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May 28, 2014

Cashew Chicken | Wok Wednesday

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:
  1. Read the whole recipe the day before preparing it.
  2. 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. 
  3. Combine all of the ingredients that are added at the same time into the same bowl. 
  4. 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. 

Participants have agreed to not rewrite the recipes, however, you can find this recipe in Leite's Culinaria as contributed by Grace Young. You can find the recipe >here<.  Give it a try!

Would you like to comment?

  1. One of my favorite chicken dishes! Looks so good!

  2. I'm honored to see you writing in Sky's Edge! I love all the tips on how you stir-fry!

    1. Thanks Grace! It's why I haven't adapted to electronic cookbooks. I need all of my notes!!

  3. I love that you write in the cookbook! One of my favorite things about buying used cookbooks is finding the notes from the previous owner.

    As for multiple stir-fries for a dinner party I have two tips - make one of dishes a fried rice dish that you can make ahead of time and reheat on the stove or in the oven (I find fried rice reheats pretty well), or invest in another wok. I have two, and I can do one stir-fry, then switch to the other wok to do another and not have to worry about cleaning the wok between uses.

    1. Thanks Matt! And thanks for the tips!!!

  4. Hi Karen, writing in your cookbooks is such a great idea, they kind of turn into a mini journal. Love this dish!

  5. Beautiful Karen! I always write in my books too - otherwise notes may get lost. I'm with you on wanting to know how to throw a stir-fry dinner together. Matt's idea is good. Most of the dishes do taste good the following day, so keeping them in the oven to keep warm while doing the other dishes may work? May have to experiment - what are friends for? :)

  6. I'm always looking for other ways to serve chicken, this looks like a keeper!

  7. I'm a huge Wok Wednesdays fan (and not-too-frequent particpant) and cashew chicken is one of my favorites. Actually, deciding among the Grace Young recipes is like asking me which of my kids I prefer:)


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