Easy, quick and delicious. What makes this Chinese cashew chicken truly special is the delicious and flavoursome glaze/coating around each piece of chicken. Not to mention the yummy sauce. Every bite is as flavoursome as the next, perfect with (and you've guessed it) freshly steamed rice! Or, if you're feeling fancy and keen to visit flavour town, pair this with my fragrant and indulgent Chinese Sausage Fried Rice!
Why order takeout when you can easily make it at home at a fraction of the cost!? Honestly, this is what I tell myself every time I feel lazy and tempt myself with a browse on Deliveroo or UberEats.
- Oyster sauce adds savouriness (umami!) as well as enhancing the flavours of all other ingredients in a dish. Learn more about oyster sauce and how to use it in my Chinese broccoli recipe.
- Shaoxing wine is a Chinese cooking wine (really good quality ones can be consumed as a beverage - but anyone rarely does) that is made with fermented rice. Similar to cooking with red or white wine, Shaoxing wine adds depth, complexity and aroma to a dish. Can be substituted for dry sherry or mirin.
- Oil best use neutral-tasting oil with a high smoking point such as canola or sunflower oil.
This is how you make it
An important point to remember when sauteeing the marinated chicken here is to only turn it once every minute or two. Stirring the chicken constantly will result in juices being released from the chicken and thus stops the caramelisation (too much liquid!)
When stir-frying, caramelisation is crucial. The more colour you get onto the meats and vegetables, the more delicious it becomes. Not only that, soy sauces and oyster sauces also become more complex and flavourful when it gets a chance to caramelise.
A little tip here: if you find the sauce a little thick (especially when reheating any leftovers), simply add more cold water into the pan and stir. This will help loosen it up, plus more sauce to have with rice!
Before serving this Chinese cashew chicken, give it a taste for seasoning.
Tips for making this perfect every time
- Marinate the chicken even 10 minutes is better than none. This not only will help tenderise the chicken through the salt (soy sauce, oyster sauce and salt) and cornstarch, the extra time will allow the flavours of the marinade to sip into the chicken. This is the key to tasty and flavoursome chicken stir-fries, like this healthy and easy Marinated Chicken Stir Fry with Green Beans!
- Have all ingredients laid out before you start cooking. Stir-fries are quick recipes and timing is crucial. This means the entire cooking process is on the go so you need to be prepared! Having the sauces within arms reach will make your life so much easier instead of trying to find a particular sauce mid cooking.
- Use a non-stick pan this recipe uses cornstarch which gets a little sticky. Non-stick pan is particularly important in the first step of sauteeing the marinated chicken thighs. For the outer layer 'glaze' (created by cornstarch and sauces) to caramelise, you don't want it to stick to the bottom of the pan which forms a barrier and prevents the chicken and the 'glaze' to brown. Browning the glaze and chicken creates the most amazing flavours and it'd be a shame without it. If you're using a wok (carbon steel or cast iron), make sure to get the wok really really hot before adding oil. Only add chicken in once the wok starts to smoke a little. This will prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
See the lovely glaze/coating around the chicken? It's all flavour! So delicious.
Been feeling your inner Masterchef lately? Wow yourself and your loved ones with a delicious Chinese feast!
A Chinese feast menu (for a special occasion)
Serves 4 hungry bellies
- Pork San Choy Bao refreshing and flavourful. Perfect starter.
- Chinese Steamed Fish with Ginger and Spring Onions simple and healthy way of cooking fresh fish. It ain't a Chinese feast without fish! If your steamer is big enough, try using a whole fish!
- Soy Garlic Chicken Wings marinate and pop it into the oven. Fuss-free and easy.
- Chinese Broccoli (gai lan) with shiitake and oyster sauce better than yum cha restaurants, all thanks to the super fragrant shiitake mushrooms!
- A choice of Chicken Noodle Stir Fry easy and healthy using fresh hokkien noodles or this fragrant and indulgent Chinese Sausage Fried Rice.
Made this Chinese Cashew Chicken recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Chinese Cashew Chicken
- 4 large chicken thighs, skinless, boneless about 500g/1lbs, roughly cut into 2.5cm/1inch cubes
- ½ cup roasted cashew nuts (note 1)
- 1 red capsicum roughly cut into 2.5cm/1inch squares
- 1 green capsicum roughly cut into 2.5cm/1inch squares
- 1 brown onion roughly cut into 2.5cm/1inch squares
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon oil neutral tasting oil such as canola or sunflower
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine substitute: dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup cold water
- Combine chicken with marinade ingredients. Mix well, cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
- In a large skillet or non-stick frying pan, saute chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil on high heat. Turning every minute for about 4 minutes or until chicken is caramelised but not cooked through. (note 2) Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan (without washing), add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, onions, garlic and capsicums (bell peppers). Cook on high heat until vegetables slightly charred and caramelised (flavour!). About 4 minutes.
- Whilst vegetables are cooking, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well until sauce is smooth and constarch is disolved.
- Add cashew nuts and chicken back into the pan, mix through then pour in prepared sauce. Reduce heat down to medium and stir until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked. This should take about 2 minutes.
- Serve with freshly steamed rice!
More Asian stir fry recipes