My very favorite restaurant food is Cashew Chicken from Evergreen Chinese Restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas. I went there all of the time as a kid, because it’s really close to where I grew up.
Now that Jake and I have hopped over to the Missouri side of Kansas City, Evergreen is more than a half an hour away. It’s hard to convince ourselves to drive thirty minutes to eat when there are so many good restaurants in walking distance. So I’m working on perfecting a bootleg version of Evergreen’s Cashew Chicken. This wasn’t quite it, but it was still good! There will be many more attempt batches to come, I’m sure.
1 lb. boneless chicken, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup cashews
4 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1/3 tsp. sesame oil
3 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
salt, to taste
Put the chicken, 2 tsp of cornstarch, and 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce in a large ziplock bag. Shake the bag until all pieces of chicken are coated.
Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan. Stir-fry the coated chicken until golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in another non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Add the carrots and celery and stir-fry for one minute.
Mix the oyster sauce, sesame oil, remaining 2 tsp. soy sauce, brown sugar, water, remaining 3 Tbsp. cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a bowl to make the sauce mixture.
Add the cooked chicken, sauce mixture, and cashews to the carrots and celery. Toss and serve with sticky white rice!
It’s probably actually cheaper to get this as take out, but I like a good challenge. I’m going to keep at it!
Have you ever made a bootleg version of something you love at a restaurant? Our favorite copycat recipe is Tequila Lime Chicken, bootlegged from Applebee’s version!
Find more recipes from the Nerd Nest here.