Authentic cashew chicken is a Cantonese dish flavored with ginger and garlic and a light sauce flavored with soy. It is amazingly easy to make, or..... maybe I've just had a lot more practice at stir-frying and mise en place after several months of participation in Wok Wednesdays.
When I first started this stir-frying adventure, my kitchen typically looked like it was hit by a tornado after I finished preparing the dish. There would be dishes all over the counter and the sink would be piled with more dishes. While the stir-fry would take just a few minutes, clean up was a nightmare.
Here are some helpful hints I've learned:
- Read the whole recipe the day before preparing it.
- Prep the ingredients ahead of time and wash and put away all of the dishes, utensils, and chopping boards involved in prep ahead of time.
- Combine all of the ingredients that are added at the same time into the same bowl.
- Write out the basic stir-frying instructions in large print and break it down minute-by-minute. I like to write it directly on the pages of the cookbook (sorry, Grace, this is how I show love to my cookbooks).
In the case of this recipe, the chicken is cut into pieces and marinated in rice wine, garlic, soy, and corn starch. The vegetables are all added at the same time, along with the cashews. The ginger is kept in a separate small bowl as it is added first, and the sauce is added at once. I also have a tablespoon of oil measured and standing by because it's added mid stir-fry.
My next goal: Figuring out how to make several stir-fries for a fabulous dinner party.
We loved this stir-fry. It was perfect with rice. I used regular soy sauce for the chicken marinade, and dark soy for the sauce. It was so good!
I am participating in Wok Wednesdays, a group of wok enthusiasts wokking our way through Grace Young's James Beard award winning cookbook, Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge. We also have a Facebook page where Grace Herself is a frequent contributor. It's an amazingly supportive community.