Cashew Chicken

After the long delay, I thought I would post my new favorite recipes in honor of the many “new” things in my life.  One of the many new things the husband and I got for our wedding was a “Quick and easy Chinese” cookbook from Crate and Barrel.  It turned out to be fantastic!

The husband loves Chinese food, but at times, it is difficult to find the good stuff.  I decided that I might as well try making some at home.  Turns out, it is actually quite easy (and better for you than take out, I’m sure).  If you are feeling intimidated about cooking Chinese food, this is a good introduction.

There is one specific ingredient in this dish that is difficult to find if you can’t find in a normal grocery store.  It is called Shaoxing cooking wine.  You can easily find it in an Asian grocery store like I did, but if you don’t have one of those near you, you can substitute dry sherry or white wine.  It isn’t quite the same, but it is pretty close.

When they say quick and easy, they really mean quick, so make sure you have all your vegetables prepped when you start cooking.  I made some slight adjustments so it isn’t the exact recipe, but slightly more flavorful.

2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

red pepper flakes to taste

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 bell pepper chopped

3/4 lb boneless chicken cubed

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

3 – 4 scallions chopped

3/4 cup dry roasted cashews

Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl.  Whisk to make a slurry.  Add in Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, brown sugar and salt.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan.  Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flake.  Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add chicken to the pan to sear.  Cook chicken until nearly cooked through, then add celery and bell pepper.  Cook until celery is bright green and peppers begin to soften.  Add scallions and cook for 1 minute.

Add sauce that has been set aside and toss.  Add cashews.  Serve over rice.

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