This dish is a bit of a Chinese restaurant standard and I think that there are plenty of different recipes around. Mine comes from a book called Chinese Cookery Secrets: How to Cook Chinese Restaurant Food at Home by Deh-Ta Hsiung which I bought in a bargain bookshop years ago and which I have cooked dishes from ever since. The recipes really work! I see that this book is still available on Amazon and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes Chinese food. The recipe isn’t exactly the same as the book, it is one I have adapted over the years and is pretty much in my head now.
The recipe is as follows;
1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts per person
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornflour made into a thick paste
1 tablespoon each of light and dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon sugar
2 heaped teaspoons chilli bean paste
1 tablespoon yellow bean paste
2 cloves garlic
A thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 medium-sized onion
1 green pepper
Sunflower oil for stir-frying
A handful of cashew nuts
Toasted sesame oil
First, cut the chicken into smallish cubes. Mix with the marinade ingredients, adding the cornflour paste last. Marinate the chicken for 25 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables: Combine the dark soy sauce, light soy, rice wine, and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
Chop the onion into pieces that are approximately the same size as the chicken cubes. Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger. Cut the green pepper into pieces the same size as the onion.
Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat and add some oil and quickly fry the cashew nuts, making sure that they don’t burn. Remove and drain. Throw the oil away and wipe the wok clean.
Add 2 more tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Stir-fry until it turns white and is mostly percent cooked. Remove from the wok.
Add some more oil if necessary and add the garlic, onion and ginger and stir-fry for about a minute or so. Add the green pepper and the two pastes. Carry on stir frying until everything is mixed together.
Add the “sauce” to the wok. Stir well and return the chicken to the pan. Stir in the cashews and cook for a minute or two longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.
I did some simple steamed rice to go with this, using Thai fragrant rice, which is perfect for Chinese meals, and also did a simple mixed vegetable side dish made from some sliced shitake mushrooms stir fried with beansprouts, chopped spring onions, garlic and shredded Chinese leaves in oyster sauce.