Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Thai cashew chicken.

This dish is one of the favourites of my kids. It is also super easy and quick to make. We hardly ever have left-overs of this one, which is unfortunate for me as I love taking it to work the next day for lunch.
Finding a way to make this dish started many years ago.
When we lived in The Netherlands there were these boxes, with which you could make certain ethnic dishes. Thai cashew chicken was one of them. So once in a while we used it. After we moved to the UK in 2005 and I learned about traditional cooking, I learned that some of the ingredients in the boxes had not been so wonderful. So, because I couldn't get it that easily anyway anymore and because it didn't have such great ingredients I started searching on how to traditionally make this myself.
I searched the internet and found many recipes which were called Thai cashew chicken. But most didn't really have great ingredients and others didn't taste so well. So I started experimenting. And this is the result of my experiments.
So I will share it here with you in hopes that you will like it just as much as we do. 
Enjoy!

Soaked rice, ready for eating, still in the haybox, nice and warm.




The chicken sauce




Here it is on a plate




Origin: Thailand


Difficulty: easy
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6
Traditional/GAPS/SCD legal, Primal, Paleo, Vegetarian, etc.


Equipment:
  • hay box (optional)
  • 2 pans
  • spatula


Ingredients:
  • 600 grams (or more) pasture raised or organic chicken, cubed
  • coconut oil
  • 2 hands full of crispy cashew nuts
  • organic whole grain rice
  • a bunch of organic spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons of rubbish free thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rubbish free oyster sauce.
  • 2 cups of home made chicken broth
  • organic corn starch for thickening (optional)


Things to do ahead:
  • 3 days ahead, soak organic cashew nuts in salty water for 6 hours and dehydrate
  • 1 day ahead, make chicken broth
  • the evening before, soak the rice overnight in an acidic medium
  • the morning before, cook rice for 20 minutes and put for the rest of the day in the haybox, alternatively cook it a few hours before


Directions:
  • Make the crispy nuts, broth and rice ahead of time, as described above
  • Cut the chicken in cubes
  • Fry the chicken in the coconut oil, add the fish sauce and oyster sauce
  • Clean and cut the spring onions
  • Once the chicken is fried well, add the spring onions and the cashew nuts
  • Add the broth
  • Optionally thicken the sauce with the corn starch. Often enough I don't thicken as the rice soaks up the sauce well enough. In the pictures above I haven't thickened the sauce as I had not motivation to do so :-)

Substitutions
It is not easy to get rubbish free oyster sauce. In case you can't find it, use shoyu or tamari, or just omit altogether and add a bit more fish sauce. With shoyu and tamari it will taste slightly different, but it is still equally tasty.