Friday, October 19, 2012

Cashew Chicken..

Again an American-Chinese dish, Cashew Chicken. Few days back my daughter had this dish in one of the popular food chain here, Panda Express. She liked it so much and asked me to recreate it at home. I did not follow any particular recipe just did it my way. As It was for my 5yr old, I kept it sweet and tangy. You can add green chilies or dry red chilies to make it hot-spicy.

Things needed to make Cashew Chicken:

  • Chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces): 2cups
  • Cashew nuts: 1/3cup
  • Garlic (minced): 1tsp + 1/2tsp
  • Red onion (cut into large triangles): 3/4cup
  • Green bell pepper (cut into large triangles): 1/2cup
  • Red bell pepper (cut into large triangles) : 1/2cup
  • Scallions/Spring onion (green and white part chopped): a bunch
  • Dark soy sauce: 1tbsp+ 1tbsp
  • Kecap manis: 1tbsp
  • Sherry/Chinese white wine: 1tbsp
  • Oyster sauce: 1tbsp
  • Tomato Ketchup: 2tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/4tsp
  • Black pepper powder: 1/4tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Chicken stock/water: 1cup
  • Corn starch: 2tbsp + 2tsp
  • Oil

Kecap manis (pronounced as KEH-chup MAH nees) is dark brown, syrupy-thick Indonesian sauce commonly used in Indonesian cooking. It is sweeter and has a nice flavor. It can be easily found in any Asian market. If unavailable, it can be approximated by simmering ½ cup (125 ml) soy sauce with 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar until the sugar dissolves.

Steps of making Cashew Chicken:

1. Wash, clean and pat dry the chicken breasts and cut into bite size pieces.
2. In a bowl mix garlic(1tsp), kecap manis, dark soy sauce(1tbsp), oyster sauce, sherry or chinese white wine, black pepper powder. Mix well and taste the salt, if you think you need to add salt then add a little. As all these sauces have high salt content, taste before you add salt. Add the chicken pieces to this mixture. Cover and marinate for 30min.
3. Heat oil in a wok.
4. Dust the marinated chicken pieces with corn starch(2tbsp). Fry the chicken pieces in batches, on high flame for 6-7min. Take out the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
5. Fry the onion and bell peppers for 1-2min on high heat. Keep them aside.
6. In a pan add 1tbsp oil, when the oil is hot add 1/2tsp garlic. Cook for 1min on high heat. Add the cashew nuts and cook for 2min. Take care not to burn the nuts. Add chopped spring onion, only the white part.

7. Add fried chicken, onion, bell peppers, mix well. Add tomato ketchup, dark soy sauce(1tbsp), red chili powder, mix well. Cook for 2min on medium-high heat. Add chicken stock or water, increase the heat.

8. Mix corn starch with little water. As the gravy boils add the corn starch-water mix. Cook for 2-3min, the gravy will thicken. Switch off heat. Garnish with chopped spring onions(green part only).

Serve hot with fried rice or plain rice...Enjoy!!!

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