Chicken and cashews is my all time favourite dish to order when out for Chinese or Thai food.
We have a really cute little Thai restaurant down the road from us that has always sold the most delicious Thai dishes. It is a really understated little restaurant, geared up more for takeaway than dine-in, but there are a handful of small tables inside the restaurant and these are always full up, any night of the week.
The thing I love about the restaurant is that the kitchen is out the front, you can see all the fresh ingredients (set out subway style in cabinet fridges) and all the food is made where you can see it. The food has always tasted fresh as you can see it has been made to order, not rewarmed as I know is the case for many other restaurants which specialise in takeaway.
Last Friday, Rob and I were both craving Thai and motivated by the desire to have no dishes, Rob ducked down to our old faithful and picked up a green curry, a chicken and cashews and a side of vegetarian spring rolls.
I don’t know for sure, but I would has at a bet that our beautiful little restaurant has changed hands, as neither dish tasted like anything!!! Literally flavourless, I was so disappointed, I don’t think I could order from there again.
In total damage control, I found solace in the fact that I have a really quick and easy green curry recipe that could take care of that side of our standard order – but I did not have any sort of chicken and cashew recipe that I could make from home. And that was the clincher, as that is my favourite dish!
It was probably quite timely to start thinking about make from home dishes. With Grace’s peanut allergy, family dinners at the local Thai or Chinese restaurant were never going to be a thing for us (still coming to grips with that!!). So I set about trying to recreate the flavours of my favourite dish (I made it twice this week in order to get the sauce just right!)
While I love both the Chinese and Thai versions of chicken and cashews equally, this dish leans more towards the Thai version. The flavours may not be 100% authentic (probably more of a western take), but it is absolutely delicious , super quick to make (around 30 minutes) and definitely cheaper, fresher and healthier than buying takeaway. Hooray!
2 tbsp olive oil
500g skinless chicken breasts or thighs, sliced thinly
1/2 purple onion, sliced thinly
100g snow peas, topped and tailed, then sliced thinly
1 small red capsicum, sliced thinly
2/3 cup roasted cashews
2 spring onions, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced (optional, for garnish)
For the sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cold water
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2.5 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 tbsp corn starch
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3 large servings
Ideally, this dish would be made in a wok. Unfortunately, at the time I made this my wok was out of order!! So I can vouch that a large heavy based frypan works just as well!
Heat 1 tbsp oil in your wok or frypan and cook the chicken until browned. Transfer chicken out of the wok or pan, cover with foil and set aside.
Heat the remaining tbsp oil in the pan and add the onions, red capsicum and snowpeas. Sauté for a couple of minutes only, until they have started to soften slightly but definitely not gone brown or super soft. You want them to be bright and crunchy! Note: this pic is from take 1 of my chicken and cashew and I used a white onion – take 2 I used purple onion and I found it worked better. BUT! Whatever you have on hand will do the trick!!
Return the chicken to the pan, stir to combine and then pour over the sauce. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the cashews and 3/4 of your spring onions, reserving the last 1/4 for garnish of individual serves.
Stir the cashews and spring onions through to make sure everything is covered with the sauce. Allow to simmer an extra minute and then take off the heat. All done!!
Serve with a side of steamed rice and garnish with reserved spring onions and sliced red chilli (if desired). ENJOY!! 💜