Stir Fry Chicken With Cashews

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Let’s talk about stir fry chicken with cashews. Today I’m making stir-fry chicken with cashews, broccoli and bell peppers. This is a very tasty meal that takes less than 30 min to prepare. I really hope you will like this Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry recipes because we loved testing them out and hope you will too.

If you are searching for health benefits of cashew nuts and how to make the best Honey Cashew Chicken recipe then keep reading.

Stir Fry Chicken With Cashews

Ingredients

for 4 servings

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ lb chicken breast(340 g), cut into 1-inch (2 1/2 cm) pieces
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cups broccoli floret(600 g)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch (2 1/2 cm) pieces
  • ¾ cup raw cashew(95 g)
  • ½ cup water(120 mL)
  • brown rice, to serve

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cornstarch.
  3. Heat a 9.5″ fry pan over medium-high heat and add sesame oil.
  4. Add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown.
  5. Remove chicken and set aside in a separate bowl.
  6. Add the broccoli and bell peppers, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the chicken, cashews and sauce. Stir together and allow sauce to thicken.
  8. Remove from heat and serve over brown rice.
  9. Enjoy!

Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

While Thai Cashew Chicken is not as saucy as Chinese Cashew Chicken, what it lacks in sauciness it makes up for in big flavour. Crunchy golden cashews and chicken are tossed in a simple yet bold Thai stir fry sauce with as much or as little fresh chilli as you want!

Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry on jasmine rice in a bowl, ready to be eaten

Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

Stir fries featuring cashews are a favourite across Asia and the Thai version is one of the best! Unlike Chinese Cashew Chicken which is generous on sauce, the Thai version is a drier style stir fry where the sauce flavour is much more intense. So you don’t need nor do you want a ton of sauce to soak your rice. There’s plenty of flavour coating the stir fry ingredients that stains and flavours the rice when you mix it through.

Honestly, just look at this. No one would see this wok of goodness and think, “It doesn’t look like there’s enough flavour in that,”… Right? 

Freshly made Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry in a wok
Raw cashews
Raw cashews are paler and softer than roasted cashews.

What goes in Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

Here’s what you need for this Thai stir fry with chicken:

Ingredients in Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
  • Cashews – The nuts are actually the star ingredient in this stir fry! They bring texture, flavour and nutty richness to the party. It’s best to use raw so they get toasted freshly in the wok (or skillet) for maximum flavour development. It only takes around 3 minutes. If you only have roasted cashews, that’s fine too. Just toast them lightly for around 90 seconds, they don’t need to be as fully cooked.Whichever you use, be sure to use unsalted cashews. Salted cashews will make the dish far too salty;
  • Chicken – Thigh is best, for the juiciest and most flavoursome chicken pieces. If you prefer to use breast, consider tenderising it the Chinese restaurant way to make it softer and more juicy. If you’ve never done it before, it will blow your mind – it’s a simple trick yet a total game-changer!
  • Onion and garlic – Essential aromatics. It’s hard to find a stir fry in my world that doesn’t start with these two!
  • Green onion – For freshness and colour;
  • Chilli – For a hit of spiciness. 100% optional;
  • The sauce – Here’s what you need:
    • Oyster sauce – This packs a ton of umami as well as acting as a the thickener for this Thai Stir Fry Sauce. You can use vegetarian oyster sauce, if you prefer;
    • Dark soy sauce – The most intensely-flavoured soy in the soy sauce family, and just a tiny amount packs a serious flavour punch. It also stains foods a gorgeously deep mahogany colour;
    • Fish sauce – Fish sauce is used in Thai cooking like soy sauce is used in Chinese cooking, ie. as a primary seasoning. While it might smell a bit (ok, very!) funky straight out of the bottle, once it’s cooked it is completely transformed. It adds an incomparable complexity and depth of flavour into any dish. No fishy flavours at all in the end result!

How to make Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

As with all stir fries, once you start cooking, things move fast! The key when cooking stir fries is to make sure you have all the ingredients chopped and ready to toss in, including the Thai Stir Fry Sauce. Also cook the jasmine rice beforehand – it takes longer to make than this stir fry!!

How to make Thai Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
  1. Sauce – Mix the sauce in a small dish;
  2. Cashews – Start by cooking off the cashews. If using raw cashews (which I recommend for better flavour), it will take around 3 minutes to cook through on a medium heat. They will change from a pale cream colour to deep golden brown, and they should be crunchy (yep, you’re gonna have to try one to check!).If you are starting with cashews that are already roasted, then you only need to toast them for around 1 1/2 minutes just to heat them through and bring out the flavour (as opposed to cooking them);
  3. Remove cashews from the wok / skillet. Reserve the oil – we will use that to cook the stir fry;
  4. Stir fry! – As with all stir fries, we add ingredients in the order it takes to cook.Start with garlic and onion, the aromatics. Just tossed for 30 seconds is all that’s needed to get them started and to flavour the oil. Next toss the chicken in.Once the chicken is mostly cooked, add the white part of the green onions (ie. the thicker part at the base of the stem) along with the chilli. We add the white part of the green onions before the softer green part because it takes longer to cook. Cook for a further minute, and by this time everything that’s currently in the wok should be almost cooked through.
  5. Sauce – Next, the sauce. Pour in, then continue to cook for another 1 minute or until the sauce reduces and everything in the wok gets stained a beautiful mahogany colour; and
  6. Green onion and cashews – And finally, toss the green part of the green onions in, plus the cashews. Give it a toss for around 20 – 30 seconds which is all that’s needed for the green onion to wilt slightly.

And you’re done! What was that, a grand total of 8 minutes? I told you it was fast!!

Honey Cashew Chicken

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 people
  • Course: Main Course

You’ll love the sweet heat of this Asian-American inspired stir-fry loaded with tender chunks of chicken, red bell pepper, onions & tender broccoli. 

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Sriracha sauce more or less to taste
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth

For the stir fry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper seeds and ribs removed, chopped or sliced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup unsalted cashew nuts toasted (see notes)

For serving:

  • hot cooked rice for serving
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  • In a large glass bowl prepare the marinade by combining 2 tablespoons cornstarch, black pepper, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 1 teaspoon rice vinegar. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing the vegetables. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • In a small bowl combine the sauce ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Add the broccoli, onion and bell pepper and sauté until the vegetables are crisp tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low. 
  • Add the chicken back to the pan and then the honey sauce mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and all vegetables and chicken are coated, about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cashews to the skillet. Stir to coat. Serve immediately over hot cooked rice garnished with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

To toast the cashews, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the cashews on a small pan and bake for 5-7 minutes.

Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered as an estimate. When multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 614mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3mg

Health Benefits of Cashews Nuts

Satisfying as a snack, a topping, or in sauces and butter, the cashew is beloved all around the world for its versatility and its rich flavor. 

Many people eat cashews on a regular basis without understanding their origins. The nut may seem raw and natural when sold as a snack, but in its freshly-picked form, it’s actually toxic. It cannot be safely consumed until it has been roasted. 

Even after necessary heat treatment, the cashew’s exterior must be removed to access the tasty product inside. This labor-intensive process accounts not only for the cashew’s high price, but also for its prized status even among similar nuts.

Cashews are native to Central and South America, as well as several Caribbean Islands. In these places, they have been enjoyed for thousands of years. 

Europeans encountered the nut during the late 1500s. After that, they quickly spread to India and parts of Africa. They did not become popular in the United States until the General Food Corporation began shipping them in bulk during the 1920s. Today, however, Americans are among the world’s most dedicated cashew consumers.

Health Benefits

Rich in protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants such as polyphenols, cashews offer a variety of noteworthy health benefits.

Reduced Cholesterol

Cashews have previously received a bad rap for including saturated fat, but this may not be as problematic as the saturated label suggests. Much of the fat in cashews comes from stearic acids, which experts believe has a neutral impact on blood cholesterol. Research suggests that people who eat a small serving of cashews every day see a minor reduction in LDL “bad” cholesterol. 

Heart Disease Prevention

In addition to lowering rates of LDL cholesterol, cashews may help to prevent heart disease due to their high magnesium content. Proper magnesium intake may reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease, which often occurs when the heart does not receive enough blood.

Stroke Prevention

The magnesium in cashews may help to reduce the risk of stroke. This link is most notable for hemorrhagic strokes, which result from a weakened vessel that spills blood into brain tissue upon rupturing.

Diabetes Prevention or Management

Cashews are low in carbohydrates, especially as compared to other common snacks. This limits their impact on blood sugar, making them a great option for those with type 2 diabetes, as well as those looking to prevent the condition.

Nutrition

Cashews are a wonderful source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated varieties. These nuts are also a modest source of protein. For this reason, they are often heavily featured in the diets of vegetarians and vegans.

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