It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
I love Chinese food and often resort to getting take out in order to fulfill my cravings. But more often than not I am disappointed. The food arrives soggy and lukewarm and lacks the real flavors I’m craving. But the reality is that so many Chinese dishes are incredibly easy and quick to make so there really isn’t any reason not to make them yourself.
Case in point is this kung po chicken dish from Noble Pig. It is fast, delicious and because you are making it yourself you can adjust the spiciness to your liking, which in my case is very hot. The key to ensuring that your dish is fresh and flavorful is to prep all of your ingredients before you begin cooking. Do this and not only will your meal be great but it will be done and on the table in a flash. Enjoy!
CASHEW KUNG PO CHICKEN
1-1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 cup cashews
4 scallions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2″ pieces
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, more or less depending upon your preferences
- In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water and the remaining 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sherry and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.
- In a large wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat.
- Add the cashews, stirring until light brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the wok.
- Add the white part of the scallions and the red-pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce mixture and the scallion tops and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 1 minute longer.
- Stir in the cashews.
- Serve over steamed rice.