Chinese Food In Minutes

Juicy chilli chicken with cashew nuts

A perfect dish to make using tender chicken thigh meat.

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook in: 10 minutes

1 teaspoon potato flour or cornflour
1 tablespoon cold water
400g/14oz chicken thighs (3 thighs), skinned, de-boned and cut into 2cm/¾ inch chunks (see Ching’s Tip)
½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon chilli bean paste
1 medium red chilli, deseeded and ground in a pestle and mortar
a dash of Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
100g/31/2oz roasted salted cashew nuts
2 spring onions, sliced at an angle
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 lime
egg-fried rice or plain rice to serve

• Combine the potato flour or cornflour with the cold water in a bowl and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat, then season with five-spice powder.
• Heat a wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the Sichuan peppercorns, chilli bean paste and ground red chilli and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and leave to settle for 30 seconds, then add a dash of rice wine or sherry. Toss all the ingredients well and cook for 3–4 minutes until the chicken has turned virtually opaque.
• Add the cashew nuts and cook for another minute, then add the spring onions, toss well and cook for another minute. Season to taste with soy sauce and add a squeeze of lime juice. Transfer to serving plates and serve with egg-fried rice or plain rice.

Ching’s Tip
• Chicken thigh meat is delicious and tender, and it’s cheaper than breast too. To de-bone it, just use a small sharp knife and cut as close to the bone as possible, or get your butcher (or boyfriend) to do it for you.