This cashew chicken recipe is one of my favorites on the site, and not just because it hails from my friend Marc.
Marc loves sharing stories of his famous cashew chicken, his trademark dish, tested and perfected over decades of crashing at the homes of old and new friends in exchange for his cooking.
Making this Cashew Chicken Your Own
One of the things I like so much about this cashew chicken is that it is a good base recipe from which one can easily expand. Several people suggested the addition of some ginger and onion greens, which I agree works well and I’ve added in this updated version as an option.
I’ve also enjoyed it with some fresh chopped pineapple thrown in, giving it some sweetness. Others have added vegetables such as broccoli or snow peas.
Note that the amounts are all approximate. But with these ingredients, in approximately the right proportions, it’s hard to go wrong.
Easy Cashew Chicken RecipePrint
You can whip this up pretty quickly if you first start with the marinade, then chop the vegetables and cook the cashews while the chicken is marinating.
- 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds total), cut into 1-inch cubes
- Peanut oil (about 3/4 cup, can substitute other vegetable oil)
- Chili Powder (about 3 Tbsp)
- Tamari (about 1/2 cup) (if you don't have access to tamari you can substitute soy sauce, use Wheat-free tamari or soy sauce if you need to cook gluten-free)
- Honey (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 3 cups roughly chopped onions (about 2 medium large onions)
- 3 cups roughly chopped mushrooms
- 1-2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion greens
1 Marinate the chicken: Place the cubed chicken in a medium bowl. Add the oil. Add the tamari until the marinade turns dark brown (about 2 Tbsp per breast).
Sprinkle the chili powder over the chicken pieces while stirring, so that each piece of chicken gets well coated with the chili powder and marinade.
Stir in the honey, about 2 tablespoons for each breast. Add chopped ginger if using. Marinate for 1/2 hour to several hours, the longer the better.
2 Toast the cashews: Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Spread the cashews in a single layer over the bottom of the pan. Stir until lightly browned, remove from heat.
3 Sauté the chicken: Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Working in batches if needed so you don't crowd the pan, use tongs to remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them in the pan, reserving the extra marinade.
Sauté the chicken pieces until just cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside.
Place any extra marinade back in the pan and simmer for several minutes (to kill any bacteria). Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the marinade into a separate bowl and reserve.
4 Sauté onions and mushrooms: In the same pan, sauté the onions on medium high to high heat for several minutes.
Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until onions are translucent and mushrooms are cooked, several minutes more. Add some reserved marinade to the pan if necessary.
5 Combine chicken, mushrooms, onions, with the cashews. Stir in onion greens (if using) right before serving. Serve over rice.
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