Prep 20 mins
Cook 10 mins
Typically Chinese in origin, this dish has also been served as Thai and Singaporean fare in a lot of restaurants worldwide. A lot or recipes online produce a pale-looking and bland finished product. This recipe is restaurant-grade. The secret is the hoisin sauce, which adds seasoning and a certain degree of sweetness to the dish. There are two different varieties of chili peppers used- the traditional hot pepper, which introduces the spicy Schezuan character of the dish, and the long, dried, semi-spicy, semi-sweet pepper (sorry about the description, but do not confuse this with green pepper), which adds spice and some sweetness. The chicken is fried with the skin to add flavor, and is cooked independently . This retains the crunchiness of the chicken pieces even after cooking.
- 12 ounces chicken breasts, preferably with skin on
- 1 egg, for egg white
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- dried chili, long (not too spicy, Mexican variety)
- 3 -5 dried hot red chilies
- 1⁄4 cup sliced spring onion (inch-long longitudinal slices)
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 cup cashew nuts, whole
- 3 tablespoons sake (can use 2 tablespoons of dry) or 3 tablespoons rice wine (can use 2 tablespoons of dry)
- sherry wine
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar or 1 teaspoon fish vinegar
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- Dice the chicken breast into ½ inch pieces, dip each piece in egg white, then in cornstarch mixed with a pinch of salt. Fry the chicken pieces in a wok with heated oil until golden brown. Drain the fried pieces of chicken and set aside.
- Fry the cashew nuts in moderately-hot oil until lightly brown and crunchy. Canned or packed cashew nuts will do.
- Slice the long dried peppers into small circumferential pieces, and chop the hot red peppers into finer pieces.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the soy sauce, salt, sugar, vinegar, and sesame oil.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a wok, add the chopped garlic, all of the sliced red peppers, the spring onions. ~Stir fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken and the cashew nuts.
- Pour the contents of the small bowl containing the mixed sauce – soy sauce, sesame oil, etc. (step number 4). Add the rice wine.
- Add 3 tablespoons of the Hoisin sauce, and stir fry over high heat for another 2 minutes, then serve.
Absolutely love this version of cashew chicken. I cut the peppers right down, not wanting it too hot and also reduced the amount of the oil. I've been on a search for cashew chicken to die for, the way I once had it in a Chinese restaurant in Jamaica, of all the places. This is the closest call, so far.
We have a favourite Szechuan Chicken and Cashews dish that we get from our favourite Chinese Restaurant and this recipe came quite close. I cut right back on the oil in step 5 to about 1 teaspoon and also cut the sesame oil back to 2 tablespoons. Loved the hoisin sauce throughout the dish. Enjoyed this over rice. Thank you for sharing.