Thai Cashew Chicken(Gai Pad Med Mamuang Himaphan)

Cashews are grown in southern Thailand and are a huge staple in the Thai diet. This recipe is very different from its Chinese cousin because of its spice and delicious stickiness from the chili paste in soybean oil and black soy sauce.


2cups (480 ml) canola or other high-temperature cooking oil

½ cup (65 g) raw cashews

6–8 dried Thai chilies

2 cloves garlic, minced

12 oz (340 g) chicken breast or boneless thigh, thinly sliced

½ tsp kosher salt

Pinch white pepper

½ onion, halved, then sliced with the grain (Lyonnaise)

½ red bell pepper, cut into batonnet

½ green bell pepper, cut into batonnet

2 tbsp (30 g) chili paste in soybean oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) oyster sauce

1 tbsp (15 ml) Thai black soy sauce

Cooked jasmine rice, for serving

Add the cooking oil to a medium pan and heat to 350°F (175°C).

Carefully drop the cashews and chilies into the oil and fry for 1 to 2 minutes,until fragrant. The chilies will turn bright red and the cashews should be golden brown. Drain them well and set aside. Discard all but about2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil from the pan.

To the same pan, add the garlic and cook until light brown and fragrant,about 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken and stir-fry for about 1 minute,until the outside is seared and it is cooked to about medium, but not yet fully cooked.

Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, stir the onion and bell peppers into the pan and cook until the onion and peppers are light brown and soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chilies and cashews and stir-fry for about 1 more minute until all ingredients are combined and hot.

Pour in the chili paste in soybean oil, oyster sauce and black soy sauce and stir-fry until all the flavors combine and the sauce reduces to aglaze, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings if you’d like, then serve over a bed of hot rice.

Pro Tip: To cut the peppers into batonnet, this is simply a shape like a French fry, about ¼ inch thick x 4 inches (0.6 x 10 cm) long.