Authentic Easy Thai Cashew Chicken

Bite sized chicken pieces stir-fried in sweet, savoury and nutty sauce with toasted cashew nuts and smoky dried chillies. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 3 people



  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • 2 tsp cornflour


  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Thai dark sweet soy sauce/kecap manis


  • 5-8 dried chilies
  • 1 tbsp thai chili paste (nam prik pao)
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 fresh red chillies julienned
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts toasted
  • 3 stalks green onions cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil


  1. Prepare the sauce mixture in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Season chicken with salt and white pepper and add cornflour to the mix. Heat up 1-2 tbsp of oil in a large wok to medium-high heat and stir fry the chicken. Set aside.

  3. Add 1-2 tbsp more oil into the wok and fry the dried chillies for about a minute or until it darkens slightly. This will give your dish a beautiful smoky flavour. Set aside.

  4. In the same wok, add garlic and thai chilli paste (nam prik pao). Stir fry until fragrant. 

  5. Add the chopped onion and fresh red chillies. Continue stir-frying for just a few seconds. Be careful not to burn the chilli paste.

  6. Add chicken and the sauce mixture. Toss until it thickens.

  7. Throw in cashew nuts, green onions, dried chillies and a drizzle of sesame oil. Toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve with warm jasmine rice.

Recipe Notes

  1. Substitute red chillies with red bell peppers for a milder dish. 
  2. You can choose to deep fry the chicken instead of stir-frying if you prefer crispier chicken pieces.
  3. The Pantai brand is my favourite brand of nam prik pao for this dish. I find that it gives a more complex flavour than the Mae Pranom brand. With that being said, the latter is more friendly towards the western palate; it's milder in flavour and sweeter.