Cashew Chicken

Make a restaurant favorite at home
45 minutes Total Time
25 minutes to prep
20 minutes to cook
4 servings

This recipe was started from a version in Cook's Country, but my version doesn't much resemble that recipe after my changes. The part that remains is the velveting technique of the chicken with cornstarch. This keeps the chicken tender and is what I try to use whenever I stir-fry something. The original recipe did not have vegetables that we liked and the sauce was both too sweet and too spicy for our tastes. I'm also using less oil in my version. 

This recipe also works great with green beans or whatever vegetables you enjoy. I like to keep the ratio of vegetables to protein high so I can get at least one serving of vegetables in my meal, but you can adjust the amounts to whatever you want. 


Ingredients with an * are listed more than once.


  • Gather and prep ingredients. Washing and cutting the vegetables at the beginning is extra important when doing a stir-fry when the cooking goes very quickly and ingredients need to be ready.
    Step 0
  • Mix the soy sauce, cornstarch and sesame oil in a medium bowl.
    Step 1
  • Add the diced chicken and stir to evenly coat the chicken. Set aside.
    Step 2
  • Mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce, asian chili sauce, and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
    Step 3
  • Toast the cashews in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently so they don't burn. Cook until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove cashews to a small bowl and set aside.
    Step 4
  • If there is a lot of liquid in the bowl of chicken and coating, it helps to drain the chicken before cooking. This is optional if you don't want something else to clean, but it will keep the chicken nicer looking with fewer bits of fried sauce in the final product.
    Step 5
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook stirring occasionally so the chicken is cooked through and browned all over, about 4-5 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Remove the chicken to a small bowl.
    Step 6
  • Add the broccoli and carrots to the skillet. Add 2 more teaspoons of oil and the water to the skillet. Stir, then cover. Steam the vegetables for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and stir fry for another few minutes until the vegetables are almost cooked through and starting to brown.
    Step 7
  • Push some vegetables aside to clear some pan space in the middle. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and the whites of the scallions. Stir fry for one minute.
    Step 8
  • Add the sauce, cashews, and cooked chicken to the pan. Stir to combine. Cook a minute longer to reheat the chicken and thicken the sauce.
    Step 9
  • Top with the scallion greens and remove from heat. Serve with rice. Leftovers are good for a few days and can be reheated in the microwave with a lower power setting.
    Step 10

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