Chicken Cashew Nut


(Recipe excerpted from The Pepper Thai Cookbook.) "This is a classic Chinese dish that we Thais put our stamp on," Pepper Teigen says. "The twist is a dollop of chile jam, which adds a sweet roasted chile flavor and a touch of heat."

Chicken Cashew Nut
Photo: Jenny Huang
Total Time:
45 mins
5 cups


  • 2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons light soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 4 teaspoon purchased sweet chile jam, such as Pantai brand

  • 2 teaspoon packed light brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 12 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry

  • ¾ cup roasted salted cashews

  • 6 small dried red chiles, such as arbol peppers (optional)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch wedges

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces

  • ½ of a green bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces

  • 3 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Roasted Chile Powder (see recipe)

  • ground Thai chile peppers, or crushed red pepper

  • Hot cooked jasmine rice


  1. In a small bowl whisk together 2 Tbsp. of the soy sauce, the oyster sauce, sweet chile jam, brown sugar, sesame oil, 1/4 tsp. of the white pepper, and 2 Tbsp. water until combined.

  2. In a medium bowl toss chicken with the remaining 2 tsp. soy sauce, the cornstarch, dry sherry, and the remaining 1/4 tsp. white pepper until evenly coated. Let marinate 10 minutes.

  3. In a wok or large skillet heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil over medium-high until shimmering. Fry the cashews and chiles (if using) in the oil just enough to darken them slightly, 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Using a slotted spoon, place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.

  4. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the marinated chicken and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture, onions, and bell peppers, tossing to mix. Continue cooking until everything is heated through and combined, about 1 minute. Add the scallions and fried cashews and chiles; toss to combine. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.

  5. Sprinkle with Roasted Chile Powder and serve with rice. Serves 4.

Pepper's Roasted Chile Powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread 2 cups dried red chiles (such as Thai chiles, arbol peppers, or japones chiles) evenly across a sheet pan and roast about 6 minutes, watching closely to make sure they don't burn. The chiles are done when they change color from red to a very dark reddish brown. Transfer chiles to a plate and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Place them in a mortar and grind with the pestle until they're the size of red pepper flakes. (Or use a spice grinder or small blender on high 10 to 15 seconds; make sure the blender is totally dry.) Store the chile powder in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 months or up to 1 year in the freezer. Makes 3/4 to 1 cup.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

478 Calories
22g Fat
45g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 478
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 683mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 55.3mg 277%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 2.5mg 14%
Potassium 960mg 20%
Folate, total 45.6mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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