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Foodstuff: Cashew nut chicken recipe for the upcoming Lunar New Year

Going old school for the Lunar New Year

Katherine Roberts
Foodstff
Cashew Chicken.
Courtesy Katherine Roberts

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to teach some evening-cooking classes around St. Louis, where I grew up. Sometimes, I would tag along and watch, mesmerized by her ability to — despite being incredibly shy in most interactions — talk about food and instruct a group with ease. In addition to attending my grandmother’s classes, my mother would also sometimes take continuing-education culinary classes for fun. Our family received the benefits of these endeavors.

One such class, taught by Annie Wang from St. Louis Community College at Meramec, was a Chinese-American feast. It’s nothing like the recipes passed down from my mother’s mother (and her mother before her), but I figure it’s fine to take a break from pasta this week and highlight other family meals and recipes in anticipation of the upcoming Lunar New Year.

I have written about the recipes from this class before. While the pork and shrimp meat dumplings caused me a great deal of drama in the kitchen, this cashew nut chicken is fast, easy, and delicious.



Well-worn recipe for cashew chicken.
Courtesy Katherine Roberts

DICED CHICKEN AND CASHEW NUTS

2/3C cashew nuts




1lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 green onion

1 green pepper

1 red hot pepper

3 slices ginger root

1/2C sliced carrots

For Marinade:

1 egg white

1T cornstarch

1T soy sauce

Seasoning Sauce:

2T soy sauce

1T white wine

1/2T white wine vinegar

1T cornstarch

1T cold water

1/2t salt

1/2t sugar

2-3C vegetable oil

Cut the chicken into the size of small walnuts and toss in marinade in a large bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Cut pepper into the same size as the chicken. Cut green onion into ½-inch pieces.

Fry the cashew nuts in oil for two minutes. Set aside.

Deep fry the chicken in oil in a wok* over medium-high heat for one minute. Remove chicken.**

Reheat oil, and stir fry ginger root. Add green onion, stirring quickly and frying for a few seconds, then add the green and red peppers. Finally, add the chicken and seasoning sauce. Stir until thickened, turn off heat. Add the nuts, and mix well.

COOK’S NOTES

*I happen to have a wok, but I’m sure this would also be okay if you used a heavy-bottomed, large pan.

**Dump out the majority of the oil here, only leaving enough in the wok to coat the bottom of the pan; otherwise, you’ll have a greasy mess.

I serve this with white jasmine rice on the side (throw that in about 20 minutes before the chicken is cooked, and let it sit with the lid on, then fluff and serve once the chicken is ready) and the previously-mentioned meat dumplings (pot stickers), which are both perfectly warm and filling for a cold January day. As noted, it’s also a nice nod to the Lunar New Year, which kicks off Sunday, January 22nd, lasting for 15 days, and celebrates the Year of the Rabbit this year. Hop to it!

Katherine Roberts is a midvalley-based writer and marketing professional who wants to mix it up in 2023 and add more Asian recipes to her repertoire. She can be reached via her marketing and communications firm, Carington Creative, at katherine@caringtoncreative.com.

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