Springfield Cashew Chicken

Springfield, Missouri is the Cashew Chicken Capitol of the World. Chef David Leong moved to the U.S. from China in 1940 and created this recipe.

Springfield Cashew Chicken

Chef Leong's famous deep-fried cashew chicken recipe was so popular that he opened Leong's Tea House in Springfield. Leong's Tea House closed its doors in 1997, but his cashew chicken is still being served at over 70 Chinese restaurants in the Springfield area, and elsewhere in Missouri and other states.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Soy sauce
  • Hot fried rice


  1. Mix milk, water, eggs and salt; marinate chicken in this mixture for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of broth; add remaining broth gradually to make a paste.
  3. Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and pepper. Add more chicken broth if needed so it will have the consistency of gravy. Whisk over medium-high heat until sauce boils and begins to thicken. Set aside.
  4. Roll chicken in the flour. Fry in oil in a heavy pan until crisp and golden. Drop chicken in one piece at a time to prevent sticking together. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Arrange chicken on a serving platter.
  6. Reheat sauce, adding chicken broth if needed to thin it down, and pour over chicken.
  7. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with cashews and chopped green onions and serve immediately.