This tasty stir-fry uses skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which are less expensive than chicken breasts and, I believe, taste better. You can make this dish quickly; make the marinade, cut up and marinate the chicken, toast the cashews, stir-fry the veggies and chicken, add the classic Thai flavourings of fish sauce, sugar and lime juice and, finally, add the cashews and basil. If you don’t have raw cashews, used roasted ones and skip the toasting step. Regular basil works just fine if you can’t find Thai basil. You can make this dish as mild or spicy as you like by using more (or fewer) hot peppers and/or hot pepper flakes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Fish sauce often contains MSG, so look for a brand without flavouring or preservatives. Be sure to use fresh lime juice, as the concentrate (in addition to being bitter) contains sodium benzoate.

Marinate cubes of skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Toast raw cashews

Stir-fry vegetables

Add chicken

Add basil and toasted cashews

Stir-fried Thai chicken with cashews and basil


1 lb (454 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, cut_in 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes

2 tsp (10 mL) grated gingerroot

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper

2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch

2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil

1 cup (250 mL) raw cashews

¼ cup (60 mL) thinly sliced shallots or onions

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh hot pepper, (preferably red bird eye)

1 tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce

2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar

2 tsp (10 mL) lime juice

1 cup (250 mL) loosely packed Thai basil leaves or regular basil


In bowl, toss together chicken, ginger, salt and pepper. Mix in cornstarch and 1 tbsp (15 mL) water; set aside.

In skillet or wok, heat oil over high heat; stir-fry cashews for 1 minute or until golden. With slotted spoon, remove and set aside.

Add shallots, garlic and hot pepper to pan; stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until golden. Add chicken mixture; stir-fry for 4 minutes. Stir in fish sauce, sugar and lime juice; cook for 1 minute or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

Return cashews to pan along with basil.

Serve with rice and an oriental green vegetable, such as Chinese broccoli, snow peas or bok choy. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living