Cashew Chicken is a classic American Chinese takeout dish that varies wildly from restaurant to restaurant. Make it at home to get it perfect every time.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of reasons to NOT order takeout, and only one very compelling reason to order takeout.
You should order takeout because the food is delicious.
The downsides to takeout, or takeaway depending on where you’re from, are many. It’s not cheap, if it’s popular it’s not fast, and it’s usually not healthy at all.
The number one reason to NOT order takeout is because there’s not one darn place where I live that makes good Chinese food.
And I’m not being unreasonable. I’m not asking for authentic, single origin, just hacked the head off the local chicken, Chinese food (shout out Christmas Story). I’m talking good quality Americanized Chinese food.
When we first moved to the Dallas, Texas suburban area, our city didn’t even have a grocery store so there definitely weren’t any restaurants that delivered. Fast forward 15 years and 150,000+ transplants and there isn’t much you can’t get here now.
In my humble town I can watch professional soccer and minor league baseball play and professional football practice. I can take the kids to the movies, a water park, a science center, over 80 city parks and school playgrounds. I can shop ‘til I drop; which doesn’t take long because I’m a crappy shopper. One whiff of mall air and I wilt and start searching for a place that serves alcohol. There are heritage, railroad, and video game museums, spas, sculpture gardens, theatres, golf courses, concerts, and even a farmers’ market.
But I can’t get a decent carton of Cashew Chicken.
So, I am making my way through recreating my favs so I no longer have to be disappointed with what’s available for takout.
Unless a new place opens, then I’m totally going to try it.
Wine Note: A Reisling or pinot gris stand up to the flavorful sauce.
Side Dish: Serve with rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice. Make a double batch and freeze half to have instant rice next time you need it. Most grocery stores have fortune cookies in the international food aisle if you want a fun treat.
More takeout fakeout recipes: Mongolian Beef, General Tso’s Chicken, Combo Fried Rice, Egg Drop Soup
- Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound, diced into ½ inch pieces (bite sized)
- 4 cups diced vegetables: celery, mushrooms, zucchini, green pepper
- 1 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced, about a generous tablespoon
- 1 8 ounce can diced water chestnuts
- 1 cup cashews, rough chopped
- ½ cup mirin
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12” nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add chicken (do in batches if necessary) and saute for about four minutes until cooked through.
- Remove chicken to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan with vegetables and sauté for 4 minutes until lightly browned.
- While chicken cooks, combine sauce ingredients.
- Add ginger and garlic to pan and cook about 30 seconds.
- Stir in water chestnuts, sauce and cooked chicken with any juices on plate. Cook until heated through just a minute or two.
- Stir in cashews and serve.