Simple Cashew Shrimp

Prepare to be wowed by this Cantonese Cashew Shrimp - a dish that effortlessly blends simplicity with sophistication! The natural sweetness of cashews and shrimp creates a delicious contrast with the savory depth of the sauce.

Beautiful plate of cashew shrimp with brown sauce served with rice

The perfect sauce

The magic lies in the sauce - a beautiful blend of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar, infusing the dish with its signature flavor. By opting for light soy sauce, we keep the sodium levels in check without compromising taste. If light soy sauce isn’t handy, halve the regular soy sauce quantity and dilute with about ¼ cup of water.

Cashews and shrimp

Cashews and shrimp are an excellent pairing, known for their complementary flavors and textures. Cashews, with their smooth and slightly sweet taste, blend nicely with shrimp’s tender and mild flavor. This combination is versatile and works well, offering a balance of creaminess from the nuts and a light seafood taste from the shrimp. The result is a delicious meal that is easy to prepare and enjoyable to eat, perfect for many occasions.

Pair it with veggies

We recommend a side of veggies to accompany the dish or even a veggie stir-fry in the cashew shrimp sauce, and we have some great recommendations;

  • Broccoli: This is a classic side, perfect for adding a crunchy texture and mild flavor to your meal. You can steam it lightly to maintain its bright color and crispness, stir-fry it with a bit of garlic for a fragrant touch, or roast it to bring out a slightly nutty, caramelized flavor.
  • Bell Peppers: Adding bell peppers brings vibrant colors and a delightful combination of sweetness and tanginess. Red peppers are the sweetest, while green peppers have a more grassy flavor. Yellow and orange peppers offer a balance between the two. You can slice them into strips or cubes and either sauté, roast, or grill them.
  • Snap Peas: Bring a delightful crunch and natural sweetness to the table. Their crispness is best preserved when stir-fried briefly or steamed. These peas add a fresh, spring-like quality to any dish.
  • Asparagus: when roasted or grilled, asparagus spears become tender with a slightly crisp tip. Coating them lightly in olive oil and seasoning with a squeeze of lemon can enhance their natural flavor.

A bowl of cashew shrimp served on a bed of fluffy white rice.

  • Green Beans: Whether sautéed or steamed, they’re an excellent choice for a simple yet satisfying side. They maintain a lovely crunch and a vibrant green color, especially when not overcooked. You can sauté them with a touch of butter or olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for a classic, comforting side dish.
  • Zucchini: This vegetable has a delicate flavor and a soft yet slightly firm texture when cooked. It’s perfect for grilling, roasting, or sautéing, and it absorbs flavors well, so it can be seasoned simply with herbs.
  • Carrots: Offer a lovely sweet and earthy flavor to the meal. They can be steamed to retain a bit of their crunch or stir-fried to caramelize their natural sugars, enhancing their sweetness. Their bright orange color also adds a cheerful pop to the plate.
  • Cauliflower: A fantastic low-carb alternative to rice. It can be roasted to bring out a nutty flavor or stir-fried for a more tender, rice-like consistency. This vegetable absorbs flavors, making it a versatile and health-conscious option.
  • Spinach: Spinach quickly sautéed with garlic and a splash of lemon juice provides a light and nutritious side dish. It wilts down significantly, so starting with a generous amount is key. Its earthy taste complements the rich flavors of the cashew shrimp beautifully.

Each of these vegetables adds its unique taste and texture to the dish and increases its nutritional value, making your cashew shrimp not only delicious but also well-rounded and healthy.

Spice things up

We think this recipe is delicious, but tweaks could always be made depending on the palate, so here are some of our favorite twists.

  • Spicy cashew shrimp: Add a teaspoon of chili flakes or a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Cashew shrimp stir-fry: Toss in assorted vegetables like bell peppers, snap peas, and carrots. Stir-fry in the soy sauce and oyster sauce blend until tender.
  • Honey-glazed cashew shrimp: Mix a tablespoon of honey with the sauce for a sweet glaze. Pair with sesame seeds for a delightful crunch and appearance.

Nuts about nuts?

If so, try out some of our other irresistible nut recipes;

A bowl of cashew shrimp served on a bed of fluffy white rice with additional sauce and rice in the background.

Is it okay to refrigerate cashew shrimp?

Absolutely! The cashew shrimp can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if kept in an airtight container. For the best results when reheating, consider preparing a fresh side of steamed veggies and rice.

What are some recommended accompaniments for cashew shrimp?

Our go-to is steamed vegetables and rice alongside the cashew shrimp. Alternatively, you can pair the dish with egg noodles and a mix of vegetables for a delightful variation.

Simple Cashew Shrimp

This delightful Cantonese Cashew Shrimp dish strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and elegance in the kitchen. Its ease of preparation makes it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced cooks alike.



5 mins

15 mins

20 mins

417 kcal

A close-up of cashew shrimp on a bed of fluffy white rice, served on a rustic plate. The plate sits on a textured fabric, and the meal is accented with fresh herbs.


  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic or 1 ½ tablespoons garlic paste

  • 1 ½ tablespoons ginger or 1 ½ tablespoons ginger paste

  • 1 cup cashews

  • 2 finely chopped green onions

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 sliced green pepper


  1. In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the slices of green pepper to the pan and cook until the green pepper starts to soften. Add the shrimp and fry until they start to turn pink.

  3. Add the ginger and garlic paste to the pan of peppers and shrimp and cook everything for 1 minute. Pour in the sauce mixture and mix thoroughly.

  4. Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and ¼ of a cup of water in a cup, stir the slurry until all the lumps have gone, then add this to the pan.

  5. Add in the cashews and coat the cashews in the sauce. If the sauce is a bit too thick, add a little bit of water (approximately ¼ cup of water).

  6. Garnish with chopped green onion and serve with cooked rice & vegetables.


  • If you do not have light soy sauce, half the amount of soy sauce used in this recipe (⅛ cup) and add approximately ¼ of a cup of water to the sauce mix

  • To save time when making recipes that require ginger and garlic, we recommend using ginger and garlic paste.


  1. Calories 417 kcal | 
  2. Carbohydrate Content 22.9 g | 
  3. Cholesterol Content 182.5 mg | 
  4. Fat Content 24 g | 
  5. Fiber Content 2.1 g | 
  6. Protein Content 31.4 g | 
  7. Serving Size 1 portion | 
  8. Sodium Content 807.4 mg | 
  9. Sugar Content 6.3 g | 

About the author

Emma Donin is the culinary maestro behind this blog that serves as a melting pot of global cuisines and gastronomic adventures. Her culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen, where she learned the fundamentals of cooking and the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients.

Headshot of the author, Emma Donin