Thai Basil Chicken with Cashew



A little over a year ago, I met Chef Martin Yan for the first time at a Publix Aprons event. I was so girly-giddy that I breathlessly told him that he was my “culinary superhero.”

And if that didn’t scream, “freaky-fan-stalker!” then maybe he got a clue when I got a little so close trying to videotape Yan carving a chicken in 15 seconds that I almost got my bangs thwacked off. But nope, because that same evening, when I mentioned I was writing a cookbook, he actually said, “Send me a copy to review, I’ll write a quote for the back of the book.”

There was a chance that Chef Yan was just sayin’ that to be nice. I mean, he’s a celebrity chef who meets hundreds of people every day, he couldn’t possibly have remembered what he said to whom? So, two months ago, when my book was complete, I prayed that he really, really meant what he said and sent him a copy of the book galley with a kind note.

He remembered. And Martin graciously penned, “Jaden Hair delivers beautiful, simple and delicious food that will bring famly and friends to your table. She is the real deal who learned from the best, her mom. – Martin Yan.”

My publisher slapped that endorsement on the back cover of the book…and then I nearly fainted.Steamy Kitchen Cookbook The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook hits the shelves in mid-October, and I think the moment I see the real book at a real bookstore, I’m going to personally kiss the back of each book, right where Martin’s quote is.

A couple of weeks ago, Martin came back to town for a class…of course I attended and I gave Martin a big hug and thanked him profusely, freaky-fan-stalker style.


Martin Yan China Cookbook Giveaway

Martin Yan’s sponsor, Tsingtao Beer has kindly given me two autographed books to give away. CONTEST OVER…WINNER ANNOUNCED!

He wanted to send a little message to you, as he autographed these two books:

I’ll randomly choose 2 winners on July 31st. Just comment below with a nice little note for Martin Yan! What do you want to say to him? I promise he’ll read it.



If Yan Can…

carve a chicken in 19 seconds…SO CAN YOU!

This is the second time I’ve seen him do this – just simply amazing. Hear that camera-clicking? That’s me, multi-tasking. Camcorder in left hand, heavy camera in right hand. Hold still….don’t get too close to that cleaver!




Thai Basil Chicken with Cashews Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 8 minutes

What I love about this recipe is that it's super quick and simple to make. What takes the most time in this recipe is cutting up the chicken! Really, it's that simple. Yes, if Yan Can Cook, So Can You!

For Gluten-free version, use Panda Brand Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce in green bottle (though please double-ck label), San-J wheat free tamari in place of soy sauce and GF beer.

Recipe from Martin Yan


2 tablespoons lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or add an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or peanut oil
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
1 fresh chili pepper of your choice, thinly sliced into rings (optional)
1/4 cup lightly packed Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
1/2 cup roasted cashews


1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Place a wok or wide saute pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the chicken, asparagus, bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly until the chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to boil. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in chili, basil leaves and cashews.

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Comments 210

  1. Kiki

    I just wanted to comment on the recipe. It was delicious – simple, flavorful, and just spicy enough. I forgot I had Thai basil in the freezer so I used fresh sweet basil. The beer in the marinade and the sauce adds a nice earthy note to the dish, and everyone in my family loved it, even my picky husband. Thanks, Martin and Jaden!

  2. Terrianne

    Your story about meeting Martin Yan and him remembering you and keeping his word got me a little choked up. How beautiful! Congratulations on your book. I know you posted this some time ago, but what an accomplishment!
    I’m growing thai basil and google searched for a recipe that would compliment it. This looks perfect, as I also have been wanting to incorporate cashews into a dish. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. hoyoyi

    Was so great to see Martin Yan here. As I am also “Yan” ^ ^ His cooking show is the first cooking show that I first came across during my childhood always like the way he interact with the audience and how fun he turn cooking into~

  4. clair

    Thanks for recommending Mr. Yan’s recipe. I decided to try it tonight since I had most of the ingredients on hand already. I used whatever beer was in the fridge (Sapporo) and left out the cashews. I also decided to go with spicier peppers (Serrano) and now my fingers are burning under the nail from digging out the seeds. Next time I’ll be sure to have every ingredient and try it as written. However, dinner was great and didn’t take long too cook.. I’ll def. be making this again. Thanks again!

  5. Jed

    I really like the addition of beer but I felt it needed a few things:

    – Juice of one lime.
    – One red bell pepper (in the picture but not the recipe).
    – Chili pepper is crucial! Make sure it’s a spicy one.
    – Make sure beer is not at all bitter.

    Otherwise, tasty.

  6. Steven

    Looking at the picture, I feel like some ingredients are missing?
    Do I see red and green bell pepper strips? Also perhaps yellow ones too?

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Yes you are right! I had copied the recipe from his book that is a little different from what he made at the class. I’ve fixed the recipe to include bell peppers.

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