Chilli Chicken and Cashew nuts
Looking for a quick and easy supper, having chicken and a well stocked store cupboard I turned to Ching-he Huang. Her Fast Food chinese cook book is full of quick, easy flavourful and healthy recipes - some of which have made their way here in the past.
I found this one really tasty, but lacking in vegetables. Having some french beans in the fridge I added these to the recipe - cooking them at the same time as the chicken - and it brought an extra crunch and flavour to the party. Up to you, but it can certainly tolerate adding vegetables well. I served it with egg-fried brown rice. Incidentally I didn't have roasted salted cashews only raw ones, so I toasted them in a dry frying pan then used these. Again don't use not having all the ingredients as an excuse.
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
2 spring onions, sliced at an angle
100g roasted salted cashew nuts
A dash of Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 medium red chilli, deseeded and ground in a pestle and mortar
1 teaspoon chilli bean paste
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
400g chicken thighs (3 thighs), skinned, de-boned and cut into 2cm chunks
1 tablespoon cold water
1. Combine the cornflour with the cold water in a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat, then season with five-spice powder.
2. Heat a wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil.
3. When the oil starts to smoke, add the Sichuan peppercorns, chilli bean paste and ground red chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
4. Add the chicken and leave to settle for 30 seconds, then add a dash of rice wine or sherry.
5. Toss all the ingredients well and cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken has turned virtually opaque.
6. Add the cashew nuts and cook for another minute, then add the spring onions, toss well and cook for another minute.
7. Season to taste with soy sauce and add a squeeze of lime juice. Transfer to serving plates and serve with egg-fried rice or plain rice.