Better than takeout cashew chicken in just 30 minutes! Say what? Yep, you read that right. Bite-sized chunks of tender chicken, fried, and then tossed in a sticky sweet and sour sauce, all brought together with a generous handful of crunchy cashews – heaven!
We’re big fans of a naughty Chinese takeaway every now and again but we both agree this homemade cashew chicken dish takes some beating. You can knock up this classic in just 30 minutes – less time than it takes to order and wait for a takeaway!
You don’t need a wok — a large non-stick frying pan will do the job — and, aside from the chicken, the only chopping involves some garlic, ginger and a garnish of spring onions. The rest comes out of various bottles and jars that you probably already have in the cupboard.
This cashew chicken recipe is quick and easy to follow. The only way to mess it up is to overcook the chicken. To avoid this, make sure you have all your ingredients prepped before you whack on the heat. Don’t cut the chicken chunks too small or you’ll end up with dry chicken, and nobody wants that.
Cashew chicken sauce
The sauce in this recipe has that perfect blend of Asian flavours. It’s lightly sweet, slightly sour and goes perfectly with chicken. You can substitute the chicken for pork if you prefer. We’re big sauce fans so we’ve been pretty generous with the quantity of sauce in this one. If you still want more, add a touch more chicken stock to the pan.
The cornflour in this recipe gives the dish that classic takeaway vibe. Once you’ve added the cornflour and water mixture to the pan, it will thicken the sauce quite quickly so keep an eye on it.
What to serve with cashew chicken
We always include a red pepper for an extra bit of crunch but you could add some broccoli or an onion if you prefer.
We like to serve cashew chicken with white rice, spring onion oil noodles, or a side of Asian veg. If you’re cooking for guests and want that full Chinese fakeaway sharing experience, serve this dish alongside a couple of others. You’ll be amazed how much better it feels to eat fresh, homemade Chinese food. Plus, it’ll be a fraction of the price and a lot less calories!
A sprinkle of sliced spring onions to garnish is optional but we think it lifts the dish and cuts through the sticky sauce.
- 550 grams chicken breast
- 1 red pepper
- 25 grams cornflour + 2 tsp for sauce
- 60 ml vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 150 ml chicken stock
- 60 ml soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 spring onions finely sliced
- 65 grams roasted cashew nuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the chicken into 3cm cubes. Add to a bowl with the cornflour, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat the chicken evenly.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add half of the chicken in a single layer. Cook for 4 mins on each side or until nicely browned. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining raw chicken.
- Cut the red pepper into chunks and cook for 5 minutes using the same pan as the chicken. Remove and set aside.
- Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.
- In a bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sweet chilli sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil. Add the sauce mixture to the pan.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer. Mix the 2 teaspoons cornflour with 2 tablespoons cold water and mix well.
- Pour the cornflour into the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute or until the sauce has just thickened.
- Add the chicken, red pepper and cashew nuts to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce.
- Sprinkle with sliced spring onions and serve hot. Enjoy!