I am still in the process of cleaning my recipe cards that were in my card catalog. It’s still a miracle that after drying out from the flood there are many I can salvage. My heart is happy when I find some of my mom’s recipes that I thought were gone forever. One of them I found recently was a Hoisin Cashew Chicken. While I was away at college many years ago, my mom thought it would be fun if she signed up for an Asian cooking class. I remember her writing and telling me how good it was and that she would make one of the recipes when I came home on break. The Hoisin Cashew Chicken became an instant favorite.
This past weekend I got out my old and a little beat up red West Bend electric wok. I love stir-fry dinners and the wok has held up well after decades of use. The recipe is only for two servings but I made extra to share with my daughter Kristina and her family. Kristina and Joe loved it along with their year-old Eliza who enjoyed pieces of the chicken. She is learning to love food with lots of flavors.
First the cashews are stir-fried in peanut oil until toasted, removed and set aside. Next the chicken is added that has been tossed with sherry, a little more peanut oil, and cornstarch. After cooking a few minutes, green pepper, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and the cashews are stirred in, followed by a hoisin-soy sauce mixture, chicken broth, then thickened with more cornstarch. It’s served over hot cooked rice. Delicious.
Just remember, have all ingredients fully prepared and set aside. You have to work quickly. It’s also fun to have some fortune cookies for dessert!
- For Rice: Prepare enough rice for two as directed on package. Cover and keep warm while stir-frying ingredients.
- For Chicken:
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tablespoon dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- For Vegetables:
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- ½ cup sliced whole water chestnuts
- For Toasting Cashews:
- 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
- ½ cup cashews
- For Sauce:
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- To Finish:
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 4 teaspoons water mixed with 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Hot cooked rice for two
- Very Important! All ingredients need to be prepared as directed and set aside in order of use. The dish has to go together very quickly.
- For chicken: Cut chicken breasts into ½-inch cubes and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add sherry and peanut oil and toss to coat chicken. Sprinkle in cornstarch and toss again; set aside.
- For vegetables: Cut the bell pepper into 1-inch cubes. Place in a small bowl along with the sliced mushrooms and water chestnuts; set aside.
- For toasting cashews: Heat the peanut oil in a wok until hot. Add cashews and stir quickly until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels.
- For Sauce: (sauce should already be prepared and set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup stir together all sauce ingredients - hoisin, soy, sugar, and pepper). After removing cashews from wok, add coated chicken to hot oil left in wok. Stir-fry quickly for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes. Add prepared vegetables and stir another 2 minutes. Stir in the prepared sauce and stir to coat chicken and vegetables, about another minute.
- To Finish: Add chicken broth and stir quickly until it boils. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened. Serve immediately over the hot cooked rice. Serves 2, but can be doubled or tripled to serve more.