Chicken Cashew

Chicken Cashew


Delicious moist chicken with cashews, peppers, onions, garlic and a rich Asian-inspired sauce.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Views: 72,036
  • Success Rating: 95% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Sauce

Making the Sauce
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp oyster sauce


For the sauce, roughly chop the palm sugar. Combine it with the fish sauce, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Bring to a gentle boil and then set aside while you prepare the rest of your mise en place.

Step 2: Preparing the Mise en Place

Preparing the Mise en Place
  • 1 small, white onion
  • 1/2 cup long, red Thai chilies (3 or 4)
  • 4 small green onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 single chicken breasts
  • 1 cup toasted, unsalted cashews
  • 1 tbsp whiskey (or white wine), optional
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


To prepare your mise en place, slice the onion vertically into 3/4" -inch pieces. Roughly chop the garlic. Slice the Thai chilies and green onions into 2" -inch pieces. Next, slice the chicken into 2" -inch pieces and set aside.

Note: If you can’t find the long, red Thai chilies, substitute one small red pepper along with 1 or 2 minced serrano or small, red Thai chilies.

Step 3: Cooking and Finishing the Dish

Cooking and Finishing the Dish


To cook the dish, heat a wok or large fry pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and sauté the chicken until it is cooked half way through. Next, add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the onions and salt and sauté for another minute or so. Add the chilies and cook for another minute or so before adding the green onions and sauce. Toss to coat. To finish, add the cashew nuts and whiskey. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

This is a great dish to make for a dinner party. All of the prep can be done ahead of time and you’ll be able to whip it together in about 5 to 10 minutes.


  • Refie R
    Refie R
    This Chicken Cashew is fabulous.. I love it.. If you don't wanna add whiskey/white wine.. you can just put in some sesame oil or/and maybe extra oyster sauce to make it darker.. This is delicious yo eat with Thai steamed rice.. Soft and tender chicken and yet you taste the crispy and sweetness of the vegetables and crunchy cashews! J'adore!
  • Dave W
    Dave W
    This is a very easy recipe. For even more tenderness and flavour, use boneless chicken thighs.
  • Mary-anne D
    Mary-anne D
    There is a traditional Thai dish that is similiar called Gai Pad Med Mamuang Himaphan. Of course the taste is different as you use Thai Oyster Sauce which has no msg and has a richer less salty taste. Garnished with fresh mango shredds and served with steamed Thai Hom Mali Jasmine rice it is a perfect quick dinner. This is sometimes served over just steamed spinach or water vegetable which is common in SE Asia and China.
  • Ted S
    Ted S
    Sorry dupe send! Im also thinking , reduce fish sauce and add.....ferm. black beans and it becomes chinese. Gives great depth ..visual and taste.
  • Mary-anne D
    Mary-anne D
    Yellow bean sauce is also great! Serranos ripe and Thai Dragons and Bird Eye chiles are some of my favs. I have about 40 varieties this year in the garden. Red Savinas are fun too minced in honey.
  • Shanshan G
    Shanshan G
    Very easy to make and tastes great!!!
  • Valerie J
    Valerie J
    Let me start by saying, I am not a great cook. This recipe was SO easy to make and has an outstanding flavor. I will definatly make it again.
  • Monique G
    Monique G
    Extremely simple recipe. Great flavor. Did not add the salt required at the onions stage, as soy sauce and oyster sauce are already quick salty. Substituted the palm sugar with brown sugar. Delicious. I've added to my recipe book.
  • Naouar E
    Naouar E
    Hi Dawn, The Oyster Sauce (Panda brand) that is used here contains MSG right? I thought you didn't use products that contain MSG?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Hi Naouar, the bottle in the photo of step 1, is mostly just for the photo. I do try to use products that contain no MSG (personally it gives me headaches)...but to be honest in a pinch I have used this brand. Good eye by the way...keeping us on our toes...thanks!
  • Herdianti W
    Herdianti W
    I'm a beginner cook, but even I can make this :) It's quick and delicious!
  • Tyler L
    Tyler L
    Dawn, can you recommend a good oyster sauce without MSG? If you have tips on where to purchase that would also be helpful as these specialty items can be hard to find even at "health food" stores. Thanks.
  • Tyler L
    Tyler L
    Can wheat-free tamari be substituted for the soy sauce? I'm gluten-sensitive, but I'm not always sure if substituting something like this will totally ruin the dish or just slightly change the flavor. Your advice is appreciated!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Oyster sauce can be found MSG free and you can buy vegan oyster sauce as well. The flavor is mimicked using mushrooms instead of oysters. As for where to find it, that depends where you live and what stores are available to you. I have found it before at a local Asian store here in Vancouver, but not sure for you. When I did a search online I was able to find a few kinds. As for the soy sauce, the tamari would work, sure the flavor might be a bit different, but in the end it will still be delicious. Good Luck!
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    It's a non fermented soy alternative that I love. And it comes in a liquid spray bottle as well which is really handy. You can buy it at most stores too. I steam broccoli and spray on the bragg and that's it.
  • Tyler L
    Tyler L
    I'll give it a shot. Thanks Joe. I guess a broader question I have regarding substituting ingredients is how to tell if an ingredient is essential for its chemical nature ala mustard in a vinaigrette acting as an emulsifier or whether it is simply included to add an element of flavor that meshes well with the dish. The problem I have with most cookbooks is they don't point this out. Sometimes I want to modify a recipe to make it less complex, less time consuming, and less expensive knowing full well that it will not taste as good, but I find myself wondering if my changes will fundamentally ruin a meal.
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    The Rouxbe Cooking School will teach you all of this. Not at one time, but do a lesson a week (10 to 15 minutes) and over time, it will all come to you. What recipes do is tell you "do this, do this, do this... etc.). For success you need to know how and most importantly, why to "do this". We provide context to these types of questions, minimizing the answers down to an easily understood answer that will stay with you forever. For example, many people think there are 1,000's of different types of sauces. In reality, you only have to learn about 5 types (and related techniques) and then you need to learn how to vary them. From here, the world's your oyster. Move away from recipes and follow the path set out in the school and it will all come together for you. I promise.
  • Tyler L
    Tyler L
    Good point...maybe I should finish all the lessons before barraging you with questions :) Thanks for taking the time out of your weekend to indulge my whims!
  • Bill S
    Bill S
    This was a huge hit with both my wife and me. I couldn't find thai chiles in our supermarket, but they did have sambal oelek, so I added 1 teaspoon to the sauce. Just enough heat to make you notice, not enough to distract from the flavor. I've already been asked when I'm planning on making it again - always a good sign.
  • Tash & andrew G
    Tash & andrew G
    I made two versions of this for a potluck dinner a few months ago - chicken and tofu (for my veggie friends!)....and they both were a hit. In fact, this recipe has been passed around to each of them and they all make it regularly!
  • Lauren K
    Lauren K
    This was a quick and easy dish. I diluted the soy sauce with a bit of H2O, omitted the fish sauce and added roughly minced ginger. Also subbed the chilis for a cherry bomb (red) and a green habanero. It was delish!
  • Geoff R
    Geoff R
    This turned out quite well considering how well my last cooking adventured went. Couldnt find palm sugar so i got these crazy bricks of cane sugar from the T&T market. It didnt taste like brown sugar which i was hoping for. Also added green beans with the white onion and that was also delish! Highly recommend this dish. I will cook this again.
  • Manny R
    Manny R
    I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, i had to substitute red pepper for the Thai pepper, I added a pinch of dried crushed hot pepper for a little heat. the dish had a little too much salt,I think it was the sauce, not the 1/2 tsp of salt in the recipe. Next time I think I will cut the oyster sauce in half
  • Tricia R
    Tricia R
    I made this recipe on a whim tonight, so I didn't have ALL the ingredients and I had some ingredients that weren't required here, but the dish still turned out amazing. I had hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce, mirin instead of fish sauce, and brown sugar instead of palm sugar. Everything else I had, but I also added some stir fry vegetables. I'm looking forward to getting all the right ingredients for the sauce and trying it again.
  • John T
    John T
    This recipe has good reviews but having lived in Hong Kong for 25 years I know something about Chinese food and this was certainly not authentic Chinese. Even if I didn't know Chinese cooking this recipe fails miserably. The sauce totally overwhelmed the dish. It was just far too strong for chicken. Far too much soy and whoever heard of fish sauce with chicken? Sorry but your first bomb!!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    John, I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy this recipe. This may sound a bit crazy, but when I share recipes with everyone here on Rouxbe I sort of feel like I am inviting then to dinner, so it is hard to hear "this recipe fails miserably", as it makes me feel like you did not enjoy anything I served you for dinner. Does that make sense? I said, I know it's crazy :-) That being said, I am a big girl and I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Also, not everyone has the same tastes. I will say that we were taught this recipe while we were in cooking school in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In our experience (at least in Thailand), we used fish sauce with chicken quite often. In fact, the Thai chef at the cooking school said that he used fish sauce in nearly every dish he made, as it is used instead of salt. Again, sorry to hear that this dish did not work for you. All the best and thanks for sharing your feedback. Cheers!
  • Leslie H
    Leslie H
  • Laurie J
    Laurie J
    This was ridiculously good! I had all the ingredients except the palm sugar (subbed with brown) and red Thai chilis (subbed with red pepper and 2 serranos). My husband could not get enough of this dish...thank you!
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    When adding the whiskey - is the type critical? ie. rye, scotch, irish, etc.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    I use whatever it is I have on hand for this dish, which is usually Irish Whiskey but that's only because I love Irish Coffees :-) Cheers!
  • Liana M
    Liana M
    This dish was easy and very flavorful...but I have a question. as I was cooking the chicken and onions, a lot of liquid was pooling at the bottom of my wok. I did have the chick at room temp before I cooked and also patted it I am guessing it was from the onions. Can you tell me how to avoid this, and whether I should have stopped and drained the dish before I added the sauce. Again it was very delish, but I wish the sauce was a little thicker in the end product. THX!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Could have been a couple of things. First, your wok may not have been hot enough (this is common, especially if you are not using a gas stove). If using electric, you may want to use a large, stainless-steel pan next time, to give you more surface area. Either way, make sure the wok or pan is nice and hot before you get started. Second, you may have overcrowded the wok with the ingredients. Overcrowding brings down the temperature of the wok substantially and the ingredients start to "sweat". You may need to cook the chicken and onions in two batches next time before incorporating the rest of the ingredients. Cheers!
  • Liana M
    Liana M
    Thanks Kimberley! I think overcrowding may have been an issue, the flat surface area on the bottom of the wok was very small! Looks like its time to shop for a new pan ;) Will try the recipe again!!
  • Laura C
    Laura C
    I truly loved this dish. My husband and children enjoyed as well. However, I found it very, very salty. I have seen that other people agree on this. Next time I will ignore the 1/2 tsp of salt that the recipe calls for and I will reduce 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Otherwise, excellent recipe. I served it with the coconut infused Basmati rice, which turned out to be a perfect combination.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    The thing to remember when cooking with recipes is that the salt added is generally just a guideline or an approximate measure. This is because one may be adding a bit more chicken and/or peppers than the recipe calls for (as all ingredients are not always exact) or perhaps the soy sauce used was saltier; therefore the salt or saltiness of a dish can vary. This is why it is important to season as you go and even learn how salty your ingredients are. For example, taste your soy sauce, so you can get a sense for how salty it is. Learning to season with salt is one of the most important parts of cooking, which is ultimately why we did an entire lesson called "How to Season with Salt". Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Laura C
    Laura C
    Thanks Dawn. You are quite right. Being from Mexico, I am new to cooking Asian cuisine in general. In fact, this is the first time I ever used Oyster sauce and I must confess, I did not try it first. Next time, I will make sure to taste the dish as I add the ingredients. As I said before, other than that, this recipe is a keeper.
  • Jorge S
    Jorge S
    I want to cook this in my restaurant and I want to know how to divide the ingredients for one serve. Thanks.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    The text recipe indicates that this serves 4; therefore, if you only want one portion, you'll need to divide everything by 4 but it depends on how big you want your serving size to be. Cheers!
  • Kara F
    Kara F
    Loved the flavors of this recipe. Wondering if you still use the water test with the wok? If so approximately how long does it take-- I don't think I was patient enough!
  • Tony M Rouxbe Staff
    Tony M
    Absolutely. A wok has to get to a very high heat to be effective, unless it's non-stick (which is not a true wok but only wok shaped). It takes as long as it takes - don't know the strength of your burners. Be more patient, the true virtue of a good cook.
  • Skylar M
    Skylar M
    The grocery store in the town I live in is usually very complete; however, after visiting several times, I have yet to find oyster sauce. I've asked, and looked at several other nearby markets, all of which don't have it, and I don't have the hour there and back to go to the closest asian market... Is there a decent substitute? Or do I just have to wait until I can drive by there and get it? Thanks guys(:
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    While there are no exact substitutions for the unique flavor of oyster sauce you could use soy sauce instead. For substitution ideas in general, you may want to book mark this site called Food Subs. Cheers!
  • Tom P
    Tom P
    I've been ordering this dish at Thai restaurants for about 25 years, it's often on the menu as Gai Pad Himmapan. I've also tried cooking several versions of it and yours is one of the best I've come across. Just made it again with some sliced carrot and celery thrown in and - this is key - Black Soy Sauce in place of the regular stuff. It's thicker and has a sweeter flavor than regular soy sauce so you may want to back off on the palm sugar a bit, but it adds a smokiness that I really love. It can be tough to find but if you've got a decent Asian market nearby they'll probably have it. Look for Kwong Hung Seng brand, with a dragonfly on the label, and make sure you get the Black soy sauce (they make "sweet" and "thin" soy sauces too). Thanks for another great recipe!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Thanks Tom. Glad you like the recipe. We actually learned how to make this dish while on vacation in Thailand. Thanks for the tips on the black soy sauce, will have to give that a try. Cheers!
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    Depending upon your brand of fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce that you use in this recipe, you can end up with an incredible amount of salt (sodium) in your meal. As I checked the labels of my ingredients, I realized that I was using: Fish sauce: 1270 mg per Tbsp (15 ml) Oyster Sauce: 600 mg per Tbsp Light Soy Sauce: 510mg per Tbsp Add those all together, with volumes indicated, and I had a total of 5890mg of sodium in just the sauce. Whew!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Thanks for the information Leigh. Yes, many of these products are full of sodium. It's important to read labels and follow your taste buds when you cook. We all perceive salt differently and there is a range of levels that people find acceptable. Enjoy!
  • Laura A
    Laura A
    I had this with some coconut infused jasmine rice and was quite happy with it. I thought it was even more delicious as leftovers as the flavors melded together. Are there any tricks to getting that melded leftover taste the first night the dish is cooked? Can the peppers and onion marinate in the sauce beforehand? Putting aside the high sodium discussion for a moment, I'm curious if there was a reason to add the salt in the wok rather than pre-seasoning the chicken. Thanks!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    As mentioned above, this recipe is one that we learned in a Thai Cooking School, while we were on vacation in Thailand. If you would like to marinate the chicken before hand you certainly can. I wouldn't necessarily marinate the onions and pepper however as that would only draw out their moisture and make them hard to stir-fry. Cheers!
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    Laura... I know what you mean about that second-day taste! The best way that I know of to get that left-over taste today; is to prepare today's meal yesterday!! :-)
  • John C
    John C
    I enjoyed this stir fry quite a bit. I used white wine instead of wiskey and red bell pepper in place of thai. I may include water chesnuts for additional crunch next time.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Glad that you liked the recipe John. If you like water chestnuts you may want to try this Kung Pao recipe—it has great texture and flavors as well. Cheers!
  • Sherif G
    Sherif G
    My boys and wife loved it.... actually, they looked at me with a look "did you order this"? I finally stepped up my level from a terrible cook to an ok cook. Moving forward... thank you :)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Sherif- Great work! So happy that you found success here. ~Ken
  • Chris A
    Chris A
    This was waaayyy too salty, so much so that most of it went into the bin. Check the sauce BEFORE you mix it with rest of the ingredients. I think the oyster sauce I used was the culprit for ruining this.

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.