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Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts Thai Style “Gai Phat Met Ma Muang Himmaphan”


Hello this is Russell I am in Thailand today learning first hand how to make a few true Thailand famous dishes, come along with me to explore the wonderful foods of Thailand has to offer.  We start off with two traditional dishes, Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew nuts and then move on to a perfect Pad Thai with shrimp that if you take the time to follow this recipe you will blow your family away with your new found cooking skills, as this is the best ever method I have found.  Testing a few dozen of the finest places to eat all over Thailand during the past six months, I decided to find the Pad Thai master, as well I did and her secret method of cooking are shared right here, this could not be any easier, so enjoy, read along in easy to follow images and instructions to a perfect Thai meal.  This recipe is especially for my son in law Kevin to cook. 

We start off with the Signature dish of Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts as in the photo above, this is my dish I cooked, take a close look, as I teach you how to make the exact same dish.


this is for one portion, you may double recipe as per the number of guest, repeat again double recipe for more guest. 

150 grams of skinless chicken thigh meat sliced a bit thin, into bit size chunks.  Dark meat is more flavourful.  150 grams is a big handful of meat.

2 tablespoons of cashew nuts “cooked”. Purchased raw at whole foods, then lightly cook in oil until light brown, drain on paper towel.  Canned nuts  are ok too, wipe off the salt.  leave whole*

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dark sweet soy sauce

1 fresh spring onion cut into one inch length, from white part to the green cut it all up

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil [not olive oil] soy bean or corn is good

1/2 teaspoon palm sugar [sub dark brown sugar]

2 teaspoons fish sauce [1 for marinate and 1 for seasoning]

2 red chile sliced into small strips [sub out a red bell pepper if you can not find sweet fresh red chile peppers in the market]

1/4 cup of chunk diced white onion

2 dried chile we will deep fry 20 seconds in oil remove both oil and peppers from pan, slice for topping  Dry Chile peppers of any type will do, similar to a Santa Fe Chile dry or the small red dry chiles in the market


1 deep side 10 inch fry pan non-stick is great

1 wooden spoon

1 spatula to flip n stir

1  each of latex rubber glove, for one hand only

Serving dish ready, as when finished cooking get it out of the fry pan.

Scissors to cut chile on top of finished dish

1 hand latex glove

*cashew nuts are not really a nut, they are a fruit from a fruit tree. Nut allergic people to peanuts maybe ok with a cashew?  Thailand is one of the largest exporters of cashews in the world.


Ready to start cooking, first we will grab a chilled glass of passion fruit iced tea with fresh mint, head out to the garden for a few fresh items and look for that darn chicken that keeps hiding from us.  Here chick chick,,,



Next up is a lesson in Peppers or Chile as you may know them.  The short version is Christopher Columbus was looking for the Spice Islands his original mission.  Found the coast of South America, namely Colombia as we know the country today.  Discovered the red peppers as we call them today.  In his ships log, he put a name to the new discovery, he was looking for “pepper” , these were spicy n hot, so he called them Peppers.  That is how they got the name.

Moving along the Portuguese sailors continued to export these pepper plants around the world some 500 years ago, back in the late 1500’s to Asia, China, India is where they delivered the plants.  These are the original plants from Colombia Amazon region where it meets Ecuador for over 200 different varieties of every hot or hotter pepper know to man, all came from this area.  The Spanish took the plants to Mexico region, they are not native of Mexico as a lot of people think.

The Thai hot red pepper is one of these same exact varieties that currently grow wild in the Amazon area of Colombia, I personally have been there seen them grown wild, so as Christopher discovered they are both hot and great in cooking.  Thai gardens grow three basic types all used in Thai cooking, you can find easy in any store fresh, see the photos below to recognize them for yourself and now you know the rest of the story too.

Red Purple Peppers, Red Mini Hot Peppers, Longer Red Thai Chile and on the vine a bit longer they turn green.  The milder red ones you can sub out a nice red bell pepper for the same effect similar taste as they are not really hot.


To start off cooking any “stir fry” first you need to get yourself organized.  Stir Fry is fast, you will not have time to measure or chop anything while cooking ALL prep has to be completed prior to  putting the pan on the fire.  Get a set of small bowls, small cups, plates out ready to measure everything out, prepared to cook.

The item is in Thai cooking a stir fry can be cooked on a normal stove stop, you do not need a “blow torch” WOK cooker, a deep side non-stick fry pan [see photo] will work just fine, this is not a lesson is Chinese Torch Fire Wok, let them cook with 3000 degree heat, not necessary for our lesson today.

Prep Table contains the following items:

Chicken cut up in a small bowl

Marinate chicken in  small bowl: 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon palm sugar, 1/2 teaspoon dark sweet soy sauce.  Combine together into one smooth liquid in one bowl, glove hand to mush together, mix.  set aside

Minced  garlic and cut up spring onion, ready in separate bowls

Vegetable oil in small bowl ready

Cashew nuts cooked light brown, ready in small bowl.

One teaspoon of fish sauce in a small bowl

2 red chile peppers cut sliced into a small bowl [red bell pepper]

1/4 cup of diced white onion ready to go

see my cooking table below for an idea, your prep table should look like this ready to stir fry.


1. Glove up !! one hand.  Pour your mix of marinate into the chicken bowl, mix, mix and mush together.  Pull glove off let chicken set for three minutes.

2. Deep fried the large dry chiles 20 seconds on medium heat, set aside on a paper towel, drain extra oil out of pan.  leave chiles set for final garnish on top of dish.


3. Fry pan on the medium heat add small tablespoon of oil,  wait 20 seconds, then add marinated chicken. Take your time to separate all the chicken parts out individually let them cook on one side brown, then flip and repeat till brown.

4. Move chicken to one side of pan, see photos, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil wait ten seconded, then add garlic stir n fry until garlic turns a light brown, see photo.

5. Mix chicken with garlic and now add diced white onion stir quickly and add fish sauce and stir in cashew nuts

6. Add the red chile peppers and spring onion continue to stir n fry 20 seconds,  continue to stir, 20 seconds more plus

7. Remove from heat, plate up your Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

8. take out scissors and cut up small bits of the dry chile you fried up earlier as a topping.


YOU ARE FINISHED, now find a nice white plate to use for your presentation

Take a look at the steps shown above and in the photos below to get the feel for making this dish, it is real simple, really.





This is served with a dish of white rice on the side.  The one item I leaned here in Thailand is all the best people who cook love their rice.  Thailand grows a lot of rice, so do the rich n famous eat it, not really.  The best rice comes from Japan extra fancy with California Sacramento Valley as a close second.  These two rice are excellent, found the same answer many times asking the chef what rice does he cook for himself or herself, the answer is alway Japan.  The local grocery store sells Japan rice you only need to look for it, actually after living in Thailand for a while, there is a difference, in quality and taste of the rice.  You just finished a class A Stir Fry Dish, serve the best side dish of rice available, from Japan.   Street food in Thailand you will get “food” cooked into a stir fry of some type, includes a bowl of rice local for less than a dollar, you get what you pay for.  Nice upscale restaurant in the city with a real chef you will get real food.


Send me a photo of your creations to share glad to hear from anyone with a cooking story too.

The Chinese version of this  dish is to add Hot Dry RED peppers into the stir fry at the end, they are the hot little suckers that you will regret eating !!


Russell Freeman on Google+!