a stir-fry dish containing both a protein and a variety of vegetables, plus sometimes a nut, and its ingredients are diced in a uniform bite-sized, cube-like shape. If you do a quick image search of 炒肉丁, which translate to "stir-fry meat ding," you'll see that there are a variety of "ding" dishes.

Another important element of a "ding" dish is the mixture of textures the ingredients bring. The protein, usually chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp, provides that tender yet chewy texture. Then you need something crunchy. This is usually when nuts and certain vegetables come into play. Walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, peanuts, and cashews are the most popular nut choices. As for the vegetables, water chestnuts, carrots, celery, and diced long beans work well. One of my favorite vegetables for great crunch is jicama.

When you think of jicama, you probably don't think of using it in a stir-fry (you also may not associate it with Chinese food, given that it's native to Mexico, but it has actually become a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine). In Cantonese, jicama is known as sai got (沙葛). In Mandarin its name is liang she (凉薯). The great thing about jicama in a stir-fry is it adds crispness and just the right amount of sweetness—it's somewhere between a water chestnut and an Asian pear in flavor and texture.

Besides Kung Pao Chicken and Cashew Chicken, there are almost an endless variety of different "ding" dishes. Some of my favorites include:

  • Chinese Roast Pork Vegetable Ding: Roast pork, celery, carrots, and corn
  • Spicy Long Beans with Chicken Ding: chicken, diced long beans, chili peppers, onions, and bell peppers
  • Vegetarian Ding: pine nuts, corn, celery, onion, carrots, and five spiced tofu
  • Spicy Okra and Pork Ding: okra, pork, chili peppers, and onions

You can also get creative with the seasonings and aromatics in a "ding" dish. If you like it hot and spicy, use diced chili peppers. Garlic, ginger, and scallions are also great.

This recipe brings together some of my favorite "ding" dish ingredients. First is the chicken. I picked chicken breast because it's one of the easiest parts from the chicken to dice into cube-like shapes. If you prefer dark meat, use the thigh instead.

After you dice your chicken, marinate it in a mix of oil, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, sugar, table salt, and cornstarch. You can do this overnight or set it aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

For crunch, I call on jicama and celery. If you've never worked with jicama before, you would probably think the best way to remove the skin from a jicama is with a peeler. But before you reach for your peeler, cut the jicama in half. Then using your finger, scrape a small part of the papery jicama skin off, and peel it back. You can easily peel jicama this way, as long as it's not coated in wax (some stores do this to lengthen shelf life). If you do have the wax skin version, go ahead and use a peeler. Once your jicama is peeled, rinse with cold running water to get rid of any dirt.

Zucchini, mushrooms, and red bell pepper bulk up the dish and contribute a pop of color. Dice all your vegetables the same size as the chicken. Toasted cashews add crunch and a rich nutty flavor. Next, whip up a quick and easy sauce by combining water, soy sauce, sesame oil, finely minced garlic, and cornstarch. When you have all your ingredients ready, it's time to stir-fry.

First, stir-fry the chicken in a hot wok. When the chicken is done, take it out, re-heat the wok, and add the mushrooms.

As you cook the fresh mushrooms, they will release some of their liquid. Just continue cooking until it evaporates.

When that happens, take the mushrooms out, heat up the wok again with oil and add the celery, zucchini, and jicama. After a few minutes of stir-frying, the jicama should start to brown a little.

Next, add the red bell pepper. Stir-fry and season with a few pinches of salt.

Return the cooked mushrooms and the chicken back to the wok. Continue stir-frying.

Give the sauce a good stir before you add it to the wok—you want to make sure the cornstarch in the sauce has not settled to the bottom.

Keep cooking until the sauce thickens and then turn off the heat.

Add some of the cashews and mix everything together. Plate it, top it with the remaining cashews, and serve it right away with white rice on the side.

Low-carb cashew chicken stir-fry


  • 8 oz. 230 g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp sriracha sauce, more to taste
  • 4 oz. 110 g cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 (5 oz.) 1 (140 g) small red bell pepper , cut into large chunks small red bell peppers , cut into large chunks
  • 4 oz. 110 g broccoli, florets
  • 1 (7 oz.) 1 (200 g) small zucchini , halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
  • 1 1 small summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
  • 2 2 garlic clove, minced garlic cloves, minced
  • 2½ oz. (½ cup) 70 g (120 ml) roasted cashew nuts
  • 2 (1 oz.) 2 (30 g) diagonally sliced scallion , for garnish diagonally sliced scallions , for garnish
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Besides being tested by the original recipe creator, this recipe has also been tested and quality approved by our test kitchen.


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In a medium bowl, combine cubed chicken with 2 teaspoons oil, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, sugar, salt, and cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

For the Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce and mix well.

To stir-fry, remove chicken from refrigerator 5 minutes before cooking. In a wok, heat 2 teaspoons oil over high heat until smoking. Add chicken and spread it out with a spatula so that all pieces are in contact with the wok. Cook, without moving, until chicken is slightly browned on bottom, about 1 minute. Continue to cook while stirring regularly until chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add another 2 teaspoons of oil to the wok and heat over high heat until smoking. Add mushrooms and stir-fry until mushrooms release liquid, about 2 minutes. Season with salt. Continue to stir-fry until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

Add 2 more teaspoons oil to the wok and heat over high heat until smoking. Add jicama, celery, and zucchini and cook, stirring, until jicama has browned slightly, about 3 minutes.

Add red bell pepper, season with salt and cook until bell pepper is slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms back to wok and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return chicken to the wok and stir well. Stir sauce, then pour into wok. Continue stirring and cooking until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.

Turn the flame off. Add 3/4 cup of toasted cashews, stir, then transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle remaining cashews on top and serve immediately with rice on the side.