Our Easy Chicken and Cashew Stir-Fry is quick to prepare and cooked in no time. A deliciously simple and healthy bowl of food as making your own chicken and cashew nut stir fry sauce means you know exactly what you are putting into it.
When it comes to cooking Chinese food I have two favourite dishes that I come back to again and again. Our Beef in Black Bean Sauce and this stir fried chicken with cashew nuts.
Cooking this Healthy Chicken and Cashew Stir-fry yourself means you know exactly what you are putting into it. This dish is not high is salt and contains no sugar or preservatives.
Chinese food lends itself really well to mid week cooking when time is limited but we still want to serve up something tasty and nutritious.
Onion, garlic and ginger form the base of a lot of Chinese dishes, however this is a versatile dish and you can add in any other vegetables that you enjoy eating.
Working and eating out in China:
I spent a year working in China in my previous career and during that time I ate out a lot. This was one of my favourite dishes, or at least a variation of it. I always had a notebook with me (I still do) and I would note down the ingredients that I could taste in the dishes I really loved to eat.
This was one such dish and one of the first I tried to recreate at home in my own kitchen. It’s a firm family favourite and a regular feature in my weekly dinner plan.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- This is great tasting food fast as the whole dish can be prepared and on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- Making your own stir fry sauce is healthier as you know exactly what you are putting into it, less salt, sugar and preservatives than the local takeaway.
- This is a versatile dish so feel free to add in extra veggies that you enjoy eating.
Is chicken and cashew stir-fry healthy?
Our healthy chicken and cashew stir-fry not only tastes great, but it’s healthy too. I find that making versions of takeaway dishes at home is a great way of ensuring there is no excess oil or too much salt or unnecessary sugars added to the dish. You have total control over what ingredients you use and how much.
How to make easy chicken and cashew nut stir fry:
- Start by looking out and preparing all your ingredients ready to start as this is a quick cook.
- Heat a wok over a high heat, add the oil and once smoking hot add the chicken and stir-fry for a minute.
- Then add the oyster sauce, sugar and light and dark soy sauce.
- Stir well to coat the chicken and cook for a further minute or two.
- Now add the onion, red and green peppers, garlic and ginger and continue to saute for a further 2 minutes.
- Then add the chicken stock and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through.
- Finally stir through the spring onion and cashew nuts, ensuring everything is coated with the sauce.
- Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles.
Recipe ingredients & substitutions:
- CHICKEN: I use 2/3 chicken breasts in this recipe, you could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. For a change swap the chicken for some pork tenderloin instead.
- SUNFLOWER OIL: sunflower oil is a flavourless oil and my go to when it comes to stir frying. Groundnut oil is a peanut oil most traditionally used in Chinese cooking, however my daughter has a peanut allergy so I don’t keep a bottle in the house. You can also use another flavourless oil.
- VEGETABLES: onion, garlic and ginger form the base flavours for most Chinese dishes. I also add a red and green pepper to my stir-fry for added flavour and great crunch too.
- UNSALTED CASHEW NUTS: are added to the stir-fry just before serving. They have a creamy flavour and add great crunch and texture to the stir-fry which works perfectly with the soft cooked chicken. Nuts and seeds are a great way of adding crunch and flavour to a dish, you could also use almonds, peanuts or sesame seeds. Just ensure you opt for unsalted nuts to avoid adding too much salt into the dish.
- SPRING ONION: is stirred through at the end of the cook, for a burst of freshness just before serving.
Chicken and cashew nut stir fry sauce:
- OYSTER SAUCE: is a thick, dark sauce with a rich flavour that adds depth to this stir-fry.
- SOY SAUCE: Both dark and light soy sauces are used in the chicken and cashew nut stir fry sauce. The dark sauce adds depth of flavour, while the light soy adds the salt element to the dish.
- CHICKEN STOCK: is adds a depth of chicken flavour to the finished stir-fry sauce.
TOP TIP: To make a gluten free stir-fry, ensure that you are using gluten free soy sauce and oyster sauce.
Easy chicken and cashew stir-fry flavour variations:
- Fancy a change from chicken? Then swap the chicken in this dish for some pork tenderloin or some fresh prawns.
- For a vegetarian stir-fry swap the chicken for tofu or add in extra veggies. Just remember to leave out the oyster sauce too.
- Add in a whole host of crunchy vegetables to your stir-fry, here are some suggestions, but this list is by no means limitless:
- bell peppers
- mange tout or sugar snap peas
- green beans
- broccoli florets or tender stem broccoli
- baby sweetcorn
- courgette (zucchini)
- leafy greens like pak choy; spinach or kale
What can you serve with Stir-Fry?
- Keep things simple when serving chicken and cashew nut stir fry. A little steamed rice or our Easy Egg Fried Rice are delicious accompaniments to this dish of stir fried beef.
- Noodles also work a treat with this dish. Cook the noodles in boiling water as per the packet instructions. Drain, then you can either stir fry the noodles in a little sesame oil with a handful of beansprouts and serve on the side.
- Or alternatively add the boiled, drained noodles straight into the stir fry right at the end of the cook. Give it a good stir to ensure the noodles are covered in the sauce and serve immediately.
- Add some vegetable side dishes to the table, stir-frying vegetables brings the flavour out, without they becoming too soft and overcooked. This dish works really well with:
Can stir fried chicken with cashew nuts by made ahead?
As with most stir fried foods, this easy beef stir fry is best made fresh and served immediately. Making it in advance does little to improve the dish, you want the vegetables to retain their crisp crunch.
In my opinion there is nothing worse than soggy vegetables in a stir fry.
Useful hints and tips:
- Equipment – use a wok or large non-stick frying pan to make this easy chicken and cashew stir-fry.
- Vegetarian – for a vegetarian version of this dish swap the chicken for tofu instead and remove the oyster sauce from the stir-fry sauce.
- Gluten Free – for a gluten free version of this dish ensure that the soy sauces and oyster sauce are a gluten free variety.
- Allergy advice: gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soya free and nut free. For comprehensive and detailed allergy advice go to Allergy UK.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then try some of our other quick and easy Chinese dishes:
- Beef in Black Bean Sauce
- Easy Egg Fried Rice
- Easy Vegetable Stir Fry
- Pork & Peanut Stir-fry
- Chinese Steamed Sea Bass
- Stir Fried Broccoli with Garlic
- Stir Fried Pak Choy
Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.
Easy Chicken & Cashew Stir-Fry
- 2 large chicken breasts (sliced)
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- ½ red pepper (chopped)
- ½ green pepper (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 2.5 cm fresh ginger (grated)
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy
- 1 tsp dark soy
- 50 ml chicken stock
- 75 g cashew nuts
- 3 spring onion (cut into 2.5cm pieces)
- Heat a wok over a high heat, add the oil and once smoking hot add the chicken and stir-fry for a minute. Then add the oyster sauce, sugar and light and dark soy sauce, stirring well to coat the chicken and cook for a further minute or two.
- Add the onion, red and green peppers, garlic and ginger and continue to saute for a further 2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through.
- Stir in the spring onion and cashew nuts, ensuring everything is coated with the sauce. Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook
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