This Thai cashew chicken recipe, or gai pad med mamuang, is a simple and speedy Thai stir-fry, combining salty and spicy flavors, ready in under 30 minute

Thai Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry: Your New Favorite Dish

Recipe by Annie Tibber


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This quick Thai cashew chicken stir-fry, also known as gai pad med mamuang, offers a tasty blend of salty and spicy flavors and can be prepared in under 30 minutes


  • 200g (7oz) chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces

  • 1½ tablespoons neutral oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 2-3 dried chilies

  • 1 red pepper / capsicum, cut into cubes

  • 75g (½ cup) cashews

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • a pinch of soft brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon water


  • In a small bowl, combine light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, soft brown sugar, and water. Set this sauce mixture aside.
  • Toast the cashews in a dry frying pan over medium heat until they turn golden, shaking the pan occasionally or stirring for even browning.
  • Once the cashews are lightly golden, add ½ tablespoon of oil to the pan. Then, add the dried chilies and sauté for 2 minutes until the chilies become fragrant. Remove the cashews and chilies from the pan.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining oil, crushed garlic, and chopped spring onions/green onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Place the diced chicken into the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the sauce mixture and add the cubed red pepper/capsicum. Carry on cooking for an extra 5 minutes.
  • Return the cashews and chilies to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Serve immediately, garnishing with chopped spring onions.
  • Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Gai pad med mamuang” is a straightforward Thai cashew chicken recipe featuring tender chicken and toasted cashews coated in a simple sauce. It offers a delightful combination of salty and spicy flavors, is easy to prepare, and can be ready to serve in under 30 minutes.

Derived from Chinese stir-fry techniques, this Thai chicken dish is a popular choice on menus throughout Thailand. ‘Gai’ stands for chicken, ‘pad’ means stir-fry, and ‘mamuang’ signifies cashew, essentially translating to chicken stir-fried with cashews.

This stir-fried chicken recipe is not only quick and easy but can also be prepared and served in under 30 minutes from start to finish. The recipe is designed for 2 servings but can easily be doubled. You can also enhance it by adding an extra bell pepper/capsicum and some sugar snap peas to serve 3-4 people.

The dish is bursting with flavor, thanks to the salty oyster sauce and spicy dried chilies. You can easily adjust the spice level to suit your preferences, whether you like it mild or extra hot.

The combination of chicken with cashew nuts is truly fantastic, with the juicy chicken and toasted cashews creating an irresistible dish that’s hard to resist.

While some recipes call for coating the chicken in flour or cornstarch, we prefer to skip this step. Not only does it save time (and cleanup), but it also keeps the dish light and juicy, avoiding the cloying texture that flour can sometimes impart.

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