This delicious Cashew Chicken is a hot favorite at our house. In it, crispy chunks of white meat chicken combined with scallions and toasted cashews are then then tossed in a kicked-up sauce. This recipe isn't a take out fake out, it's much better than anything you'll pay a mint for and tote home in a cardboard container. This is my own take on an Asian favorite. Chopsticks are optional.
Do Southerners Eat Cashew Chicken?
Southerners eat a variety of foods just like any other part of the country. It never ceases to amaze me that some think that Southern food is all about fried chicken and gravy. Don't get me wrong, we make comfort food like no other. We love our crispy fried chicken and gravy, macaroni and cheese, biscuits and sweet tea. Even though I've had occasion to eat all of those things, they still seem like a treat to me. Why? Because we really don't eat those foods every single day. We also love Italian, Mexican, Indian, Greek, Mediterranean, Japanese and Chinese food just as much as anyone else.
Make Cashew Chicken on the Stovetop
This Asian inspired cashew chicken is made completely on the stove top. The chicken pieces are coated with cornstarch and then fried until crispy and golden. You'll need to fry the chicken in batches being careful not to overfill the pan for the best results. After a quick saute of the green onion and cashews it takes seconds to whisk together the easy sauce. Add the chicken back to the pan, give it a toss with the crisp tender green onion and roasted cashews and the warm sauce will pull it all together. Better-than-takeout cashew chicken is ready to be served over rice with a side of steamed broccoli or sugar snap peas. See how to make your own homemade Fried Rice from Fifteen Spatulas.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 3 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts bite size cubes
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch divided
- Olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil additional as needed
- 1 bunch green onions thinly sliced
- ¾ cup roasted cashews unsalted or lightly salted
- 1 7 oz jar Hoison sauce
- ¼ cup low sodium teriyaki sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Jasmine or Basmati rice for serving
- Season the cubed chicken with garlic salt. Toss with 2 Tbsp cornstarch until coated on all sides.
- Preheat a large skillet drizzled with olive oil and 1 tsp sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken pieces to the skillet in a single layer. Fry the chicken in batches until browned on both sides and no pink remains. Around 3-4 minutes. Add additional olive and sesame oil between batches as needed. Remove to a platter.
- After all of the chicken is cooked, add the green onions and cashews to the pan. Saute for 2 minutes or until the onion has softened and the cashews are warmed. (Reserve 2 Tbsp green onion for garnishing)
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl whisk together the remaining 1 Tbsp cornstarch, hoison sauce, teriyaki, rice wine vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and ground ginger.
- Add the sauce to the skillet. Cook over medium allowing it to bubble and thicken for around 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly. Add additional tomato paste 1 Tbsp at a time if needed, to thicken.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Stir gently until the chicken is heated through and evenly coated with sauce.
- Serve immediately over cooked rice, garnished with green onion.