Cashew Chicken in Sichuan Sauce

Cashew Chicken in Sichuan Sauce by

In the store, we have many customers asking for recommendations on good Asian restaurants to try.  I suggest a few, but always let them know that some of the most delicious Asian dishes they are going to taste are the ones they make themselves.  In your own kitchen, you always know what’s in the sauce, the quality of the meat, and the freshness of the vegetables.

So skip the take-out cashew chicken, and whip up this homemade version instead.  It features a Sichuan sauce with a more complex flavor, and a little extra heat.

Cashew Chicken in Sichuan Sauce recipe by

Spicy Sichuan Seasoning available at

Sichuan Sauce by

The Sichuan sauce in this version of Cashew Chicken uses a simple combination of some basic Chinese cooking ingredients – soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine, and rice vinegar – along with our Spicy Sichuan Seasoning.

With the one-two punch of Sichuan pepper and bird’s eye chili, our Spicy Sichuan Seasoning will hit your tongue with that simultaneous numbing and burn that Sichuan dishes are famous for. While your tongue is being tickled, the brown sugar & sea salt, ginger & garlic, and coriander & star anise, will waken your taste buds with a depth of flavor that gives this spicy sauce its bold taste.

vegetables for spicy cashew chicken recipe
chopped cashews

Even with a short name like Cashew Chicken, there is plenty of room for vegetables in between. 

I like adding in a medley of vegetables to the dish so it’s a well rounded, full meal for the family. The result is a winning combination of lightly seared succulent chicken, crisp-tender vegetables, and crunchy cashews, coated in a spicy sauce.

spicy cashew chicken recipe by

To achieve that ‘hot-off-the-wok’ delectableness of the dish, you want to move fast. Cook the ingredients in quick succession and don’t be afraid to crank up the heat. 

Serve this Cashew Chicken in Sichuan Sauce with fluffy white rice or brown rice.  It’s a great dish to add into your Chinese cooking repertoire (especially if your family enjoys a little spice in their stir-fries).

Cashew Chicken in Sichuan Sauce by

Cashew Chicken in Sichuan Sauce 
Serves 4

2 pieces (about 1 lb) chicken breasts or thighs – cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsalted cashews – roughly chopped

1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry

2 garlic cloves – minced
8oz button mushrooms – quartered
1 handful of snow peas – trimmed and halved
1 medium bell pepper – cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium red onion – cut into 1-inch cubes

Sichuan Sauce: 
2 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably low-sodium
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tsp Season with Spice’s Spicy Sichuan Seasoning, or to taste
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry white wine
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water

1. In a bowl, combine the cubed chicken with the marinade of soy sauce, cornstarch, and rice wine. Set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the Sichuan sauce ingredients - soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, Spicy Sichuan Seasoning, Chinese rice wine, sugar, cornstarch and water until combined. Set aside.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces, spreading it out as much as possible. Sear for 1 minute without stirring until the edges are lightly browned, then stir to cook all sides until just cooked through - about 2-3 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.
4. Swirl in another tablespoon of oil into the same wok. Reheat, then add in garlic. Stir-fry over low heat for about 10-15 seconds, or until aromatic, taking care not to burn the garlic. Turn heat up to high, add in mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Next, add in the snow peas and bell peppers, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. If the vegetables get a bit dry, add in one or two splashes of water as you cook. Add in red onion and cook for another minute – making sure to stir and toss the ingredients well. When the vegetables are bright and crisp-tender, stir in the cooked chicken. Then take the prepared sauce, give it a stir, and quickly pour it into the wok. Cook until the sauce thickens. Add in one or two tablespoons of water if needed. Toss well, and cook for a further 30 seconds or until the mixture is hot and bubbly.
5. Finally, add in the chopped cashews. Turn heat off, give everything a final stir and serve.