I love Thai food. Come to think about it, a lot of Thai recipes that I like are basically Chinese in origin, with local influences, which add an exciting layer of taste structure to the originals. There are many examples: Rad Na, Pad See Ew, and in this case, chicken with cashew nuts. In Chinese cuisine, these dishes are prepared the Chinese way, but the Thai versions are flavored with fish sauce or other local seasoning sauces, spices (yes!), and slightly varied ingredients. The end results are always delicious, sometimes more so than the Chinese equivalents. I always appreciate the local touch, which make good recipes even better…
This Spicy Chicken with Cashew Nuts is adapted from my favorite Thai cookbook “Thai Cooking Made Easy.” This variation of cashew chicken is also popular in Malaysia. In fact, it’s one of my favorite chicken dishes whenever I eat out at local hot stir-fries stalls. To me, it’s the local interpretation of Chinese cashew chicken and Kung Pao Chicken.
If you love cashew nuts and like your chicken spicy, this is a great recipe to try out.
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, cut into halves
6-8 finger-length dried red chilies, seeded and cut into halves
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts, rinsed and drained
8 oz chicken, cut into small cubes
1 scallion, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in lengths
1 teaspoon soy sauce/Maggi seasoning/Golden Mountain sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar or to taste
2 tablespoons water
Heat up a wok and add the oil. When the oil is heated, add the garlic, onion, dried red chilies and stir-fry until fragrant or when you smell the spicy aroma of the chilies. Add the cashew nuts and follow with the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken until the surface turns opaque. Add all the ingredients for the Sauce into the wok and continue to stir-fry until the chicken is cooked. Stir-in the scallion, dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.
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