Chicken with Peppers and Cashews

Chicken with Peppers and Cashews

This recipe for Chicken with Peppers and Cashews is very much the sort of thing that might get served as Kung Pao Chicken in many Westernized Chinese restaurants. It has, after all, nuts (albeit cashews rather than peanuts) and chili heat in a sweet and tangy sauce. For all that, it actually bears little resemblance to the classic Chinese Kung Pao style, but it is still very tasty nevertheless.

The Method

Marinating Chicken Cubes in Rice Wine and Sesame Oil.
Marinating Chicken Cubes in Rice Wine and Sesame Oil.

First, mix the chicken with the sesame oil and rice wine and set aside to marinate for thirty minutes or so.

Deep-frying marinated Chicken Cubes
Deep-frying marinated Chicken Cubes

Heat a cup of oil to the shimmering point in your wok and quickly fry the chicken pieces in several batches until they are opaque and getting slightly browned. Don’t overcrowd the pan so much that the oil temperature drops too much, and don’t overcook. You just want the pieces to be nicely cooked on the outside but still just a little raw in the center. Remove the chicken to a separate bowl for now.

Frying Bell Pepper in Chili Sauce
Frying Bell Pepper in Chili Sauce

Drain off all but a tablespoon or two of oil and add the chili paste and the ketchup. Stir it into the oil and, as soon as you smell the aroma of the two, add in the bell pepper. Toss for thirty seconds or so and add the sugar and the vinegar.

Finally, when the liquid in the wok is bubbling nicely (and excuse the lack of a picture here), add the chicken and stir-fry for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is forming a glaze. Add the cashews, toss a few more times until everything is nicely hot and then plate and serve.

Your Recipe Card:

Chicken with Peppers and Cashews

Chicken with Peppers and Cashews is similar to Kung Pao Chicken. It isn’t the same as the properly made classic, but it still tastes great.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Bell Peppers, Cashews, Chicken, Chili Paste, Sugar, Vinegar
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 1 large boneless Chicken Breast cut into large dice
  • ½ cup of Red Bell Pepper cut into small dice
  • ½ cup whole Cashews;
  • 1 tbsp. Rice Wine or Mirin or substitute dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mild Chili Paste
  • 3 tbsp. Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Vinegar

Instructions

  • Mix the chicken with the sesame oil and rice wine and set aside to marinate for thirty minutes.
  • Deep-fry the Chicken in a cup of oil until just beginning to brown but not cooked through.
  • Drain off all but one tablespoon of oil from your pan, add the Chili Paste and Ketchup and, when the aroma rises, add in the Bell Pepper.
  • Stir fry for thirty seconds or so, then add the Sugar and Vinegar.
  • When the sauce begins to bubble, add in the Chicken and stir-fry until it is cooked through and the sauce forms a glaze.
  • Add the Cashews, continue cooking until all is heated through and serve.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!