I have to admit that I have been on an Asian food kick lately. I have made wontons, beef and broccoli, and this captivating cashew chicken stir-fry. Asian food is actually one of our family’s favorite foods to eat out at a restaurant. I really do prefer making it at home though so that I can control the ingredients and really tailor the recipe to the tastes of our family. This cashew chicken is full of yummy ingredients like cashews, chicken, carrots, and green beans. It is a big hit in our family.
You can definitely change up the ingredients in this recipe and still use the same basic concept. For example, my kids really like carrots and green beans so those are the vegetables that I use. You can use whatever vegetables your family likes. Mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, the choices are really endless. Also, we really only like chicken breast, but you can use chicken thighs if you like those better.
*TIP: I use a wok for this recipe because I happen to have one. I would not go out and buy a wok just for this if you don’t have one. You can just use a big skillet that has a cover. You might need to adjust the cooking times and amount of oil you use a bit though.*
The first step of this recipe is to steam the carrots and green beans. Add them to your wok with 1/4 of water. Cover and steam on medium heat until they are tender yet still crisp. This will take 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your veggies. Periodically check them to make sure all of the water hasn’t evaporated. If it all evaporates you might burn the bottom of your pan so keep an eye on it. You might need to add another tablespoon or so of water if they still need more time to cook.
When the carrots and green beans are tender, remove them from the pan and set aside. If you have any water left in your pan, dump it out.
Add olive oil, cashews, and garlic to the wok and saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the wok.
Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
While the chicken is cooking, let’s make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and chicken broth until smooth.
To the bowl, add hoisin, vinegar, and sriracha. Whisk together and set aside.
When chicken is cooked through, add the vegetables back to the wok.
Pour in the sauce and stir.
Immediately add 1 cup of water, stir and cover. Cook for 1-2 minutes. The goal of this step is to make just a little more of the luscious sauce, everything is already cooked at this point.
Add the green onions and stir.