Chicken, Cashews, Red Pepper and Scallion Stir Fry

"This has by far become my favorite stir fry dish. It is a mix of my girl friends favorite chicken stir fry, my favorite technique and sauce for stir fry; and this is the final result. Basically, a 4 ingredient dish with a simple sauce, stir fried and served over rice with a crunch. Yes, chopped water chestnuts make this rice a great compliment. Now, for dinner, I serve some Napa cabbage, rough chopped and tossed with shredded carrots and shallots, topped with an Asian, or toasted sesame seed dressing for a perfect side. Now you can make your own dressing, but there are so many store bought dressings available these days which are pretty good. It is such a quick easy dish for a week night dinner. And ... If you're in the mood, a few spring rolls, egg rolls or an miso or egg drop soup would make a nice starter course. A couple of notes. Don't skip of any of the steps, it is what makes the dish work so well. Also ... add the water chestnuts to the rice, it really makes the dish. And the sesame oil gives it the stir fry flavor. Don't skip these ingredients."
photo by LifeIsGood photo by LifeIsGood
photo by LifeIsGood
Ready In:


  • Chicken and Marinade

  • 1 extra large egg (egg white only)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 14 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 14 lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut in 1-inch bite size pieces (I use a mix of thighs and breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (to saute the chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, to saute the chicken (vegetable or canola oil will work fine, do NOT use olive oil)
  • Cashews

  • 12 cup unsalted whole cashews
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (vegetable or canola oil will work fine, do NOT use olive oil)
  • Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 12 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine (do not use cooking sherry or cream sherry, just use a cook dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Vegetables

  • 1 small red pepper, very very thin sliced in 1-2-inch pieces
  • 12 cup diced scallion, white and green parts
  • 14 - 12 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Rice

  • 4 cups rice (use your favorite, I serve about 1 cup per person, you can make more if you like)
  • 1 (3 1/2 ounce) can water chestnuts, cut in thin strips


  • Now, it looks like a lot, but it is very easy. Just start each step and honestly it doesn't take any time.
  • Chicken Marinade -- In a small bowl, add the egg white, corn starch and soy sauce and whisk well. Add the chicken and toss well to combine. Just set off to the side on the counter. The chicken will come to room temp as it marinates. I like to let it set 30-45 minutes. This gives you time to prepare everything else.
  • Cashews -- This only takes a few minutes. In the same large pan you are going to cook the chicken in (I prefer non stick), add the oil and bring to medium heat. Add the cashews and cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown (stirring often). Once they are done, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. They don't need chopping, so they are ready to go. Wipe out the pan as you will be using this to make the chicken.
  • Sauce -- In a small bowl or even a measuring cup, add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sherry wine, sugar, red pepper flakes and set to the side. Don't add the scallions yet.
  • Rice -- Start the rice as the chicken only takes a few minutes to cook. I use a quick cooking rice, but feel free to use your favorite. Right at the end of cooking, add in the water chestnuts. I make this ahead and just cover and set off to the side.
  • Chicken -- Time to stir fry! This is quick so make sure you have the sauce nearby, the cashews and the rice is done. Heat that large pan up one more time. Now a wok is great if you have one, but not necessary. Add 1 tablespoon each peanut (or whatever you have) and sesame oil (don't leave out the sesame oil (it gives this dish great flavor) and bring to medium/high heat - high heat. Scoop the chicken out of the marinade, but use a slotted spoon, you don't want to get extra marinade in the pan. You can also strain it in a colander if you want. A slotted spoon works great and much easier. Add it to the hot oil and stir fry on each side until golden brown. It won't take more than 4-5 min tops. They cook very quick and you don't want to over cook them.
  • Right before they are done, add in the scallions, red pepper strips and cashews. Stir to combine and then add in the sauce. Cook just a minute or two until the sauce is bubbly and thick. The pepper will still be a bit crunchy but tender and the chicken will be tender and done.
  • NOTE: If you like the sauce a bit thicker, mix 1 teaspoon cold water with 1 teaspoon corn starch and add to the dish. And cook just a minute -- this will thicken it up quickly.
  • Serve -- Just top this wonderful chicken and sauce over the water chestnut rice. As I mentioned, I love a Napa cabbage salad with carrots and a sesame dressing for a side, but add your favorites. This really may look like a lot, but they are all simple steps. Just follow the steps for a quick nice dinner. ENJOY!
  • Note: Time to make includes marinating.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This was really good Sarasota. I didn't see the scallions listed in the ingredients list, so I just sliced a few about 1-in. long, and added those to the veggies. I also didn't have the red pepper and used a poblano instead. I don't know that it made a difference but it was tasty !<br/>We like the water chestnuts in our stir-fry, so I added those in too. <br/>Very tasty over rice and I will make this again for sure !! Thanks.<br/>Donna<br/>Later..... oops, found the scallions in the recipe (thanks Sarasota)
  2. Great stir-fry recipe! My favorite addition was the toasted cashews. Wow, did that ever make a difference. Another yummy addition was the use of sliced water chestnuts in the brown rice. Don't be scared off by the length of the directions. This stir-fry was really very easy, especially if you have everything chopped, out, and ready to go! The only tweek I will make next time is to add corn starch to the sauce mixture , so the sauce will thicken up more. Thanks for another great recipe! ~Made for Spring 2011 PAC~


<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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