Popular Chinese dish makes a light summer supper

Stir-fried, crisp chicken with cashew nuts is one of the most popular dishes in China. It’s easy and quick to prepare at home and makes a light, summer supper.

Toasted sesame oil is available in most supermarkets. Regular sesame oil can be used.

The secret to crisp, not steamed, stir-frying is to let the ingredients sit for about a minute when added to the hot wok before tossing them. This allows the wok to regain its heat after the cold ingredients have been added.

A small amount of dry sherry is called for in the chicken recipe. If you don’t have sherry on hand, use an extra teaspoon of soy sauce and rice vinegar and add a teaspoon of sugar to the marinade. You can buy small bottles or splits of sherry at most liquor stores.

Helpful Hints:

— White vinegar diluted with a little water can be used instead of rice vinegar.

— For easy stir-frying, place all of the prepared ingredients on a cutting board or plate in order of use. You won’t have to look at the recipe once you start to cook.

— Make sure your wok is very hot before adding the ingredients.


— Marinate chicken.

— Prepare remaining chicken ingredients.

— Make rice and set aside.

— Stir-fry chicken.

Shopping List:

To buy: 1 small bottle reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 small bottle rice vinegar, 1 small bottle dry sherry, 1 small bottle toasted sesame oil, 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 small package unsalted cashew nuts, 1 medium red bell pepper, 1 small bunch scallions, 1 medium red onion, 1 small piece fresh ginger (or ground ginger), 1 container minced garlic and 1 package microwaveable brown rice.

Staples: olive oil, cornstarch, salt and freshly ground black pepper.



Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup cashew nuts

1 cup sliced red onion, sliced

2 cups sliced red bell pepper

2 teaspoons corn starch

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 scallions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)

Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sherry, ginger and garlic together in a small bowl. Add chicken and marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat and add sesame oil. Remove chicken from marinade and reserve liquid. Add chicken and cashew nuts to wok and stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add onion and red bell pepper. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and add to reserved marinade. Add marinade, chicken and cashews to the wok and stir-fry 2 minutes with the peppers and onion. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle scallions on top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 459 calories (38 percent from fat), 16.4 g fat (3.5 g saturated, 8.6 g monounsaturated),126 cholesterol, 43.8 g protein, 21.8 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g fiber, 603 mg sodium.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 package microwaveable brown rice to make 1 1/2 cups cooked rice

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook rice according to package instructions. Measure 1 1/2 cups and set aside the remaining rice for another dinner. Add the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 186 calories (7 percent from fat), 1.5 g fat (0.4 g saturated, 0.6 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 4.2 g protein, 38.8 g carbohydrates, 2.4 g fiber, 6 mg sodium.

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