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We have made a return to Chinese cookery and have been enjoying some fantastic oriental food over the past couple of weeks. We have a fully stocked freezer, brimming with all varieties of stir-fry meat, as a result of successful bargain hunting of late. Thus, this cuisine looks set to be a permanent fixture on the Greedy menu for the foreseeable future.

Here is a lovely mid-week supper that serves as a cracking pick me up if you find yourself starting to flag a little. I actually found this dish online on the Washington Post website, nestling in their ‘food’ section. It’s adapted from a Kylie Kwong recipe to be found in her ‘Simple Chinese Cooking’ book. We discovered another variation of it in her ‘My China’ publication called ‘Naxi-style Chicken with Chillies, Green Pepper and Peanuts’. Both include cucumber, but the latter has a little more kick and substitutes the cashews for peanuts.

To make our version of this dish (serves two to three) you will need:
For the marinade:
– Two tablespoons of cornflour
– Two tablespoons of Shaohsing rice wine
– One tablespoon of water
– One teaspoon of sea salt
For the chicken:
– 450g of chicken thighs (skinless/boneless/cut into one inch cubes)
– One medium sized cucumber
– Three tablespoons of sunflower or groundnut oil
– Six cloves of garlic (peeled/finely chopped)
– One cup of unsalted cashews (or salted that have been soaked in water and rinsed beforehand)
– One teaspoon of sea salt
– Two tablespoons of Shaohsing rice wine
– Three quarters of a cup of spring onions (finely chopped/white and green parts) to garnish.

For the full cooking method featured on the Washington Post website please click here.

The marination of the meat is fundamental to the flavour of this plate, with the addition of the cornflour being integral to creating a wonderfully velvety texture to the chicken. The cucumber brings not only a crunch (along with the onions) but also freshness, against the sweetness of the nuts. I think that it would work well with a little chilli thrown in too, depending on your mood, of course. Fast to prepare and quick to cook (not to mention under six hundred calories per serving!). Great stuff from Kylie Kwong.

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