Delicious authentic and spicy thai cashew chicken stirfry packed full of vegetables and tender chicken with a sweet and savory sauce that’s so good served over fluffy white rice. It’s so easy to make and so much better than takeout!
I cant even tell you how much I love Thai food. The sour, sweet, salty, and spicy combination of flavors is like a little flavor dance in your mouth and I can never get enough of it. When I traveled to Thailand in 2010, I jumped at the chance to take a cooking class in Bangkok. There are actually cooking classes in Thailand all over the place. Someday when I go back, I will be taking a lot more. One dish I learned was Red Curry Chicken, including how to make your own red curry paste. Yum! I didn’t learn how to make this thai cashew chicken stirfry dish in my cooking class, but I ate many dishes like it at a few restaurants.
I do like to order Thai take out sometimes, but when you can make dishes like this thai cashew chicken stirfry at home that taste authentic, are quick to make, and are more healthy, then why get take out? You can add the veggies you want, limit the sugar and salt and also adjust the spice how you like it. I also like my veggies to be crunchy and I find that take out veggies are always overcooked.
This cashew chicken stirfry is packed FULL of veggies and lean chicken. The sauce is salty from the soy sauce, sour and salty from the fish sauce, sweet from the palm sugar and spicy from the garlic chili paste and any chili’s you choose to add. I like just enough sauce to cover all the chicken, veggies and rice, but not leave them swimming in sauce. If you like more sauce, just make more!
You can find garlic chili paste in almost any grocery store in the Asian section. Don’t skip this ingredient in the dish. It makes a huge difference in the flavor and it also adds a bit of heat. If you only like mild heat to your stirfry, don’t be afraid to add it, its not very spicy. If you like a lot of heat, add a chopped up chili or two as well. You can also usually find palm sugar or coconut sugar these days in your grocery store. If for some reason you cant, use some brown sugar instead. Maybe a little less than this recipe calls for.
When I started looking for a recipe for a thai cashew chicken stirfry that tasted like ones I had in Thailand, I came across an awesome blog called “The Wanderlust Kitchen“. The author of this blog, Anetta, has a recipe for thai chicken with cashews that she says is her very very favorite dish. I know why. I followed a lot of her recipe for the sauce of this dish, but I changed a few things in the sauce and also in the rest of the dish to suit my tastes.
Side Note about Meat for this Thai Cashew Chicken:
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Here’s a tip for making this thai cashew chicken stirfry:
I always make a bunch of my perfect baked chicken breast at once, usually on the weekend, and keep it in the fridge for the week. Then when I make salads for my lunch or dinner for my family I just have to chop it up and throw it in. Its very handy and allows you to make dishes like this (and many others) much quicker as one step is already done for you.
If you have chicken in the fridge to use with this dish, don’t worry about the marinade part of the recipe below. However, if you are using uncooked chicken, I highly recomend the marinade as it makes the chicken really tender.
Thai Chicken Stirfry with Basil and Cashews
MARINADE FOR THE CHICKEN
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp rice vinegar or rice wine
- 2 chicken breast
FOR THE SAUCE
FOR THE STIRFRY
- 2 chicken breast , chopped in bite sized pieces and marinated (marinade optional)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 - 2 tbsp garlic chili paste
- 1/2 onion , chopped
- 1 - 2 finger length red Thai chilis with seeds removed and diced (optional)
- 2 peppers , chopped
- 2 carrots , sliced
- 1 cup broccoli , cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup cashews
- Bunch of basil (dont chop it)
- 1 green onion for garnish
- cooked rice to serve it with
- Chop up the chicken and marinate it in the cornstarch and rice wine for 15 mins. Then remove from the marinade and rinse quickly. Dry it off on paper towel.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken. Stirfry the chicken till its cooked through and remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, throw in the onion, carrots and chilis if you are going to use them. Stirfry for about 5 mins till the carrots start to get a little soft. Add the garlic chili paste and stir.
- When the carrots are tender, add the broccoli, peppers, chicken and the sauce to the pan. Stirfry for a min or so only. Dont let the broccoli get mushy.
Add the basil right before you are going to serve it. Add the leaves whole. Spoon the veggies, chicken and sauce over a plate of rice. Sprinkle some of the cashews on each plate. Serve!