Cashew Chicken
July 20th, 2014 256 Comments

Cashew Chicken

Chinese Recipe: Cashew Chicken
Chinese Recipe: Cashew Chicken pictures (1 of 4)

(Popular and All-Time Favorite Chinese recipesBroccoli Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, Egg Drop Soup, Kung Pao Chicken, Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and more.)

To celebrate the Beijing Olympics, I am going to share some of the most popular Chinese recipes with you in the next two weeks.

While Chinese recipes are often featured here on Rasa Malaysia, I mostly share my favorite Chinese dishes—meaning those that I enjoy eating—with my readers. A simple Google search of the most popular Chinese food in the United States returns the following results:

  1. Broccoli Beef
  2. Sweet and Sour Pork
  3. Cashew Chicken
  4. Crab Rangoon
  5. Egg Drop Soup
  6. Moo Goo Gai Pan
  7. Chow Mein
  8. Fried Rice
  9. Kung Pao Chicken
  10. Egg Roll

As a Chinese, I have to say that this is not the most interesting list. In fact, some of the dishes are not even real Chinese, for example: Moo Goo Gai Pan. (Most of the dishes on the list are American-Chinese food, made popular by the Chinese restaurants in the United States. They are what general Americans know as Chinese food.)

Chinese cuisine—when done right—is pleasing, subtle, delicate, satisfying, and a great treat to the taste buds. However, most Chinese restaurants in the United States have pretty much butchered Chinese food and turned one of the greatest cuisines in the world into something vaguely recognizable—gooey, starchy, sticky, greasy, and downright unappetizing—one that is certain to leave a bad taste in the mouth of many diners.

Cashew Chicken(腰果鸡丁)

Since most of my readers are Americans, I thought I would share with you the correct way of making these popular dishes. Today, I teach you the proper way of making Cashew Chicken—a very popular eat-in and take-out dish at Chinese restaurants in the United States.

The key to a great Chinese stir-fried chicken dish is simple: smooth and tender chicken meat lightly coated with a sauce, stir-fried over HIGH heat using a wok to achieve the breath of wok. To get the breath of wok, you can buy the cookbook here and learn the techniques. To make the chicken tender, I am going to share with you a secret–one that is used by many restaurants and Chinese chefs—BAKING SODA.

Baking soda serves two purposes:

  1. to rid the chicken of any potential smell (I am sure you have had bad experiences eating chicken with a foul chicken-y odor,
  2. to tenderize the meat. Just by looking at my pictures, you can tell that those chicken breast cubes are silky and tender. For the detailed instructions, please follow my Cashew Chicken recipe below.

SECRET TECHNIQUE: BAKING SODA is the secret weapon to make any meat—chicken, beef, pork–tender.

Anyway, once you try out my Cashew Chicken recipe, I am sure you will never go back to the gooey, sticky, starchy Cashew Chicken from your neighborhood Chinese joints again, and you will again enjoy authentic Chinese recipes.


Chow Mein Broccoli Beef Sweet and Sour Pork Egg Drop Soup
Chow Mein Broccoli Beef Sweet and Sour Pork Egg Drop Soup
Kung Pao Chicken Cashew Chicken Fried Rice Orange Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken Cashew Chicken Fried Rice Orange Chicken
Crab Rangoon Mongolian Beef
Crab Rangoon Mongolian Beef
Click Page 2 for the Cashew Chicken Recipe
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256 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Brenda says:

    Only comment or request I have is, I would like to know the serving size of your recipes. That would help me a lot in planning to prepare one of your recipes for a family of 6. I would love to try your Cashew Chicken!!

  2. Leslee says:

    Is there a substitute for the oyster sauce or could I leave it out? I can’t have oysters due to an allergy so that is out of the question? Any suggestions?

  3. Shysta says:

    I absolutely loved this recipe i cant wait to try other recipes since i live in a country where rice wine is not available i actually skipped it … can you tell me why its used and is there any other substitute i can use for it .. thanks :)

  4. eli says:

    hi , can i use pork instead of chicken? thank u :)

  5. Marina says:

    I have made this multiple times. I add celery and have used rice vinegar in place of the rice wine. My family LOVES this! I triple the recipe now so we have lots of leftovers!

    • Peggy says:

      I love rice vinegar. It’s one of my go to vinegars as it has a very light flavor. For anyone who hasn’t used it before however, there is a difference between plain rice vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar. The seasoned version has sugar (in various forms), salt, and other artificial flavor enhancers added.

    • Peggy says:

      Sorry Marina my comment got added to the wrong person somehow.

    • Peggy says:

      I’m losing it obviously, call it post holiday bleariness. I had it right the first time.

  6. mike says:

    You can use this brand of soy-based “oyster sauce” called Mama Sitas. It is vegetarian and while I traditionally use regular oyster sauce, My girlfriend’s sister who is a vegan turned me on to this sauce.I can hardly tell the difference between this and real oyster sauce. You can find it in most any Asian market.

  7. rose says:

    I just wanted to know what can i used instead of rice wine because in my country is hard to find rice wine …

  8. Angel says:

    I did not know that baking soda can soften meat. I tried it on my steak, and it was Awesome!!! Thank you so much. Also, I did the cashew chicken, it was marvelous. I was out of oyster sauce, the chicken was still delicious. Thank you…bye bye tough meat :)

  9. mandy says:

    Tried the baking soda on the chicken today. The chicken dish turned out really tender. Thank you for sharing the secret tip!

  10. Gladys says:

    It would be nice if you could type the recipe in bold, it does not print out well. Also, the sliced ginger: how big are the slices supposed to be.

  11. repsjohnso says:

    Can you place a “Print” button on your recipies? I’d love to print them out with the picture but can’t really do it on your site now. Thanks.

  12. Mari says:

    Loved this dish, thought it was perfect exactly as published, then hubs-my masterchef-complained the flavor was too light. Should I marinate the meat in the sauce? Any suggestions?

  13. Dennis Gerber says:

    What a joy, finding your web site. Circumstances have me setting up home as a single person, on fixed income, trying to keep a balanced diet – learning to cook for my self. You are right about the overly Americanized recipes that most Chinese restaurants serve. The problem with cooking at home is it takes a lot of pots, pans, cookers, etc. and a lot of preparation. Your recipes have been easy to follow, simple steps laid out clearly, and with a few simple (but important) tools, mainly a good wok and a couple accessories – the recipes I have tried all came out great. I would like to see more Asian recipes like steamed fish. Surprisingly – I have had a difficult time finding a good bamboo steamer. It’s on my list as well as a good rice steamer. I do pretty well with a small stove top pot – but I know what a good ricer can do and I am working my way to get that into my kitchen.
    Beside your recipes tasting better than what I would get in a restaurant – it is far more economical doing it yourself, and far more healthier. The expanse and range of recipes you offer are great. It expands the palette and keeps cooking from being boring. It encourages buying fresh vegetables – which, when you living alone can easily become something you quit doing. I hated going to the grocery store and buying the same old stuff over and over again. Now my trips are far more interesting as I shop knowing exactly what meal I am planning.
    It is nice to have a spice cabinet with a big range of spices instead of just a salt and pepper shaker. I had never heard of oyster sauce but now it is also one of my secret weapons.
    Thanks, you effort is greatly appreciated

  14. naviginseng says:

    Just a question regarding the marinating of the chicken in baking soda. Do I just sprinkle it over the top of the chicken pieces & stir to combine, or do you cover the chicken with water & add the baking soda to the water? How do I ensure the baking soda is not just stuck to one or two pieces of chicken?

  15. Christine says:

    Oh My GOD just made this..Thank you sooo much what a little ripper of a dish..Absolutely delicious. I just love your site..Thank you again.

  16. Wyguy says:

    Made this yesterday, what a hit it was. Your recipe was delicious. Cashew chicken has always been my wife’s favorite and this did not disappoint.

  17. bianca says:

    I love all your recipes, i live in Netherlands, married with a chinese-dutch and i’m romanian :) , i love to cook asian, your recipes are perfect, when i need a new idea i’m searching on your page and…go to market :). Thank you for all the hard work you are doing and for sharing everything with us!

  18. Jesse says:

    Just made this and it came out superb. Easily matching restaurant quality.

  19. Dom says:

    I am usually hopless at stirfries! However this recipe has completely come through for me! I used garlic and only a little ginger. Added some more veggies and it was brilliant! I will be cooking this again!

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