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Spicy Cashew Chicken

Spicy Cashew Chicken - easy and delicious chicken with cashew nuts with just the right amount of spicy heat. Takes 20 mins to make and much better than takeout |

Spicy Cashew Chicken

Spicy Cashew Chicken – easy and delicious chicken with cashew nuts with just the right amount of spicy heat. Takes 20 mins to make and much better than takeout.

Originally published on Sep 1, 2010. Updated with new photos.

Spicy Cashew Chicken - easy and delicious chicken with cashew nuts with just the right amount of spicy heat. Takes 20 mins to make and much better than takeout |

I love Thai food. However, a lot of Thai recipes that I like are basically Chinese in origin, with local influences, which add an exciting layer of taste structure to the originals. There are many examples: Rad Na, Pad See Ew, and in this case, cashew chicken. In Chinese cuisine, these dishes are prepared the Chinese way, but the Thai versions are flavored with fish sauce or other local seasoning sauces such as sweet soy sauce, spices (yes!), chilies, and slightly varied ingredients. The end results are always delicious, sometimes more delicious than the Chinese equivalents.

I always appreciate the local touch, which make good recipes even better!This spicy cashew chicken is adapted from my favorite Thai cookbook “Thai Cooking Made Easy.” This variation of spicy cashew chicken is also popular in Southeast Asia. In fact, it’s one of my favorite chicken dishes whenever I eat out at local hot stir-fries stalls or restaurants when I am home in Malaysia. To me, it’s the local interpretation of Chinese cashew chicken and Kung Pao Chicken, combined into this mouthwatering spicy Thai cashew chicken.

Spicy Cashew Chicken - easy and delicious chicken with cashew nuts with just the right amount of spicy heat. Takes 20 minutes to make and much better than takeout |

I know a lot of you love the spicy cashew chicken at Cheesecake Factory but I will assure you that my spicy cashew chicken tastes MUCH better than the sweetened up version they offer. It’s savory, with just the right amount of heat, and the perfect balance of flavors, making it such a delight with steamed white rice.

The best thing of all, it’s super easy to make, takes just about 20 minutes from prep to dinner table. Fire up your wok or skillet, try my spicy cashew chicken recipe and you will soon add it to your dinner rotation.

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62 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

    • I love cashews yes in savory dishes but also discovered how awesome cashews are with chicken. Our Local grocery store Wegmnas (best grocery store in the world) makes a recipe like this pre-made but it’s 10 bucks a pound! Need to make instead.

  1. Nice recipe! Simple and looks easy for a newbie like me to attempt! :D I have a question though – does the recipe call for raw cashew nuts? Can I use those that are already fried/toasted?

  2. Simon

    This is a delicious thai classic. It’s probably the most popular thai dish here next to Neua pad nam man hoi (stir fried beef with oyster sauce), pad thai and Tom yum kung/kai.

    We have a amazing little thai cafe here named Thai Orchid Cafe. Home made quality thai food at it’s best. Glad that you posted this classic here bee.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. This dish is delicious and it is one that pleases the Western palette as well. When my hubby first came to Malaysia, all he knows is 2 Chinese dishes, Sweet Sour Port and Kung Po Chicken LOL!

  4. Sharon

    Hi, With the Spicy Chicken with Cashews recipe I couldn’t see an answer to the question Is it 1 teaspoon of all the three ingredients for the sauce on the first line of the sauce ingredients ? I must cook this dish tomorrow as I am drooling just thinking about it.

  5. yangsha

    This dish sound delicious! I’m a big fan of Thai food. I have tried other numerous Kung Pao recipes and it didn’t taste so great. Hopefully, this will one will alter my mind. The picture is perfectly taken @ a great angle.

    One question, which of the 3 ingredients (maggie, soy, golden mountain) do you recomend using in stir-fries?

  6. Rabeeya

    I made this dish the day you posted it and i must say it turned out fabulous! i made some fried rice with it, and some stir fried garlic mushrooms to go with it, and my husband said he felt like he was eating food from a really great restaurant! (thats a compliment here in Pakistan, as home cooked chinese/thai is usually really bad)
    thank u so much for such a lovely recipe!

  7. Angie

    Cooked this last night and hubby loved it.. he ate 2 bowls of rice!!
    It was yummy and so easy to make.. thanks! :) and congrats on your little bundle of joy .. welcome to parenting 101 :))

  8. Amelia Chee

    Hi Bee, Congratulations on your bundle of joy! He is so cute! Cooked this spicy chicken and paired it with white rice. It’s delicious! Ribuan terima kasih for sharing!

  9. siewyee

    Hi there,
    Just to let you know I tried this recipe and it turned out really delicious. Loved by my husband, mom-in-law and grandma-in-law! Am going to try the rest of your recipes real soon!

  10. Zehava Hefetz Levy

    Where do I see the recipes?
    for some reason I see only the pictures but not the recipe
    have I misundersand something?
    Thanke you

  11. Crystal Dawn

    I mixed this with some green peppers and mushrooms, and used steamed jasmine rice instead of white rice – it was delicious!

  12. StrawberryPocky

    I can’t find dried red chilies in my local grocery store. Could I substitute it with a teaspoon of dried chili flakes instead?

  13. Claire_F

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I was looking for a recipe similar to my husband’s favorite Thai restaurant dish. This tastes exactly like it! I made it last weekend, and he raved and raved about it. I left out the sugar, and it tasted perfect. This has moved to the top of our favorites list. Thank you again!

  14. André

    Very close to the Thai-restaurant version, which I absolutely love! Great recipe — thank you very much for this one!!

  15. faleen

    A question please.. In the recipe section for the sauce you list “1 teaspoon soy sauce/Maggi seasoning/Golden Mountain sauce” does that mean we add 1 teaspoon of each of those items listed, OR 1 teaspoon of any of them? Thank you in advance.

  16. Farah

    Hi, tried this today but used oyster sauce because I dont have fish sauce. But the taste was amazing nonetheless. great recipe, thanks so much!

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