Cashew Chicken

cashew chicken

If your family likes Chinese food, they’ll be singing your praises for this: tender chunks of stir-fried chicken, crispy roasted cashews and bright green scallions in an authentic brown garlic sauce. It tastes just like take-out, only better — much better.

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You don’t need a wok — just a large, nonstick skillet — and, aside from the chicken, the only chopping involves some garlic and scallions. The rest, I kid you not, comes out of bottles and jars.

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The only way to mess it up is to overcook the chicken, so be sure not to cut the chicken pieces too small (they will cook too fast), have all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking and, obviously, don’t cook the chicken too long.

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Also, be sure to use a good quality hoisin sauce; it makes all the difference. I like Kikkoman (I found it at Whole Foods) or Lee Kum Kee (I found it at Giant, my local grocery store).

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You’ll be amazed how much better it feels to eat fresh, homemade Chinese food — and it won’t take you any longer to cook than it would to call it in and wait for it.

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Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli…Enjoy!

Cashew Chicken

Print Recipe
Servings: 4
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 3/4 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 scallions (1 bunch), white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, best quality such as Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the cashews on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5 minutes. (They will crisp up as they cool.)
  3. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat until very hot. Add half of the chicken to the skillet and stir-fry (stir as you cook) until lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the remaining tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet; then add remaining chicken, garlic and white parts of the scallions. Stir-fry until the chicken is lightly browned but not cooked through, about 3 minutes. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the rice vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce and water; cook, tossing, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallion greens, cashews and sesame oil. Serve immediately.
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  • I just made it…Delicious & so easy to prepare!

  • Alex Nihmey

    This recipe was amazing! So tasty! My husband and I are fighting over who gets the leftovers for lunch. I will be making this again!

  • Adora

    Maybe it was the hoisin sauce that I used (Dynasty — I couldn’t find the recommended ones), but something was off with the sauce.

    • Jenn

      Hi Adora, I think you’re correct…hoisin sauce has a very powerful flavor and it’s important to use a good one. I have not had great results with the Dynasty brand.

  • Mandy

    This is on my menu for this week!!! Could you make extra and freeze it?

    • Jenn

      Hi Mandy, I hope you enjoy the chicken. To be honest, I’ve never tried freezing it but I think it’s probably best made fresh.

  • Dorthy Owen

    Please tell me where and how to locate your other recipes. If all are great as this Chinese stir fry one then your other recipes are a must for me. I am 80 yrs old and still enjoy finding new recipes.
    Thank you for your help.
    Regards, Dorthy

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