Do you love Chicken with Cashew Nuts as much as I do? It is one of my favourite Chinese dishes. However I sometimes find that the versions served in restaurants is disappointing, and I worry about the calories, salt and fat they contain. Fancy a recipe that tastes even better than your local Chinese restaurant or take away and is healthier too?
That’s where the wonderful Ching-He Huang comes in. Author of several cookbooks, Ching is quick to point out that traditional Chinese food is healthy food. Her aim is to “demonstrate how light, healthy and simple Chinese cooking can be”. By simplifying and modernising traditional dishes she makes them much more accessible and easier to cook.
A Lighter, Healthier Chicken with Cashew Nuts Recipe
Ching’s version of Chicken with Cashew Nuts is light and the sauce consists only of soy sauce and chicken stock. It’s a refreshing change from the fluorescent coloured, artificial tasting sauces I’ve had in many restaurants.
Tips for Making Chicken with Cashew Nuts
I’ve adapted Ching’s recipe slightly and I often add more veggies than the original recipe calls for depending on what I have in my fridge.
The first time I made this recipe I could not believe that one egg white and a tablespoon of corn flour was going to be enough to batter three sliced chicken breasts but honestly, it really is.
Ching also suggests that this recipe can be made as a chow mein by adding some cooked egg noodles with the cashew nuts and spring onion. It’s a delicious variation.
If you do have a wok, I recommend using it for this recipe. It’s much easier than a frying pan and allows you to get the oil really hot so that not too much of it is absorbed. A wok is a great kitchen investment. If you don’t have one, I urge you to add it to your wish list!
Easy, fresh and delicious, Chicken with Cashew Nuts is a welcome change from take out Chinese food and is much healthier too!
- For the chicken:
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon corn flour (corn starch)
- pinch of salt
- 2 to 3 chicken breasts, sliced
- 1 cups sunflower, groundnut or any mild vegetable oil suitable for frying
- For the stir fry:
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
- 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 3 tablespoons chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 large spring onions, sliced
- ¼ cup roasted cashew nuts
- pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- cooked Basmati rice to serve
- Whisk the cornflour with the egg white and salt in a bowl.
- Add the chicken and stir to coat well.
- Heat the oil in a wok over very high heat until it is nearly smoking. (Don’t leave the pan even for a second as the oil can ignite.)
- Fry the chicken in 3 batches until golden brown and crispy. As each batch of chicken is done, remove it with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Keep warm.
- Carefully remove all but one tablespoon of the hot oil from the wok.
- Add the onion and stir fry for a minute or two.
- Add the remaining vegetables and stir fry until tender crisp - about three to four minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces and stir fry to warm back through.
- Mix the stock, soy sauce and a bit of salt and pepper together.
- Add to the chicken and vegetables in the wok, stirring lightly to coat.
- Add the spring onions and cashew nuts and stir through.
- Serve the chicken and cashew nut stir over rice on warmed plates or in warmed bowls.