The first time I made this Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry, I was just throwing random ingredients into a wok, remembering a favorite cashew chicken dish from a Chinese restaurant I frequented as a graduate student. The result was serendipitously close and so ridiculously good, I knew I had to make it again (more methodically) to be able to share!
Packed with plenty of veggies that might not be one of your staples (like bok choy, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts) this is a quick weeknight dinner for when you’re short on time. I like to keep chicken thighs on hand for dishes like this, as they’re relatively cheap and delicious. I move them into the fridge in the morning and then chop them while they’re still partially frozen right before I start cooking.
Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or oil of choice
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ginger finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon galangal powder
- 2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 8 ounces mushrooms about 2 cups, sliced
- 1 5-ounce can bamboo shoots drained and rinsed
- 1 5-ounce can water chestnuts drained and rinsed
- 4 to 6 bunches bok choy tatsoi, pak choi, or similar vegetable (about 1½ pounds or 14 to 16 cups chopped)
- 8 ounces cashews (raw and whole), about 1½ cups
- 1 cup chicken stock divided
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Rice or cauliflower rice, for serving
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat (you can also use a very large sauté pan). Add the oil, garlic, and galangal and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until thoroughly done, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Cook 3 to 4 more minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are mostly cooked.
- Add the bok choy, cashews, and ½ cup of the stock. Cook until the greens start to wilt, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- In a small bowl, mix arrowroot powder, vinegar, and salt with the remaining ½ cup of stock to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the wok and stir until thickened, about 2 more minutes. Taste and add more salt, as needed, before serving.
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice.