Thai Cashew Chicken (Gai Pad Memuang)
Recipe type: Chicken, Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Makes: 4-6 servings
In 2015, I spent some time in Thailand with my Muay Thai club. My now-husband and I broke off from the group to partake in a Thai cooking course. We often try to find a cooking class when we're travelling, as we find that it's a great way to get to know the culture better. The course we took at Organic Thai Cooking was in a very intimate setting - the backyard kitchen of owners Eing and Roger. I was surprised to learn that the Chinese have had a huge influence on Thai language and culture. This cashew chicken dish is one of them - it differs from its Chinese counterpart in that it uses a ton of vegetables, and it's a little bit spicy. If you're not a fan of spice, omit the dried chillies. I loved being able to find fresh (!) baby corn in Thailand; definitely something I've never seen in Calgary!
  • 600-800 g (~1.5 lb) chicken, diced (about 3 chicken breasts)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tempura flour, available at Asian supermarkets, or substitute with 2 Tbsp flour mixed with ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chicken bouillon powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil
  • 2-3 dried chilis, thickly sliced
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • ½ can baby corn, sliced
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) Thai chilli paste or gochujang
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 4 green onions, cut into 2" pieces
  • 4 sticks celery, sliced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) cashews
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together chicken, tempura flour, bouillon powder and egg whites. Let stand for 10-20 minutes while you prepare remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat, ensuring that the wok is evenly coated. Add chicken - do not stir. Let the chicken brown, then turn over and brown the other side before separating the pieces.
  3. Add dried chillis and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Remove chicken and chillis from wok and set aside, leaving the oil in the wok.
  4. Return wok to heat and add onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion becomes soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, pepper and baby corn, and sauté for a few more minutes.
  5. Stir in oyster sauce, chilli paste, sugar, green onions, celery and cashews until all ingredients are evenly coated. Add chicken and cook until the chicken is warmed through.
  6. Serve warm with steamed rice.
Recipe by Vincci Tsui, RD | Calgary Registered Dietitian at