Cashew Chicken

Making a stir-fry doesn’t need to be a complicated process.  Decide what you want in the stir-fry and prepare those items by cutting them into bite sized pieces.  Determine the type of sauce you would like and have it ready.  You can use a bottled sauce from the store or a homemade sauce or you can say the heck with it and skip the sauce all together.  Choose appropriately sized serving platters or bowls and keep them close at hand. 

Most of my stir-fry dishes are accompanied by steamed rice.  The method I use for making steamed rice takes about an hour, which may seem strange for “20 minute rice” but it has two advantages.  First, and most importantly, the rice comes out nice and fluffy every time.  And second, an hour gives me plenty of time to prepare the vegetables and meat and enough time to finish the stir-fry. 

For the rice:

Add 1 cup of white rice to a strainer or colander.  Rinse the rice under cold water from the kitchen faucet and swish the rice around by hand for several seconds.  This removes some of the starch from the rice.  Add the rice to a 4 quart pot and cover the rice with water.  2 cups of water should do the trick.  Cover the pot and let it sit for 15 minutes, without heat.  Turn the heat on and bring the water to a boil.  Remove the lid and stir the rice with a fork and cover the pot again.  Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting.  Let the rice simmer at low heat for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Don’t open the lid until you are ready to eat.  Allow the rice to steam for at least 30 minutes.  I like to let it steam for 40 minutes.  When you are ready to serve, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.  Turn it out to a serving bowl.

Cashew Chicken Ingredients:

2 Tbs cooking oil

2 chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)

½ onion (diced)

2 bell peppers (diced)

3 Tbs thinly sliced ginger

1 cup cashew nuts

2 green onions (diced)

Marinade:

2 Tbs baking soda

2 Tbs corn starch

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Sauce:

1 Tbs oyster sauce

1 ½ tsp soy sauce

1/3 cup water

¼ tsp white ground pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

½ tsp sesame oil

Sauce Thickener:

1 Tbs cornstarch

1 Tbs water

A splash of soy sauce

Directions:

Marinate the chicken in the baking soda for about 15 minutes.  Rinse the chicken to remove the baking soda and pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  Marinate the chicken with the cornstarch and vinegar for 15 minutes.  This two-step marinade will allow the sauce to adhere to the chicken.

Prepare the sauce and the sauce thickener and set aside.

Once all of the items for the stir-fry have been prepped, heat the wok and add a tablespoon of cooking oil.

Add the chicken.  Stir-fry until the chicken is solid white and firm.  Remove the chicken to a bowl. 

Add the onions, bell pepper and ginger.  Stir-fry briefly.  Do not overcook the vegetables. 

Dump the chicken back into the wok and mix with the vegetables.  Continue to stir until the chicken is fully cooked.  Add the sauce and continue stirring. 

Move some of the vegetables and chicken away from the center of the wok and take a look at the sauce.  If it looks thin, you might want to add the sauce thickener.  I almost always add a thickener.  You can shove everything away from the center and add the thickener to the sauce and whisk until the sauce thickens but I find that it is easier, in the long run, to remove everything from the wok except the sauce and then add the thickener and whisk.  Then, return everything to the wok and add the cashews.  Stir again and turn everything out onto a serving platter or serving bowl.

Serve with steamed rice and stir-fried broccoli.

2 thoughts on “Cashew Chicken

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