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Better Than Takeout: Chinese Cashew Chicken

It isn’t often that I get to eat really good Chinese takeout. Perhaps it’s because I can’t find a decent Chinese restaurant here in Austin. I’m sure one exists but I  haven’t stumbled upon it yet. It doesn’t matter though because my cashew chicken recipe give is quick & easy and gives me all of the takeout vibes.

Where I grew up, there’s a great Chinese restaurant we would pick up takeout Chinese from probably every other week or so when I was younger. I remember I would ride with my mom to pick up the food and couldn’t wait to get home and rip into the bag. Everyone in my family would request something different because why would we make any food order easy?! Someone would want hot & sour soup while the other would want tiny spicy chicken while my parents wanted sweet & sour pork with cashew chicken. I loved all of it… especially the egg rolls. Lately, I’ve had a distinct craving for cashew chicken. It has the perfect amount of crunch with the perfect ratio of chicken to vegetables. It’s mouth watering just thinking about it.

I love cooking at home because I know exactly what is in my food. I can control my salt intake, fat intake, carb intake, etc. We usually try to eat really healthy and clean, but sometimes you just have to splurge a little bit. I wouldn’t say this recipe is unhealthy but it’s also not as healthy as a salad… it’s healthy-ish. Asian cooking requires a variety of yummy sauces and seasonings so the dishes are anything but bland. I highly recommend this recipe for a quick & easy weeknight meal that everyone will  love!

Cashew Chicken

Better-than-takeout, healthy-ish Chinese food at home.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 people
Cost: $40

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang (red pepper paste)
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp hoisin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce plus more for later
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper large dice
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper large dice
  • 4 green onions thinly sliced, plus more for garnsh
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • white sesame seeds
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Instructions

  • In a large zip lock bag, combine the cut chicken thigh with the 2 Tbsp Gochujang. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • While the chicken is marinating, cut all of the vegetables and set aside. *Preparing everything in advance is super important and makes the cooking process seamless!*
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce. Set aside.
  • Remove the chicken from the zip lock bag and add to a large bowl. Sprinkle the corn starch over the chicken and toss to evenly coat.
  • In a large pan or wok, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and allow to sit and cook until a nice crust develops, about 6-8 minutes on each side.
  • Once the chicken is crusty and brown, remove from the pan. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the pan and add the vegetable mixture (broccoli, garlic, peppers and green onion).
  • Cook the vegetables until tender but not mushy, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the sauce mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, allowing to thicken slightly but ensure it does not boil and burn.
  • Once the sauce appears to be thickened and a little syrupy, return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and toss in the sauce. *If the sauce is too thick, simply add more chicken stock.*
  • Allow the chicken and vegetables to cook in the sauce for another 10 minutes over low heat.
  • Add the roasted cashews to the chicken/veggie mixture.
  • Serve the cashew chicken over cooked rice and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and freshly sliced green onion.
  • Eat & enjoy!

*Leave the nuts out in case anyone has a nut allergy.*

I hope you love this recipe as much as we did!

XX,

JJ

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