I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Chinese restaurant and not had chicken and cashew nuts, I absolutely love it! Now I’m a student, eating-out is a rather rare luxury and even takeaways can be expensive and unreliable. So I assembled all the ingredients in my cupboard that were fairly Chinese-y (yes Five Spice, I’m looking at you) added some chicken, peppers and cashew nuts, and here’s the result.
Ingredients to serve four:
- three boneless chicken breast portions (£5.50, 6 portions, Tesco)
- one red pepper and one green pepper (£0.99, 3 peppers, Tesco)
- one clove of garlic (£0.30, Tesco)
- one onion (£0.15, Tesco)
- chinese five spice (£0.85, Tesco)
- ground ginger (£0.85, Tesco)
- light brown muscovado sugar (£1.49, Tesco)
- plain flour (£0.40, Tesco)
- vegetable stock cube (£0.65, Tesco)
- honey (£0.99, Tesco)
- soy sauce (£1, Tesco)
- any type of white rice – jasmine is nicest but I didn’t have any so I used long grain white rice (£0.99, Tesco)
- cashew nuts (£2.60, Tesco)
- Heat up a frying pan with a little oil. Cut up chicken into small chunks and mix in a bowl with 2 tablespoons five spice, 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar, and 2 tablespoons ground ginger. When the pan is hot add the chicken and allow to cook for roughly 5 minutes on each side, until brown.
- Whilst the chicken is cooking get your rice going and then prepare the peppers and the garlic. Slice the peppers into chunks and finely chop the garlic, adding them both to the frying pan when the chicken is browned, and cook for 3/4 minutes.
- Transfer this mixture to a deep saucepan. Keep the frying pan to one side as we’ll use this for the cashew nuts in a bit. Add 500ml vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons plain flour, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of honey and stir. Add a little more five spice and ground ginger too if you fancy. Allow this to reduce until the rice is ready, adding more hot water if necessary. This step can also be done in a slow cooker.
- When there’s two minutes to go, heat up roughly 100g of cashew nuts in the frying pan along with a little oil. When they’re ready serve straight away as they can quickly lose their crunch. Serve with the rice and enjoy!
The cashew nuts do make it a little more pricey – so feel free to leave them out – but in my opinion they’re the best part. And if you’re making it yourself you can be more generous with the nut: chicken ratio (you can see in the photo that I went a little overboard with this freedom!)
What’s your favourite Chinese takeaway dish? I’d love to know – and I should probably try something different once in a while!