My friend Bree introduced me to this recipe a couple years ago. We absolutely loved it, especially my husband Steve the cashew freak, so I made sure to get her recipe so I could make it at home. She warned me that the flavor of the dish is dependent on the hoisin sauce that you buy. I shrugged my shoulders and didn't really take her advice to heart. Why would the hoisin sauce matter? Wouldn't all hoisin sauces taste like...I dunno...hoisin sauce?
The answer is NO. Hoisin Sauce (also called Chinese BBQ Sauce) can be very different from brand to brand, some a little more heavy handed with Chinese five spice. When I got home, I bought any ol' bottle of hoisin sauce and made this dish and really didn't like it. Turns out I HATE five spice and this one was loaded with it. The one my friend used had no licorice flavor (which comes from the five spice) and was much more rich and sweet. I gave away the bottle of hoisin that I bought and then went out and found the brand Bree used (Asian Family by the way); I made the dish again and loved it.
It's all about personal preference...use whatever brand of hoisin you like.
Recipe adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
3-4 tbsp cornstarch
Salt and pepper
8 green onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup water
1 cup raw cashews, toasted
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in a bowl with the cornstarch until the chicken is nicely coated. Heat a wok or frying pan with a tablespoon or two of oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add half of the chicken and fry until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan. Add another tablespoon or so of oil and stir-fry the rest of the chicken until crispy. Remove from the pan. Add the white part of the green onion as well as the garlic and stir-fry about a minute or so, then add the rice vinegar. Let the vinegar evaporate (about 30 seconds) then add the chicken back to the pan, along with the hoisin sauce and water. Cook for about a minute or so until the sauce is thick and the chicken is coated. Add the cashews and stir to incorporate. Remove to a plate and top with the green part of the onion. Serve over rice.
Click here for printable version of Cashew Chicken
Delicious. I love the ease of preparation of this dish. There aren't many ingredients and its fast and easy to prepare. Thanks for the recipe Bree!
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