Cashew chicken…one of MA FAVES when it comes to Chinese take-out. I love the different textures from the chicken, veggies, water chestnuts, and cashews. But the BEST part, in my opinion, is when the sauce kind of soaks into the cashews, softening them and loading them with delicious, saucy, flavor.
You could say I am quite the expert on Chinese take-out. It is a go-to for Seth and I on lazy nights when we just don’t feel like cooking and have zero leftovers from previous evenings. We have explored many a Chinese-take-out restaurant in the various cities we’ve lived in.
The best one EVER was this take-out place right down the street from us when we lived in Georgia. It was called Lin China. Lin China = lyfe. They had the best cashew chicken everrrrrr, and they made me love, love, love that dish. Since then I have been meaning to recreate it myself at home where it can be healthier and even more tasty.
You can add any other veggies into this dish that your wonderful heart desires; I kept mine simple and just used onions and broccoli, but if you want to spice things up with some other goodies from your garden (or goodies from your grocery store’s produce section…me…I wish I had a garden…), GO for it!!
It’s really all about that sauce.
In the words of Meghan Trainor, “Because you know I’m all about that sauce ’bout that sauce no treble.” I know she says bass, but we all know she really means cashew chicken sauce…I mean, come on.
The point is…you can pretty much throw anything you want into your pan, and as long as those cashews and that sauce get in there (and the water chestnuts…because those are delicious too and add so much yummy crunch), then you are good to go.
Oh! Oh! You could even make this a vegetarian dish, ditch the chicken all together, and load up on dem veggies. You could name it Cashew Vegetables…but that just doesn’t sound nearly as good as Cashew Chicken.
Speaking of food (aren’t we always on here?) (#food4eva), today I sat in the cafeteria with my students for lunch, and I convinced one of them to eat a bite of taquito and a bite of ice cream sandwich at the same time. What. He did it and said it wasn’t that bad, so five other students proceeded to try the same thing.
So that was interesting.
And if you were ever pondering the life long question of whether or not taquitos and ice cream sandwiches go well together, you now have your answer! Have you ever seen the movie Ratatouille? The part where the little chef mouse is describing how different foods eaten together form “symphonies of flavors” inside your mouth?
Well, that scene from the movie is how one of my students described the taquito/ice cream sandwich combo. I was close to violently gagging throughout 99% of these events, so I’m going to take their word for it instead of trying it myself…
You might be thinking at this moment, “You convinced your students to eat a taquito and ice cream sandwich together? Are you mature enough to be a teacher?” Based on this story, the answer to your question would probably be “no”…but it’s cool. We’re makin’ it happen.
How about you just try this cashew chicken instead of the taquito/ice cream sandwich invention for now. Okay? Okay. Sounds like a plan.
- 3 chicken breasts, diced into bite size pieces
- ½ onion, sliced
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 8 oz can of sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional!)
- For the sauce:
- ½ cup soy sauce (tamari if you want gluten free)
- ¼ cup veggie broth
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- Heat a wok or large pan over medium high to high heat with some vegetable oil
- Season your diced chicken with salt and pepper (not too much! The soy sauce has a lot of sodium)
- Add your diced chicken to your hot wok/pan and cook until the chicken is JUST cooked through
- Remove the chicken to a plate and add your vegetables (onion and broccoli) to the wok/pan
- Saute for a few minutes until the onions have softened
- Meanwhile, make your sauce
- Add all the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until thoroughly combined
- Add your chicken back in with your veggies, and add your water chestnuts
- Pour your sauce in, and simmer this for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened
- If your sauce isn't thickening enough for your preference, create a "slurry" by stirring together 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of water together in a small bowl. Add your slurry to the chicken and veggie mixture and simmer until the sauce has thickened further
- Add your cashews and stir to combine
- Top with green onions and sesame seeds as you serve (optional!)
*This recipe is gluten free*
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
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