Every now and then it is a bare necessity to have a bowl of comforting steamed white rice with a tasty Chinese stir-fried dish. This kind of food reminds me of strolls down memory lane in Hong Kong, where I would be tempted by every single local street restaurant where you can just go in and share a table with anyone. Whether it’s a curry, fried pork with black beans and bitter cucumbers or char sui (roast barbecued pork), it was always a satisfying meal.
At home, I get regular requests for this chicken and cashew nut stir-fry, especially from my hungry boys. It’s quick, tasty, easy and an all-time favourite. There’s a little French touch to this dish – it’s actually something I never ate in Hong Kong, but always in Chinese restaurants in Paris – it’s a typical westernized meal that somehow turned out to be timeless. I love cooking this dish with the background nutty scent of steaming white rice – it makes me feel like I am exactly where I belong.
My father taught me a great trick to make my stir-fries look ‘professional’ – he calls it the ‘glossing‘. Dilute 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 4 tbsp of lukewarm water, add this mixture to the stir-fry, on a high heat, right at the end. The sauce will thicken and give a perfect finishing gloss.
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
4-5 chicken breasts (cut in 2 cm/ 1/2 inch approx)
2 red paprikas (sliced in small squares)
2 cloves garlic (sliced finely)
1 large yellow onion (sliced coarsely)
150 g unsalted cashew nuts
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp tomato concentrate paste
1 tbsp oyster sauce
3-4 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 pinch chilli powder or 1 crunched dried chilli (optional)
1 tbsp cornstarch (with 4 tbsp lukewarm water to dilute)
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Cut and slice chicken, paprikas, onion and garlic, set aside. In a large frying pan or wok, heat oil on a high heat and throw in the chicken until browned, set aside. Add a bit of oil and fry cashew nuts until golden (about 3-4 minutes), set aside. Add a bit of oil, fry onions for 3 minutes, then add paprikas and garlic and continue frying for 3-4 more minutes. Always on a high heat, add tomato concentrate, oyster sauce, sugar, chilli and soya sauce, then return chicken and cashew nuts to the pan, constantly stirring for 4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Add sesame oil, stir. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with a bit of lukewarm water, just enough to dilute, and add to the pan – stir well.
Serve with freshly steamed white rice.
5 thoughts on “Chicken and cashew nut stir-fry”
Just your description of this meal is making me taste hot chinese food in my mouth…yum! I love this glossing idea too.
I am sure that this is one of those dishes that, made once, I’ll think “why haven’t I made this before?”. Looking forward to it and now I know why all of my former NYC Chinese haunts always cranked out photo-worthy food: glossing!
Thanks for stopping by over at my place–would definitely love to meet if you are ever here. If I am ever there, I fear I wouldn’t want to come back! It seems like “le spot” if ever there was one…
Your father was smart and your boys are adorable!
Made it last night and it was lovely x
I like the sound of this recipe – unfortunately i live in Austria and they have limited ingredients for making chinese dishes like this – however I gave it a go – http://www.smileyculture.com/nikas-smiley-chicken-cashews-nuts/