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Thai Basil Sesame Cashew Chicken with Coconut Rice.


  • 3 tablespoons sesame or extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • zest of 1 lime

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or flour

  • black pepper

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari

  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1-2 tablespoons chili paste (sambal oelek)

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated

  • 1-inch fresh ginger, grated

  • 2 red or orange bell peppers, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup fresh Thai or regular basil, roughly torn

  • steamed white or brown rice, for serving


  • To make the cashews. Heat 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon honey, the cashews, chili, powder, and turmeric in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until lightly toasted and caramelized, 3-4 minutes. Watch closely. Spoon the cashews out of the skillet onto a parchment-lined plate. Sprinkle with lime zest and salt. Set aside. 

  • In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, cornstarch, and a pinch of black pepper.

  • To make the sauce. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili paste, ketchup, and sesame seeds.

  • Wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and brown all over, until it becomes crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and peppers, cook another 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the sauce coats the chicken, about 5 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Serve the chicken and sauce over bowls of rice. Top with cashews, additional basil, and cucumbers, if desired. Enjoy!

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