Thai Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut Rice

Thai stir-fries are one of our favorite go-to’s; and this recipe rachetes it up a notch with the addition of Thai cashews (find them at Trader Joe’s). And if you like bold flavors, then this will end up on your short list.

Originally from Milk Street, we scaled back on the chicken by 25%, but increased the bell pepper quotient by 100%, adding a yellow one along with the red pepper, making it more veggie-forward. Another change was doubling the sauce (except for the garlic). These alterations are noted in the recipe below.

And while you could pair it simply with steamed jasmine rice, you might want to try the Coconut Rice recipe below for even more depth of flavor.

I have to give a shout-out to these fabulous Trader Joe’s Thai cashews. Not only are they a fabulous snack right out of the bag, but they’re perfect for this dish. If you can get your hands on them, by all means do so.

NOTE: Don’t discard the marinade after draining the chicken. It’s mixed with ¼ cup water and becomes a sauce that lightly coats the chicken and vegetables.

Thai Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 5 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 6 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. white sugar
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Ground white pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths; save some of the dark green cut into smaller pieces for garnish
  • 1/2 cup roasted Thai cashews, roughly chopped


  1. Start coconut rice, directions below.
  2. For the Stir-fry: In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, pepper flakes and 3/4 teaspoon white pepper. Stir in the chicken, then marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the chicken in a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, pressing the chicken to remove excess marinade. Stir 1/2 cup water into the marinade and set aside.
  4. In a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the chicken in an even layer, then cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
  5. Heat a bit more oil in the wok, stir in the bell peppers and scallions. Stir-fry for several minutes until just starting to brown. Add chicken back to the veggies.
  6. Stir the marinade mixture to recombine, add to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Toss in the cashew pieces, cook, stirring often, until the liquid thickens and clings to the chicken, about 2 minutes.
  7. Taste and season with white pepper. Spoon over cooked coconut rice and garnish with scallion greens.

Loosely adapted from a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water or water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 2-inch strips of lime zest


  1. Place jasmine rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until water runs clean. Drain well, it works best to tap base of sieve with your hand or against the sink.
  2. Heat coconut milk and coconut water in a medium non-stick saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, season with salt, sugar, lime zest strips add rice and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid has been absorbed (you may find there’s a few small pools of liquid at the top and that’s fine), about 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover over low heat for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.

Adapted from a recipe by

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