This is the Thai take on a dish that can probably be found at any Asian hole-in-the-wall eatery in the west. The soft, moist chicken meets the warm crunch of freshly toasted cashew nuts or, as they are called in Thai, the ‘mangoes of the high forests of India’.
The dish captures the eye with its vivid color – It is beautiful! It is bright! It is happy! – and it fits well within the comfort zone of most westerners. It is not surprising that this dish has made its way to the top of the charts, consistently ranked among the top ten tastiest Thai dishes served abroad.
So, seek no more: here it is – the authentic recipe for Thai ‘Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts’.
- 200 g chicken breast (อกไก่) cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 tablespoon cassava flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup neutral tasting cooking oil (น้ำมันพืช)
- 1 tablespoon Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) crushed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup yellow onion (หอมใหญ่) sliced into thin wedges
- 1/3 cup dried red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแห้ง) fried and cut into 2.5 cm (1″) pieces
- 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
- 1/3 cup fresh red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแดง) thinly julienned
- 1/3 cup fresh banana chili (phrik yuak) (พริกหยวก) cut into thin long strips
- 1/3 cup spring onion (ต้นหอม) cut into 2.5 (1″) cm strips
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (ซีอิ๊วขาว)
- 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce (ซีอิ้วดํา)
- 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (พริกไทยป่น)
- pinch sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
- pinch granulated sugar (น้ำตาลทราย)
- 3 tablespoons water or stock (น้ำเปล่าหรือน้ำสต๊อก)
- Mix all the seasoning ingredients. Set aside.
- Fry the cashew nuts until light golden; set them aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Fry the dried chilies until shiny and crispy; set aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Roll the chicken cubes in flour. Remove any excess flour, and deep fry the chicken on medium-high heat until it turns light golden. Set the chicken aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Julienne the long red peppers, and cut both the onion and the green banana pepper into thin slices. Set aside.
- Wipe the wok clean with a paper towel, and place it back on the heat. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the garlic, and stir fry quickly until fragrant; do not allow the garlic to brown.
- Add the sliced yellow onions, and stir fry until they become translucent.
- Add the fried chicken, along with the fried cashew nuts and fried dry chilies.
- Add the seasoning sauce and stir fry until it thickens : toss all the ingredients together until everything is evenly coated with the sauce.
- Add spring onions and fresh chilies and stir fry; mix.