In the years since I met my Hong Kong-born husband, I’ve tried to make a Chinese dinner at home to celebrate the Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year. I’ve been fairly successful at my attempts, but fall off on making Chinese food the rest of the year, often relying on take out or delivery to satisfy our cravings. However, with my New Year’s resolution to add more variety to my culinary pursuits, I’m intent on adding in a few simple recipes to my cooking rotation.
Since the Year of the Monkey is right around the corner, I wanted to develop an easy to prepare, healthy dish as an alternative to Chinese takeout. This meal includes lots of veggies, a sprinkling of cashews and boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which I think are more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts. It all comes together with a kick of ginger and garlic with a honey soy sauce that isn’t too sweet or heavy. And best of all, my husband give a big thumbs up to the recipe so I’ll happily make this again and again!
For this recipe, I used a bag of pre-cut fresh stir fry vegetables made up of broccoli, snow peas and carrots. This was a big time saver for me and helped add variety to the stir fry, but feel free to just use broccoli or cauliflower as a substitute. I also served the dish over brown rice, a healthier alternative to white rice.
Honey Cashew Chicken
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut in to 1.5-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
- 12 oz bag stir fry vegetables
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced in to strips
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup cashews, unsalted
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Cook the rice according to package directions, without adding salt or oil.
Combine chicken, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat.
Mix the vinegar, honey and soy sauce in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Add chicken and sauté for 4 minutes.
Add the broccoli mix and red peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are just starting to become tender, but still crisp.
Make a well in the middle of the pan, add the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil, then add the garlic and ginger to the oil. Let the garlic and ginger cook in the oil for about one minute, then add in the cashews and mix all together.
Pour the honey-soy sauce over the chicken and vegetables and stir to incorporate and cook for about 1 minute. The sauce will thicken up slightly from the cornstarch coating on the chicken. Serve the chicken and vegetable mix over rice.