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saucy cashew chicken cooked in black skillet
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5 from 11 votes

Cashew Chicken (Better-Than-Take-Out)

Homemade saucy stir fry cashew chicken is better than your take out version. It’s so easy to make, you can bring dinner to the table in less than 30 minutes. Served with rice, it satisfies your craving for stir fry chicken any day!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 563kcal


For Sauce:

  • 1 ½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon low sodium light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ¾ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce or sriracha sauce
  • ½ tablespoon corn starch
  • ¼ cup sesame oil

For Chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs or breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup cashew (whole)
  • ½ tablespoon corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white part of spring onions chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced

For Garnish:

  • Green onions
  • Sesame seeds


  • First make the stir fry sauce. Simply whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, chili sauce, corn starch, sesame oil in a bowl. Keep it aside until use.
  • Dry roast whole cashew nuts in oven. Pre heat oven at 300 degree F. Dry roast cashews for 3 to minutes giving it a stir in between. Do not let cashews brown. You want to roast not brown it. Remove roasted cashews from oven and let it cool down.
  • Prepping Chicken – Cut chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces. Add all chicken into a zip lock bag or a wide bowl.
  • Season it with pepper, salt and corn flour. Shake well to coat all chicken pieces evenly. Let chicken sit in the marinade for 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil (divide oil so you can add oil for every batch) in a skillet or wok. Add few marinated chicken pieces on to the skillet, without overcrowding it. Immediately stir fry it for about a minute on medium high heat, flip and cook it on other side. Don’t cook chicken completely. We only want to sear it or fry it lightly in oil. Remove cooked chicken into a bowl and repeat the same process with remaining chicken. Once done remove all chicken to a bowl.
  • Pour remaining oil to the skillet.
    Note – don’t worry about the brown bits, you scrap it off the pan as you stir fry chicken and cashews. Those brown bits are all flavors. I do like to have them in my stir fry.
  • If you aren’t comfortable, use another clean skillet before you start stir frying chicken.
  • Add white part of spring onions along with minced ginger and garlic in. Stir for about a minute on medium high heat.
  • Add back partially cooked chicken pieces give it a stir.
  • Pour in the sauce into the pan. It may look like a lot of sauce and the dish can look too saucy with liquids, but it’ll evaporate as you cook for few minutes.
    Note – If you find the sauce to be too thick and the chicken is turning thick and dry, add chicken stock or water to the pan as required to help cook chicken.
  • Stir in everything and cook for about a minute or two tossing it frequently.
  • It’s time for cashews. Add in dry roasted cashews and stir again.
  • Turn off heat after a minute.
  • Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Serve this saucy stir fry chicken with cashew nuts over rice.



  1. Using boneless chicken thighs will give you tender chicken. Don’t worry, chicken breasts will taste good too.
  2. Do not crowd the pan while frying chicken pieces. Do them in batches if you have to.
  3. Soon as you add the chicken to oil, stir it immediately, else it will stick to the pan (Like you see in the video, I got distracted for a minute and chicken pieces were stuck, but I got it out of pan without breaking successfully with some effort haha!)
  4. Use low sodium light soy sauce in this recipe. Dark soy will have strong taste and will taste bitter.
  5. If you find the sauce to be too thick and the chicken is turning thick and dry, add chicken stock or water to the pan as required to help cook chicken.
  6. Whole cashew nuts are better choice. Brown ones can do, but it won’t look as pretty as whole nuts and you won’t get a mouthful taste of cashews when you bite in.
  7. Don’t use raw cashews directly in the dish. Also don’t use salted and roasted cashews. Buy raw whole cashews and dry roast them at home in oven or on stove top. Do NOT brown cashews, roast for just about 3 to 4 minutes and remove from heat just when it starts to brown.
  8. The recipe for sauce does not make the dish spicy. If you like spicy stir fry chicken, add more chili sauce. You can also reduce the amount of sugar by half in the recipe to make it spicy. But do it with caution so you are able to handle the heat you add to the sauce.
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used. Nutritional information mentioned is excluding rice.


Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 3mg