Verdict: Win

I'm not sure how Asian this take on cashew chicken is, but DY and I still enjoyed it. I used soy sauce, but used less than for what it asked for in fear of making the dish too salty. Instead of raw cashews, I used the roasted and salted cashews (only available cashews at Walmart...) and omitted any salt. As a vegetable component, I added chopped celery (very mom-esque), but omitted the mushrooms. I did use the optional minced ginger though. The chicken was pretty tender (even without cornstarch).

***Update 1/17/11
Today I picked up B.Lu for lunch and to chat about the pharmacy interview. She's one of my favorite pre-pharms and she is just too cute. I have no doubt that she'll be accepted :)

Anyway, I wanted to make a recipe that I knew I couldn't mess up, so I decided to make this again. This time, I didn't follow her instructions and winged it from memory, causing some untasty discrepancies... Sorry, no picture, because I was so embarassed about the dish. It was still tasty, but not as good as the first time. Anyway, now I'm going to write down my adapted recipe so I can remember how to cook this right. My version is a little vegetable heavy too, but I really like the crispy celery pieces.

Cashew Chicken adapted from Simply Recipes
Yield: Serves 5-6

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp minced ginger
1 onion, chopped
4 sticks of celery (roughly half a stalk)
roasted and salted cashews (roughly chopped if you like)

Place cubed chicken in a medium bowl. Add oil and soy sauce, then stir until each piece is evenly-coated. Stir in chili powder, followed by honey and ginger. Marinate overnight.

Heat wok to medium high. Add onions and sauté in wok, then add celery and cover with lid for a few minutes. Maintain the crispiness of the celery, but make sure the onions are softer and cooked well enough that their taste is not too strong. Remove and set aside.

Add chicken to wok in batches to avoid overcrowding. Cook with lid on briefly, then remove lid and flip over chicken pieces to cook thoroughly. Remove chicken from the wok. Repeat until all of the chicken is cooked.

Place leftover marinade in wok and simmer for a few minutes to kill bacteria. Add onions, celery, and chicken back to wok and toss to combine. Allow to warm up a bit before transfering to a bowl. Garnish with cashews to your liking. Serve over a bed of hot white rice.


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