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Cashew Chicken

Bowl of cashew chicken with chunks of stir-fried chicken, carrots, sugar snap peas, celery, cashews
This cashew chicken is close to the real Cantonese deal. It calls for chicken thighs, ginger, and garlic to be stir-fried with sugar snaps and carrots in a simple, barely there sauce made with rice vinegar and soy sauce. Done in 30 minutes. And darn near keto.
Grace Young

Prep 25 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 30 mins
Entrees
Chinese
2 to 3 servings
651 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1/2-inch (12 mm) cubes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (for a richer tasting sauce, use dark soy sauce in place of regular soy sauce; for gluten-free, use tamari) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil (use only oils with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed)
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas strings removed, pods left whole
  • 1/2 cup carrots sliced 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
  • 1/2 cup celery sliced 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews (if using raw cashews, toast them in a dry skillet for a minute or two prior to tossing them into the stir-fry)

Directions 

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and sugar. Stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl combine the broth, the remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch.
  • Heat a 14-inch (36 cm) flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch (30 cm) skillet over high heat until a bead of water added vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the oil, tilting the wok to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the ginger and, using a metal spatula, stir-fry until the ginger is fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  • Push the ginger to the sides of the wok, carefully add the chicken mixture, and spread it evenly in a single layer. Cook the chicken, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Then stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned but not quite cooked through, about 1 minute more.
  • Swirl the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the wok, add the sugar snaps, carrots, celery, and cashews, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir-fry just until the sugar snaps are bright green, about 1 minute. Restir the broth mixture and swirl it into the wok, adding it along the sides rather than into the middle. Stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 minute.
  • Serve the cashew chicken immediately.