Has Cashew Nut Chicken Gone Nuts?
Every year my work receives a gift from one of our vendors- a "nut gift". I love their idea of playing with the word "nut". Sugar coated roasted almonds have been sent on their way to us every year with the funny cute note, " We're nuts about you, hope you enjoy our nuts". I think it's funny but my co-worker thinks it's corny. Oh well..
Speaking of nuts, it appears to be a main ingredient in tons of recipes around the world - Spanish, Italian, American, Chinese, Korean, and also Thai. Peanut sauce is the most popular Thai iteration, and this cashew nut entree. You probably can find this dish at any Thai restaurant and it will cost you about $7-10 per dish. I know you're going to be broke if you eat out everyday! You spend a little more cooking on your own, but then you can supply dinner and lunch for 2 people or more. You will actually save lots of money by cooking at home.
I'm saying this cuz I've been eating out almost everyday this past few weeks. So, this week I'm broke! However, I have an excuse! My excuse is that I didn't spend it solely on food, but also on emotional well-being expense. =) Would this be enough to make me guilt free!? I enjoy dining out; just to experience new things and find creative inspirations. I personally admire chefs at all restaurants; who come up with creative dishes for all of us to try and get excited about food.
In this cashew nut chicken, who would have thought mixing nuts and vegetables would turn out as a dish? Food synergies always stun me and that's why I love cooking.
Cashew Nut Chicken
Yield: 6 nutty people
2 chicken breasts, cut in cube
1 cup cashew nuts
1/2 onion, sliced
1 heart celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced width wise (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon chili paste with soya bean oil
8 oz white mushroom, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Crushed chili flakes
This is the key ingredient of this dish - Chili paste with soya bean oil. You can find it at a Asian grocery store. It comes in different level of spiciness; mild, medium, and hot. I've gone with the hot one as you know me!
- Heat up a wok and vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add garlic and brown it.
- Add chickn and cook them till they all cooked through,
- Add onion and mushroom and sautee them till translucent
- Add all other vegetable and seasonings except chili paste. Suate for about 10 mins and add chili paste. If it's too dry, add 1 tablespoon of chicken stock or water to lighten the paste.
- When it's all mixed well, turn off the heat. Add cilantro and cashew nuts.
Served with warm rice and saves you big bucks. Let's eat at home!