Savory Cashew Chicken Delight

August 2, 2023

Cashew chicken, a popular staple on Chinese American menus, offers a delightful culinary fusion. Unlike the spicy flair of Kung Pao Chicken that melds chilies with peanuts, cashew chicken showcases a soft, subtly sweet brown sauce, enhancing the roasted cashews’ rich flavor.

Crafting the Perfect Cashew Chicken

While numerous Cashew Chicken variations lean heavily on sweetness, our rendition, a legacy from our family’s dining establishment, strikes a harmonious chord of taste. We enhance the dish with a mix of hoisin sauce and honey, coupled with soy sauces for that iconic brown hue. And for that zest? A hint of rice wine vinegar ensures a savory depth without overwhelming your palate.

For those with an adoration for cashews, this Cashew Chicken sauté is an essential addition to your culinary repertoire.

Essential Components:

Chicken and Preliminary Mix:

  • 1 pound chicken breast (boneless, skinless, & diced into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce

The Sauce Magic:

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or your home-cooked version)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • A pinch of ground white pepper

Completing the Ensemble:

  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (finely grated)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 cup green onions (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts (sliced into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 cup cashews (sans salt & roasted for 5 mins at 350°F)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (melded with 2 tablespoons water)

The Art of Cooking:

  1. Blend chicken, cornstarch, water, oil, and oyster sauce till the chicken is well-coated. In a distinct vessel, whisk all the sauce ingredients.
  2. Fire up your wok to a high temperature until wisps of smoke appear. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil around the wok’s edges.
  3. Toss in the chicken mix, spreading it out for even cooking. Fry each side for a minute, ensuring a lovely brown exterior with 80% cooked insides. Retrieve and set aside.
  4. Introduce the remaining oil, ginger, and allow a 5-second sizzle before presenting the garlic. Swiftly incorporate bell peppers, green onions, and water chestnuts. Sauté for half a minute.
  5. Drizzle Shaoxing wine around the wok’s rim, and energize the mixture with a brief 10-second stir.
  6. Introduce the pre-mixed sauce, ensuring to collect all its goodness. Reintroduce the chicken and the juices it exudes. As it begins to bubble, bring in the roasted cashews.
  7. Stir in the cornstarch blend, using about three-quarters of it. Adjust based on your sauce preference. Let it bubble, ensuring the sauce beautifully clings to all ingredients. Present it on a plate, preferably with a bowl of fluffy rice, and let the flavors enchant you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your custom text © Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.