Szechwan Chicken with Cashews

Most Szechwan cooking is hot and spicy.


  • 2 whole chicken breasts (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 scallions (with tops), chopped(reserve 2 tablespoons tops)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into1/2-inch squares
  • 1 (4 ounce) can button mushrooms,drained (reserve liquid)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili pepper paste*
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes can be substituted.


  1. Remove bones and skin from chicken breasts; cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. This is easier to do if the chicken is partially frozen.
  2. Mix egg white, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, gingerroot, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and pepper in 2-quart glass bowl; stir in chicken. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in wok or 10-inch skillet until hot. Stir-fry cashews until light brown, about 1 minute; drain. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until hot. Add chicken; stir-fry until chicken turns white, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil until hot. Add scallions, green pepper, mushrooms, hoisin sauce and chili pepper paste. Stir-fry about 1 minute. Add chicken, chicken broth and reserved mushroom liquid; heat to boiling.
  5. Mix water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon soy sauce; stir into chicken mixture. Cook and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in cashews; garnish with reserved scallion tops.

Yields 6 servings.

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