Delicious Asian chicken with snow peas, cashews and mushrooms is so quick and doesn’t heat the kitchen!
OK I’lll freely admit I probably get Chinese takeout more than the average person. Since I’ve gotten so lazy in my old age, I just go with the flow–and the restaurant is local. I console myself by saying I’m supporting local business…
Anyway, there’s just times I want to cook an Asian dish at home. This is especially true if I have some nice fresh veggies on hand. This was one of those times.
One thing I always have on hand are chicken breasts. I always have fresh mushrooms too–and I even had some whole cashews. The inspiration for this came when a friend gave me a ton of fresh snow peas. How can you resist?
If You’re In A Hurry…
If you’re pressed for time, you can skip the marinating. The dish will still taste great but the meat will have a different texture.
What I usually do–and it’s worth it–is to velvet the meat I use in a stir fry. If you’ve always wondered how the meat in dishes you get from the Chinese restaurant has that nice melt-in-your-mouth texture, velveting is the secret. It can either be done with egg white and cornstarch or with baking soda and cornstarch. Restaurants use the baking soda method which is more economical. So do I since it produces better results (in my opinion) than the egg white method. However, try both to see what you prefer.
I use this opportunity to introduce other flavors as the meat has to sit for at least 30 minutes, but I recommend one hour.
Don’t Have Cashews?
Honestly this is not a nut that I stock in my pantry. I bought some to make candy so I had some left over.
If you don’t have them, then use peanuts. It’ll taste just as good.
The nuts, of course, may be omitted entirely if you have a nut allergy or you simply have no nuts in your pantry.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in ¼-inch strips
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ + 2 tbs cup oil divided
- 2 cups snow peas
- 8 oz button mushrooms
- ½ cup cashews
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 slice (about 1-inch in diameter) fresh ginger
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs dry sherry -OR- dry white wine
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp dark sesame oil
- Stir Fry Sauce:
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tbs dry sherry -OR- dry white wine
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark sesame oil
- 4 tbs cornstarch
- Mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Add the chicken, toss and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain then place on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat ½ cup of the oil over medium-high heat in a deep skillet or wok. Oil will shimmer when the correct temperature is reached.
- Put the ½ cup cornstarch in a plastic bag. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
- Add the chicken to the hot oil (do not crowd pan, you may have to do this is shifts). Fry for 2 minutes on each side; remove and place on a plate on a paper towel.
- Discard the oil used for frying and wipe out the pan. Add the remaining 2 tbs of oil to the wok over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and ginger, stirring constantly until garlic begins to brown; discard garlic and ginger.
- Place the mushrooms in the hot wok. Stir fry until they begin to sear. Add the chicken and snow peas to the pan. Stir fry until the snow peas are bright green then add the cashews.
- Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch; add to the pan and stir constantly until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately over rice.