Thai Cashew Chicken (Gai Pad Memuang)
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!
Author: Vincci Tsui, RD
Recipe type: Chicken, Main Dish
Makes: 4-6 servings
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve warm with steamed rice.