Spicy Chicken with Cashews

I have a big weakness for Chinese food, so I will just say up front that my love for this recipe may be in large part because I felt like I was eating some really fantastic take-out. But it really is delicious, and the small amount of cornstarch (something I tend to leave out in most recipes) makes a shiny, thick sauce that I never knew I could create in my own kitchen.

The original recipe calls for two full teaspoons of crushed hot red pepper. Whooo! I only used a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes and it was plenty spicy for me. With some brown rice and steamed broccoli, this makes a dinner I’d be happy to eat any night.

Spicy Chicken with Cashews
Adapted from Kung Pao Chicken

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbs. canola oil
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbs. dry sherry
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1/2 c. roasted, unsalted cashews
1/3 c. green onions, minced (about 6)

Rinse chicken, pat dry, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat canola oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cooking until it is golden brown and cooked through (8-10 minutes).

While the chicken is cooking, combine remaining ingredients up to and including the sesame oil in a small bowl and whisk together until well combined (make sure the cornstarch has dissolved). Once the chicken is fully cooked, add the sauce to the pan. Then add the cashews and green onions, stir, and simmer for a minute or two, until the sauce thickens.

Garnish with extra green onion if desired.

10 thoughts on “Spicy Chicken with Cashews

  1. I love when you can make take-out type food at home in less time than it takes to actually GET take-out. That looks amazing!

  2. Ohhh I’m with you, I love Chinese. This looks just fab. Nice pic. What did you serve with it?


    Some shelled edamame (cleaning out my freezer) and plain pasta (a nod to my boys). I would have preferred the broccoli and rice! — Dara

  3. Looks delicious. How do you think it would be w/o nuts?

    It would be great without nuts too. Just omit them and don’t adjust anything else. — Dara

  4. This recepie really looks delicious!! 🙂
    But, is it possible to use white vinagar instead of ricevinegar, or is it a very big difference in taste?? Im not sure if I can get ricevinegar…

    I think it would work fine. A red or white wine vinegar would be good too. — Dara

  5. Hi Dara,

    I just found your blog. Wow! I love these recipes. A lot of these are the type of cooking I do on a regular basis. We like Asian food too and I’m always trying new recipes. I think I might make this chicken tonight.

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