Cashew Kung Pao Chicken


I never order Kung Pao Chicken from a restaurant because it is way too spicy for me.  I like to be able to control the heat so making it at home is a better option.  I made this version with a moderate level of heat but feel free to adjust the quantity of red-pepper flakes to suit your taste.  You don’t even have to add any at all, it’s totally up to you.

Quick-Asian stir fries are great weeknight and weekend meals as they are very easy to put together.  Served over steamed rice it’s a great way to wrap up the evening.

As far as wine recommendation’s go, with a dish like this you want something to refresh you from the salty and spicy flavors.  Aromatic whites would be my choice; an Albarino from Spain, Sauvignon Blanc from California or South Africa or a Pinot Gris from Oregon.  Cold beer will also go nicely.


 
In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 Tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon of the sherry and 1 Tablespoon of the cornstarch.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water and the remaining 4 Tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon of sherry and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.

Prepare scallions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2″ pieces.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat.  Add the cashews and stirring until light brown, about 30 seconds.  Remove from the pan.  Heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil.  Add the white part of the scallions and the red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken with it’s marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the soy sauce mixture and the scallion tops and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 1 minute longer.  Stir in the cashews.

Serve over steamed rice.

Cashew Kung Pao Chicken
Adapted from Food & Wine

1-1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces
5 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sherry
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons white-wine vinegar or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 cup cashews or peanuts
4 scallions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 Tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon of the sherry and 1 Tablespoon of the cornstarch.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water and the remaining 4 Tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon of sherry and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.

Prepare scallions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2″ pieces.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat.  Add the cashews and stirring until light brown, about 30 seconds.  Remove from the pan.  Heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil.  Add the white part of the scallions and the red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the soy sauce mixture and the scallion tops and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 1 minute longer.  Stir in the cashews.  Serve over steamed rice.

One Year Ago: Slow-Cooked Moroccan Short Ribs

Post a Comment

41 Comments and 2 Replies

  1. The minute I saw the “New post from Noble Pig” hit my inbox and saw the title, I started to salivate! Kung Pao chicken is one of my FAVORITE Asian dishes but I’ve always been too afraid to try preparing it myself. However, you’ve made it look pretty easy and I’m going to try it! Probably Monday night, as tomorrow night is slow-cooker Sunday with Swiss Steak…

    I can NOT wait to fix this!

    Reply
  2. deeba 2

    Just too darned delicious Cathy. My hubs fave chicken dish from Chinese cuisine. The use of cashews just right. He doesn’t like the version with peanuts!Droolworthy!!

    Reply
  3. Leslie 3

    I can never order Chinese out because of all the MSG..But I love making it at home. Love this dish

    Reply
  4. dawn 4

    This is so easy, there are no good Chinese places around us and this would satify that urge I get! Thanks!

    Reply
  5. stinkypaw 5

    Might just do that for tomorrow night dinner, thanks!

    Reply
  6. Lydia 6

    I never order Kung Pao Chicken at a restaurant because it’s never spicy enough! I do love to make it at home, though our version is decidedly fiery.

    Reply
  7. Steph 7

    That looks so good, especially with the cashews!

    Reply
  8. Angela 8

    Yum, looks delicious and easy. I wonder if I could substitute Madeira or Marsala for the sherry or would that be a bad idea? I have both of those on hand but no sherry.

    Reply
  9. I love Kung Pao but I’m with you, it’s really spicy!

    Good idea making your own! Gorgeous photos!

    Reply
  10. These photos make me extremely hungry. They are amazing. Great point about controlling the heat if you make this dish at home.

    Shirley

    Reply
  11. chriesi 11

    That’s my favourite! Looks totally yummy!

    Reply
  12. Egghead 12

    OK you now have my stomach growling and it’s only 5:30 am. Looks really good.

    Reply
  13. I stopped by Uwajimaya yesterday and stocked up my Asian food pantry so am ready to cook. Have you found this Beaverton store yet? Amazing. Love this dish!

    Reply
  14. June 14

    Love Kung Pao and this looks amazing. You’re definitely taking care of that “now what am I gonna’ make” quandry.

    Reply
  15. Your Kung Pao looks perfectly juicy! I do love to order it out but I never know what I am going to get- sometimes not hot enough and sometimes I can’t breathe!!

    Reply
  16. Lena in VT 16

    I love Kung Pao but never attempted it at home, I never thought it was so easy!

    Reply
  17. Having come from NYC, I have been complaining about the Chinese food situation in LA since I got here. Why not make it at home indeed? I never did because I never knew how easy it could be. This looks great!!!

    Reply
  18. grace 18

    not only is “kung pao” extremely fun to say, but it’s also one of the few chinese dishes i enjoy. for me, the spicier the better, and i do love the crunch of the cashews! lovely shots, cathy!

    Reply
  19. Mary 19

    I have been thinking about a meal to fix, one similar to this one, but couldn’t seem to come up with a good recipe. I am going to have to try this!

    Reply
  20. noble pig 20

    I think that would be fine.

    Reply
  21. Melynda 21

    Yum, now I can make this at home. I’m with you, I also need to control how much heat is good on my tongue.

    Reply
  22. Alisa 22

    My husband will love you very much.

    Reply
  23. Marlene 23

    Love me some Kung Pao Chicken as well as General Tsao Chicken and Burbon Chicken…and Honey Chicken…and well, I just love chicken. I will be needing your love and friendship and maybe a lot of this Kung Pao Chicken in the next 7.5 months.

    Reply
  24. Lisa Sipple 24

    Love this recipe, I needed some chicken in my diet and this is going to fit in quite nicely.

    Reply
  25. Biz 25

    Kung Pao Chicken is always my go to because its so spicy. Now I can make it at home! Thanks! 😀

    Reply
  26. Kung Pao chicken is my favorite thing to order for take-out, but I love the idea of making my own at home. Sounds great with cashews too.

    Reply
  27. Cassie 27

    Kung Pao Chicken is my absolute favorite chinese dish! I will be making this! YUM!

    Reply
  28. Marjie 28

    …and, of course, the hooligans loved it. After all, what’s more fun to a little boy then bellowing “Kung Pow!”?

    I made something similar a while back, but, because I feed so many very large men, I did mine in the broiler, where I can fit a much larger pan directly under the heat. Just suggesting, in case you have any other readers loony enough to routinely feed nearly a dozen people.

    Reply
  29. Wow, this is the recipe I’ve been looking for. Screw the Lucky Wok down the street — take outs come home!

    Reply
  30. Yummmm! This looks amazing. I will for sure be trying it sometime soon.

    Reply
  31. Laura 31

    Cathy,
    I don’t know what’s happened to my taste buds, but as I’ve aged, I’ve turned into a spice wimp.
    This used to be one of my favorite Chinese food dishes but I had to stop ordering it because I couldn’t handle it.
    YAY!! You fixed the problem.
    I psyched to try this.

    Reply
  32. deeba 32

    Just made it for lunch Cathy…slam dunk delicious! Added some brocolli & red bell peppers too..’twas YUM!! Thank you for posting this!

    Reply
  33. Great version of Kung pao chicken, my family would love the cashews in this dish!

    Reply
  34. Flea 34

    Oh thank you. I’m always looking for good Asian recipes. This looks yummy!

    Reply
  35. This is one of my favourites! Love the cashew nuts!

    Reply
  36. Mom24 36

    Made this tonight for dinner–it was fabulous. We made the peanut version, not a speck was left. Thanks for such a delicious, easy, fast, delicious dinner!

    I, too, do not usually have sherry on hand. I substituted Mirin and it seemed to work just fine.

    Reply
  37. nancy 37

    one word delicious

    Reply
  38. Blanche 38

    I made this tonight – it was delicious! Not spicy at all, I ended up adding a lot more pepper :)

    Reply
  39. Maggie 39

    I was really excited to make this but unfortunately it completely lacked flavor and really was bland. I even added extra red pepper flakes. I would suggest adding peppers or pea pods for flavor cause it definitely needs some layers of flavors. The sauce is not enough! I would also add hoisin to the sauce.

    Reply
    • Cathy 40

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, we love just the way it is but everyone’s tastes are different. It sounds like you were looking for heat, which I think is often better left to everyone’s individual tastes unless the dish is labeled spicy. Thanks for your feedback.

      Reply
  40. Kim Porter 41

    Made this for dinner tonight and tossed in some diced zucchini and red onion. My husband says it’s the best cashew chicken he’s ever tasted. Thanks for yet another awesome recipe! Can’t wait to get down to your tasting room to find a good pairing!

    Reply
  41. M Penn 43

    About how many servings does this recipe make?

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting