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Really Good Gluten-Free Cashew Chicken
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
Cashew chicken is one of my favorite Asian dishes, but it's almost always made with Hoisin sauce, which usually includes wheat flour, so I usually avoid the temptation to order it when I'm out.
So, recently, just as I was recalling my love of cashew chicken, I remembered the gluten-free hoisin sauce in my refrigerator, and I was off to the races.
This recipe for cashew chicken is easy to make, and delivers a tasty dish that will please most eaters, and help you to liven up your dinner repertoire.
1 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size strips, about 1-inch x ¼-inch each.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
5 slices ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 scallions, white and green parts separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
½ red bell pepper, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
½ tablespoon gluten-free hoisin sauce (I use Premier brand)
½ tablespoon gluten-free oyster sauce
1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon teaspoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
3 dashes white pepper powder
½ teaspoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon sesame oil
¾ cup toasted raw cashews
¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
White rice, for serving (optional)
In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until chicken is coated; season with ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Heat a tablespoon oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing often, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add remaining oil and chicken to skillet along with the garlic, ginger, and white parts of scallions.
Cook, tossing often, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes. Return first batch of chicken to pan. Add vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.
Add sesame oil, celery, red peppers, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, pepper and water, and cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minutes or so. Remove from heat.
Stir in scallion greens and cashews. Serve immediately over white rice, if desired.
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