Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with cashew nuts – such an easy recipe that I didn’t think to share it until I had friends ask me to do so. Loaded with ginger and garlic and finished off with crunchy cashew nuts, sesame seeds and oyster sauce. The end result is a rich, crunchy stir-fry that the whole family will love!
Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Cashews..
This is another dish which I used to make the crew on yachts and which I now make for my own family at least twice a month. It is healthy, fast, delicious and versatile. You can replace the chicken with shrimp, tofu or beef if you prefer.
Here in France, the girls and I are heading across the border to Italy this weekend for a ski holiday. We’re excited but I’m also preparing my waistline for a week of pasta, pizza, polenta and red wine. That’s why I decided to make stir-fry for dinner last night. The girls love theirs with rice but I just enjoy the veggies and chicken. I’m saving my carb count for next week!
I never thought to share this dish until recently when a couple of friends asked me for the recipe. I thought everyone knew how to make stir-fry! That may be true but I realize now that not everyone knows how to make great stir-fry…
When making a great stir-fry there are a few key steps:
- Start with a good amount of ginger and garlic
- Do not overcook your veggies!! They will continue to cook while you toss the chicken and sauce back in to the pan.
- Finish it off with oyster sauce (not just soy sauce).
- Finish off with some extra crunch (this is optional but I love adding nuts and seeds to my stir-fries)
Start with a good amount of ginger and garlic…
These two aromatics are your base flavoring in a stir-fry. Skimp on them and you are skimping on flavor. I saute half of the ginger and garlic with the chicken and the other half with the vegetables.
Do not overcook your vegetables…
The key to not overcooking your veggies is to cut them in to very similar shapes and sizes. Then, add them to the pan in the order of how long they take to cook. Carrots and broccoli go in the pan first as they take the longest to cook. Then the peppers and snap peas, which only require very quick cooking times. Your vegetables should not be cooked when you add the chicken back to the pan. The chicken and sauce will continue to slightly cook the veggies. And we want them crunchy! There is nothing worse than a soggy stir-fry!
Add oyster sauce to your final dish…
A friend recently confided that she thought stir-fries were only made with soy sauce. Not true! Oyster sauce gives your stir-fry a richer flavor and a thicker sauce. It is easily found in all supermarkets (even here in France) in the Asian section. Once opened the bottle lasts for months in the refrigerator. And trust me, once you’ve mastered stir-fries they will be regularly appearing on the menu and that bottle won’t last long!
Finish off the stir-fry with some crunch..
My favorite crunch to add is cashew nuts but peanuts and sesame seeds are also great in stir-fries.
Et voila! A gorgeous stir-fry full of lean chicken, crunchy (NOT OVERCOOKED) vegetables in a garlic & ginger sauce, topped with buttery cashews. Yum! You can serve this with steamed white rice or a veggie version of Shrimp Fried Rice found here.
A healthy fast dinner perfect for weeknight meals.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- Category: Stir-fry
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian
- 1 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic (about 3 large cloves)
- 2 1/2– 3 Tablespoons minced ginger (about 1 large thumb-size piece)
- 4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced diagonally across the grain (about 700g or 1.5 lbs)
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced carrots (about 3 medium carrots)
- 2 cups thinly sliced broccoli florets (half of a head)
- 2 cups thinly sliced red pepper (1 large pepper)
- 2 cups snap peas
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup whole cashews, coarsely chopped or left whole
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking add half of the garlic and half of the ginger and allow to cook until fragrant but not golden, about 30 seconds.
- While the garlic and ginger are cooking season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. After 30 seconds of the ginger, garlic cooking add the chicken and stir-fry over medium-high heat, tossing after some time to allow it to sear on both sides.
- When the chicken is seared on both sides remove the chicken and aromatics to a dish and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the sesame oil. When hot add the rest of the garlic and ginger.
- When you can smell the garlic and ginger add the carrots and broccoli to the pan. Stir-fry, tossing frequently for about 1 minute.
- Add the red pepper and snap peas and toss for another minute, until they are bright in color but still very crunchy.
- Add the chicken back to the pan along with the soy sauce and oyster sauce and toss to combine. Stir-fry everything together for a couple of minutes.
- Add the cashews and toss well with the chicken and vegetables. The sauce and heat should have the broccoli and carrots now just cooked but still crunchy.
- Turn the stir-fry out on to a serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Serve with white rice.
Keywords: Chicken stir-fry, vegetable stir-fry, weeknight meal, 30 minute meal