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.

Comments (23)

  • Dan

    almost 2 years ago


    I've done this recipe several times now and it never gets boring. Its such a delicious contrast between the tender juicy chicken and crunchy cashews. Mmmm

  • Traveller2010

    2 years ago


    Really lovely dish. Really fast to prepare- I dont know what Richard Noble's going on about it taking a long time! The chilli bean paste and Chinese rice wine got from a Chinese supermarket, the sichuan peppercorns from Tesco. The only thing I'll change next time is to crush the peppercorns- they're a bit too strong whole.

  • M

    2 years ago


    Where do you buy all of the ingredients for this

  • Bazza from Yorkshire

    over 2 years ago

    Bazza from Yorkshire

    Just tried this recipe, had to substitute 5 spice with alternative due to out of stock, but nevertheless a wonderfully tasty dish. We will definately try some more of your recipes.

  • james

    over 2 years ago


    James Done this dish On sat night loved it i also found it hard getting the Sichunan Peppercorns, Used Mexican chilli bean paste, very good will be doing this again

  • NipinniNop

    over 2 years ago


    I am looking forward to making this dish .Very happy there is a chinese supermarket just a few minutes away from my house yah !

  • Sarah

    over 2 years ago


    This fish is scrummmy! So glad I decided to try make it! Used breast meat like many have. Any idea of the nutritional values of this dish... Calories etc? Thanks :)

  • Richard Noble

    over 2 years ago

    Richard Noble

    Tried this dish although the prep was a long time doing this is a fantasic dish and as it said it was a juicy dish to prepare and eat! You must give it a try!

  • elaine

    over 2 years ago


    Waitrose sell ALL the ingredients - my local Tesco didn't have rice wine, sichuan peppercorns or chilli bean paste

  • Elaine

    over 2 years ago


    I got ALL the ingredients from Waitrose - couldn't get the rice wine, sichuan peppercorns or chilli bean paste in my Tesco but Waitrose has it all!Looking forward to trying it tomorrow night

  • Jo

    over 2 years ago


    Made this last night. I have never tasted chicken like it. So moist and flavourful. Fabulous. This will be my signature dish I think. Can hardly wait to try the others. Used chicken breast instead of thighs and sweet chilli sauce instead of chilli bean paste. Added pak choi as well.

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  • Pam

    over 2 years ago


    made this yesterday, absolutely full of flavour and really juicy. ingredients can be bought from indoor markets or Asian/chinese quarters of towns. Cov indoor market brill. also heard Tesco and Morrisons sell ingredients. If visiting London pay visit to China Town and stock up from shops there.

  • Lynne

    over 2 years ago


    Can't wait to make this recipe but have had difficulty in finding the peppercorns and chilli bean paste, our local supermarkets down here in the west country don't stock them. Is there a substitute for the chilli bean paste?

  • Lisa

    over 2 years ago


    I made this last night and it was so yummy and easy to make. The chicken is even jucier than I expected!! I had problems finding all the ingredients (missed out the Sichuan peppercorns and Chilli bean paste and substituted with sherry) and it was still amazing. My boyfriend even loved it and thought it was as good as the take away down the street. I will be making this again for sure!

  • GrahamPippett

    over 2 years ago


    looks fab, will make tomorrow...!

  • LadyC

    almost 3 years ago


    You can find all the ingredients in Chinatown or in a Chinese Supermarket. And you can find the Sambal Olek in Tesco or in the Chinese Supermarket too

  • Nicky

    almost 3 years ago


    The only thing you can't find in tesco is the the chilli bean paste but i substituted sweet chilli paste and it was delicious

  • Tim

    almost 3 years ago


    Love the receipes however where do you buy the ingredients ?

  • dana

    3 years ago


    absolutly lovely,it is easy to make and very very tasty. out of 10 I would give 10