J-MOY’s Cashew Chicken

Corey and I went over to our friends’ place the other night for a much needed night out. Josh and Heather just recently moved downtown so we have been getting together twice a week (once at our place, once at theirs) for dinner and drinks. They are both phenomenal cooks but Josh has a special talent for Asian dishes since he lived there for several years growing up. Josh (we call him J-moy) was kind enough to “dish” his recipe with us! (FYI: This served 5 very hungry people)

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Chicken breast sliced in thin strips (we used 5 breasts)
  • ½ cup sliced or diced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion/scallion on the bias (diagonal)
  • ½ -1 cup of sliced celery on the bias
  • ¼ cup sliced mushrooms – we used baby Portobello (crimini)
  • ¼-1/2 cup cashews or peanuts – whatever you have
  • 1 tablespoon (3 large cloves) of garlic (grated on the micro plane)
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger (grated on the micro plane)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar (mirin)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (can substitute 1 tablespoon brown sugar)
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • Siracha to taste – we used about a half of tablespoon.

“Velveting” meat – A common Asian cooking technique that tenderized the meat.

  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons flour (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch – I didn’t have it)
  • enough mirin to make a batter consistency, probably around 4-5 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce – I usually don’t include this but thought I’d try and flavor the meat a little
  • Splash of beer ended up in this too (Optional)

Directions:

1. Take all of the sliced meat and marinate in the “velveting” solution for 15-20 minutes. Changes the texture of the meat and gives it that authentic Chinese food texture. (I know what’s up, I’ve lived in Hong Kong and have traveled all over Asia)

2. You can either use it as is for an almost fried texture or wash excess off for the plain chicken to come through.

Thickening Agent

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (can substitute two tablespoons flour)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons water

Instructions:

1. Have all of the veggies chopped!

2. Take soy sauce, garlic, ginger, mirin, hoisin, sesame oil and ¾ of the scallions and put it in a bowl and wisk it up! – don’t forget to taste it! Feel free to make adjustments to taste – should be a loose sauce.

3. Get a Wok (preferable, especially with this large of portion) or LARGE skillet. Coat the pan with a small amount of oil and get it really hot (not smoking) watch for small ripples – we used vegetable oil (shouldn’t take but a couple of minutes). A good test to see if the oil is hot enough is to just take a small piece of chicken and drop it in. If it sizzles, add a little bit at a time. You want don’t want to dump it all in at one time though for two reasons. One, a lot of anything cold and especially wet, thrown in some hot oil is a good way to get some oil splattered all over that hot shirt of yours, and could potentially start a fire – BAD NEWS. Second, if you dumped it all in, you would make the temperature of the pan drop dramatically and instead of getting a sear on the meat, you would steam it…gross.

4. Once you get all of the meat in, and browned slightly, add the onion – cook until translucent, we’re not trying to caramelize it.

5. Add the mushrooms. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Jmoy cookin'

6. Add the celery. Cook a few more minutes.

7. Add the sauce. Stir it up! Make sure it’s bubbling! Add a handful of cashews.

8. Add thickening agent. Watch the magic happen. It should get nice and thick.

9. Serve over rice, quinoa or anything you want 🙂

Mr. Big really wanted some but no such luck….

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16 responses to “J-MOY’s Cashew Chicken

  1. holy cannoli this looks good. i love asian chicken dishes! mmm!

  2. That kitchen is gorgeous!! And the chicken looks tasty!

  3. mmmm I want cashew veggies!!!! =) looks great!

  4. I love that you shared a new technique for preparing the meat like they do in Asia!

  5. Off to find out what mirin is. 😉

    Looks yummy!

  6. One of my favorite pizzas had cashew chicken on it..I am thinking this would be perfect on top of pizza! haha sounds weird, but trust me 🙂

  7. Katherine: Unemployed

    Mr Big and I have the exact same reaction! (and outcome I suppose)

  8. That kitchen is so pretty! All your recipes look so good even though I’m vegetarian!

  9. I’ve never been a big fan of asian cuisine but this actually looks really tasty!

  10. Looks great! Cornstarch really does make a difference in cooking Asian foods and thickening the sauce.

  11. 5 hungry people? That would feed all of me. Only me. Man looks sooo good. And I happen to have most of the ingredients!

  12. This meal looks delicious and so easy to make 🙂

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