Chinese Cashew Chicken – amazingly tender pieces of chicken in a delicious sauce with cashew nuts and vegetables.
Probably one of my favourite dishes from the chinese. I love the flavours of this dish as well as the yummy cashews and nuts are a great addition to any diet.
Most can be put off using them due to their high calories count, but a small portion is not too bad and can be enjoyed in many dishes when a sensible amount.
Velveting Meat for Stir Fries
First things first though, In this recipe I will introduce some of you to a brilliant Chinese Method of cooking meat called "velveting" which keeps the meat really tender in stir fries etc.
If you have ever wondered how the meat is never tough or dry in dishes you order from the Chinese then is most likely due to velveting.
I was first introduced to this method by a friend who's wife just happens to be Chinese and owns her own Chinese restaurant. I was eager to give it a try myself and oh my gosh, what a difference it makes.
There are various different methods of velveting out there, some involving lots of oil, some involve adding some baking soda (bicarb of soda), but for my healthier alternative, I like to use this method which is perfect for cuts of beef, chicken and pork for any stir fry or fast cooking of meat dishes you want to try.
How To Velvet Chicken
To velvet chicken - I marinate the chicken (meat) in a mixture of cornstarch, rice vinegar, water and salt, then once left for about 15 minutes, it's dropped into a saucepan of bubbling hot water and left for about 1-2 minutes until meat turns white, then simply remove with a slotted spoon and it can be stir-fried.
A very Simple easy technique but a method you will use again and again when doing fast frying recipes involving meat.
More Chinese Recipes
Want some other delicious Chinese Fakeaway dishes to pair up with this Chinese Cashew Chicken? Then check out some of these:
- GINGER CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS AND NOODLES
- ACTIFRY SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN BITES
- CHICKEN CHOP SUEY
- BEEF WITH MUSHROOMS IN OYSTER SAUCE
- BEEF CHOW MEIN
- CHICKEN SINGAPORE NOODLES CHILLI BEEF (STOVE TOP AND ACTIFRY)
- CHICKEN FRIED RICE
- GINGER BEEF AND BROCCOLI
- CHINESE PORK
- EGG FRIED RICE
- SPRING ROLLS
- CHINESE BLACK PEPPER BEEF
or if you would like more recipe ideas - head on over to the FULL RECIPE INDEX where you will find over 900 delicious recipes all with estimated calories and you can search by ingredients, course, diet and more.
How can I add more vegetables to this Cashew Chicken?
This recipe comes packed with peppers and onion, but it's always good to add additional vegetables to your plate where possible, some Bok Choy or tender stem broccoli would be a great addition to the side.
You could even serve with this Cauliflower Egg Fried Rice instead of regular rice.
Kitchen Items used in this Chinese Cashew Chicken:
- Kitchen Scales
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Wooden Spoon
- Santoku Knife (perfect knife for chopping veg)
- Chopping Board
- Mixing Bowls
- Non-Stick Frying Pan
- Large Saucepan
- Slotted Spoon
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Chinese Cashew Chicken
Chinese Cashew Chicken - amazingly tender pieces of chicken in a delicious sauce with cashew nuts and vegetables.
- 400g (16oz) of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (cornflour)
- 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 45 raw cashews
- 1 red pepper, chopped into pieces
- 1 green pepper, chopped into pieces
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of oyster sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee premium)
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- ⅓ cup (80ml) of water
- 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
- cooking oil spray (I use avocado)
- Pat chicken dry, and add to a bowl with the cornstarch, rice vinegar and salt, mix to coat all the chicken and set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes.
- When chicken has marinated for specified time, Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly just so it bubbles gently. Add chicken and cook in water until it just turns white (1-2 minutes), then remove with a slotted spoon.
- Spray a large frying pan over a medium high heat with some cooking oil spray, add the raw cashews with a little pinch of salt and fry until lightly lightly golden/toasted. Remove and set aside.
- Add the sesame oil to the frying pan and once hot, add the chicken and onion and fry fo a couple of minutes until chicken is lightly browned.
- Add in the peppers, green onion, garlic and ginger and fry for a further couple of minutes.
- Add in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, water and maple syrup (or honey).
- Toss to cover on a medium heat until the sauce thickens and just coats the chicken and vegetables and then add back in the cashews. Stir to combine.
- Serve and enjoy!!
This recipe is dairy free and gluten free friendly (see notes)
Please see below for recipe values:
- Slimming World - 1 Healthy Extra B and 2 syns per serving
- WW Personal Points - 6+ per serving (add ingredients to your WW diary for points value (as this may vary depending on your personal points zero foods)
- Gluten Free - use gluten free soy sauce and oyster sauce
(if not using a healthy extra b choice for the cashews) - add an additional 7 syns per serving
Lower Carb Side Suggestion: serve with Egg fried cauliflower rice
SUITABLE FOR FREEZING
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Skimmer Slotted Spoon, [Rustproof, Integral Forming, Durable] Newness 304 Stainless Steel Slotted Spoon with Vacuum Ergonomic Handle, Comfortable Grip Design Strainer Ladle for Kitchen, 38 cm
Lee Kum Kee Panda Oyster Sauce 255 g (Pack of 4)
Argo Corn Starch 454g
Cashew Nuts 1kg - 100% Raw Whole Cashews 1 kg Bag - Extra Large Premium Quality Nut - Source of Protein & Fibre - Gluten Free, Non-GMO & Vegan
Nutrition InformationYield 3 Serving Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 395Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 2gCarbohydrates 30gFiber 4gSugar 15gProtein 48g
Nutritional information is an estimate and is to be used for informational purposes only. Ingredients can vary greatly from brand to brand and therefore it would be impossible to give accurate information.
Thanks so much for the velveting tip. I often wondered how Chinese made that lovely tender chicken! Chicken in cashew is my favourite! So grateful and excited for the recipe! Been waiting for this since I saw it pop up last week on your Instagram!
Marion Anderson says
This sounds and looks delicious and I want to try it but I wonder if I could freeze it?
Sue Barnes says
This recipe looks delicious and I would love to try it! As I am in the UK - can I use cornflour instead of cornstarch? Also, what can I use instead of Oyster Sauce.
I made this last night & it was super tasty, it didn’t look like there was a lot of sauce in the pan but the flavours were divine. I didn’t have rice vinegar so I used white wine vinegar & added an extra tablespoon of honey. Served with noodles it turned out lovely, thanks x
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
yes sure can, they are the same thing 🙂 - you can use Hoisin instead of oyster sauce, but oyster sauce is more authentic for that umami flavour.
roseleen byrne says
HI COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME IF I COULD DOUBLE THE SAUCE IN THIS DISH PLEASE. AND IF YES HOW DO I GO ABOUT IT THANKS A MILLION
melanie brown says
Wow!!! I just made this for kids and I, it made four generous portions, I threw in a handful of peas with the peppers and I didn't velvet the chicken because the kids were starving and I have a well seasoned wok which gives a good result. It was so quick and easy to make, and SO delicious, gorgeous authentic flavour, I bought my oyster sauce online from a Chinese supermarket and one of the little containers of ready to eat cashews now available at most supermarkets. This will become a family favourite.
Tried this tonight very nice added some chilli a carrot onion and an oxo cube too
Maxine Murray says
Wow, absolutely loved this recipe...delicious. Will definitely be making this again. Well worth the extra syns for the cashew nuts. Loved the velveting technique, made the chicken sooo tender. Goodbye Chinese Takeaway...Hello cooking healthier Chinese meals at home. Xx
Made this last night. It was lovely. Writing the recipe in my book now!
I made this today by putting all of the ingredients in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours (using chicken thighs instead of breasts and taking the lid off for the last hour) and it was delicious!!! Definitely one to add to the weekly rotation! Next time I will put the cashew nuts in at the end though!
Ruth Thomas says
I made this last week for the first time and it's absolutely gorgeous. The Velveting of the chicken is great because the chicken was moist and not dry after taking out of the freezer to reheat. This will be one of my weekly meals.