Cashew Chicken (腰果鸡丁)

Cashew Chicken (腰果鸡丁)

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Learn how to make restaurant-style cashew chicken with super juicy and tender meat, a rich, thick, gingery, garlicky sauce, crispy peppers, and cashews. {Gluten-free adaptable}

On the dinner table of a Chinese family, it’s quite important to serve food that is nutritious, balanced with veggies and grains, bursting with flavor, and beautiful to the eyes. Cashew chicken is no doubt a winner by these metrics.

The chicken breast is briefly marinated, resulting in juicy, tender bites that are very flavorful. The sauce is made from rich oyster sauce, a touch of vinegar, some soy sauce, some sugar, and tons of aromatics, which combine to make the sauce very fragrant, gingery, and garlicky. Then you finish up the dish with colorful peppers and nutty cashews. Scoop a spoonful with some hot steamed rice. Oh my, it’s like an amusement park in your mouth!

Cooking notes 1. No wok required! If you, like me, don’t own a gas stove, the best way to cook this dish is to use a large nonstick pan. Not only does it create juicy chicken with less oil, but the finished dish will taste as great as if you had cooked it in a wok. I wrote a lengthy post (wok vs. stir fry pan) to explain the reasons behind this. Long story short – your home stove usually cannot generate enough heat for wok cooking. So a large flat non-stick pan is your next best choice.

2. What cut of chicken to use The authentic Chinese version uses chicken breast, and so does the recipe below. But if you like a rich and fattier texture, boneless, skinless chicken thighs work perfectly, too.

3. Marinating I cannot emphasize this enough. This key step takes an extra three minutes but will make such a difference to your dish. Using Shaoxing wine and salt makes the chicken so much more flavorful. The cornstarch protects the chicken from the hot pan so it won’t be overcooked. It’s especially important for chicken breast because it can dry out so easily if you leave it in the pan a bit too long.

4. The sauce I believe you should always use high-quality oyster sauce (such as LKK oyster sauce) in this dish instead of hoisin sauce, to create a richer taste. If you cannot find oyster sauce, a good hoisin sauce (such as LKK hoisin sauce) will be the next best choice.

5. How to make the dish gluten-free Making this dish gluten-free is a bit challenging, but not impossible.

First of all, you need to find gluten-free oyster sauce or hoisin sauce. For example, you can find the LKK gluten free oyster sauce and the Wok Mei gluten free hoisin sauce on Amazon. Or you can choose to make a vegetarian oyster sauce (using mushrooms) at home.

The rest of the substitutions are typical:

Use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine

Use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce

Use rice vinegar instead of Chinkiang vinegar

6. Before you start cooking Make sure you have all the ingredients ready near your stove. Chinese stir fry is a very fast-moving process. Once you heat up the pan, the cooking won’t take more than 4 to 5 minutes. So it’s very important that you’ve got everything ready to go and that you’ve read through the recipe.

7. Bonus tip – make prep faster As a creature of habit, I use tons of aromatics, such as fresh ginger and garlic, in all my cooking throughout the week. I’ve found these ingredients to be the best way to boost the flavor of a dish without adding tons of salt. So on the weekend, I usually chop a LOT of them (like 1 to 2 bulbs of garlic and 1 big ginger root) and save them in small airtight containers. They stay good for quite a few days and having them ready speeds up my prep time tremendously.

That’s all for today! Happy cooking and hope you enjoy the dish 🙂

More delicious Chinese takeout recipes Mongolian Beef (Without Using a Wok)

Chicken Lo Mein (Restaurant Style Without A Wok)

Crispy Sesame Chicken (without Deep Frying)

Orange Beef (Crispy Beef Using Cheap Cut)

Real-Deal Kung Pao Tofu

Chinese Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

5 from 2 votes


Cashew Chicken (腰果鸡丁)

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

5 mins

Total Time

25 mins

Learn how to make restaurant-style cashew chicken with super juicy and tender meat, a rich, thick, gingery, garlicky sauce, crispy peppers, and cashews. {Gluten-free adaptable}

Course: Main

Cuisine: Chinese

Keyword: takeout

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 335 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce or hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsalted cashews
Read the whole recipe on Omnivore's Cookbook