Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cashew Chicken

Another recipe for Cashew Chicken, this one from the latest issue of Cook's Country:

Even though I've never made anything I'm anxious to make again, I keep trying Chinese/Asian meals. Nothing I make really wows me. Don't get me wrong, this was a good, solid meal, but the flavors just weren't quite what I was looking for. I liked the sauce and the chicken was a gorgeous color from the marinade, but it was still missing something.

SP told me there is just no way I'm going to get the flavor I'm looking for without the MSG, but I want to keep trying. Call me crazy, but this is now a goal of mine.

Cashew Chicken
December/January 2009 Cook's Country

Marinade and Sauce
1/2 cup mirin (I used a combo of rice wine and rice vinegar)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces snow peas, stems and strings removed, halved
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup cashews, half chopped, half left whole

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the cashews on a baking sheet until golden brown, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Whisk 3 tablespoons mirin, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a large bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Whisk broth, Worcestershire, remaining mirim, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch in a separate bowl.

Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Brown half the chicken, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and brown the remaining chicken.

If necessary, add more oil to the skillet or wok and add the snow peas. Cook, stirring constantly, until bright green. Add ginger, garlic and pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds. Add the water chestnuts and broth mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Return chicken to the pan along with any juices and heat through. Off heat stir in the cashews. Serve over rice.
Pin It!


  1. This sure looks yummy to me- I love Asian food. I can not eat MSG...EVER...it makes me sick. I would try this for sure. I havent made any Asian for for quite some time...thanks for inspiring me:)

  2. Thai curry is a favorite of mine, too. And stir-fry Thai curry with nuts is my favorite dish to order in a Thai resto near my place. It is so easy to cook, but I usually omit the coconut milk. Have you tried adding eggplant? It's great!


  3. Susan - I hope you like this one!

    Scientist - I love Thai food as well and seem to have more luck with that style of cooking, but Chinese food escapes me. I'll definitely try adding eggplant to my curries in the future.

  4. I can see Thai being easier to replicate than Chinese... but don't give up! It has to be able to happen without MSG, somehow!

  5. You should get mirin if the recipe calls for it cos rice wine and rice vinegar is not a substitute for mirin. If the dish is of Japanese origin, you may like to know that the chef normally add a stock made of bonito dashi. They seldom use chicken broth to flavor the sauce. You can easily get bonito dashi in the Japanese products aisle in the Asian store. Hope the info helps you to achieve the taste you are looking for. BTW, I am a home cook too and my husband loves Asian food. We have Asian food for supper atleast 4 nights a week.


I've been told there are issues with comments going through. After you comment, you should see the following message: "Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval." If you don't see a message it means the comment didn't go through. Please try commenting again! I'm sorry!