Chinese Cashew Chicken

Chinese Cashew Chicken

Pan-fried chicken, snow peas and cashews in a ginger-garlic sauce served over rice noodles.

I wouldn’t touch Chinese food, not even with a ten foot pole until I was in my early twenties. Even then it was a slow progression that started with fried rice. It was safe to eat because the picky eater in me could see and recognize everything in it and easily pick out anything I didn’t like.

You might say it was my gateway to Chinese food.

I would happily eat my fried rice declaring out loud for the world to hear that I liked Chinese food now. Soon after, a now forgotten boyfriend introduced me to lemon chicken and those deep-fried delights called crab rangoons followed by wonton soup and dumplings.

The greatest discoveries of all time I made on my own. . .Singapore noodles and pad Thai. I love you like there’s no tomorrow. {Technically these may not truly be “Chinese” but my favorite Chinese restaurant makes them. . .}.

Chicken with Cashews

In the same way it took me a while to come around to eating Chinese food it’s been the same with making it. I’m slowly building up a collection of trusted recipes. I can make sesame chicken {and sesame tofu} by heart and whip up a bowl of sesame peanut noodles with my eyes closed.

Cashew chicken is my latest acquisition. Seriously – so easy you can make this in the same amount of time it takes to order and pick up take-out. The chicken is briefly marinated in ginger and sherry {or white wine} while you prep the other ingredients. You can get the rice or noodles cooking, toast your cashews and whisk together one of the quickest, tastiest sauces on earth – chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, brown sugar and red pepper flakes that are totally optional but highly recommended for adding a zingy kick.

You cook the chicken first in a small amount of oil followed by the snow peas then they’re joined together with the sauce and less than five minutes later the entire shebang is on the table. Homemade Chinese food is served.

And I like it.

Cashew Chicken with Snowpeas

Chinese Cashew Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 - 5 servings

Chinese Cashew Chicken

Pan-fried chicken, snow peas and cashews in a ginger-garlic sauce served over rice noodles.


1 + 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated on a micro-plane
3 + 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
coarse salt & fresh black pepper
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more), optional
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup unsalted cashews, toasted
2 big handfuls of fresh snow peas, cut in half or thinly sliced {I like them whole}
cooked rice noodles, brown or white rice, for serving


  1. Add the chicken to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the sherry, ginger and 1 + 1/2 teaspoons of the cornstarch, toss and coat the chicken well. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes and remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch together. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large, non-stick skillet. Add half the chicken and cook, turning to brown on all sides, until chicken is cooked through. Remove to plate. Add another tablespoon oil to skillet and cook remaining chicken. Remove to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan with the garlic, cashews and snow peas. Stir often, cooking the snow peas to your desired tenderness.
  5. Whisk the sauce and pour into the skillet. Add the chicken and toss, cook until the sauce thickens. stirring often 2 - 3 minutes. Serve over rice.


Adapted from Martha Stewart

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

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