The tartness of fresh ginger is tamed by caramelising slivers of it in palm sugar and a dash of sesame oil in this variation of a Thai (or Chinese-American) ‘chicken cashew’.
Vary the quantities depending on how many you are feeding, but these quantities will be plenty for two or three.
1 x 4 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
A chunk of palm sugar, equivalent of 2 to 3 Tbsp
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Tbsp peanut oil (more if frying more chicken strips)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
A generous handful unsalted raw cashews (more if you like)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mirin
3 chicken breast fillets
3 spring onions/scallions
Noodles (judge quantity per how many you’re feeding)
Dried red chillies (optional: see footnote)
Slice chicken breast fillets into thin strips and set aside.
Boil a full kettle and put noodles of your choice into a suitable bowl. Once boiled, pour over the noodles generously and leave it to one side to steep.
Slice the peeled ginger very finely. Do the same with the peeled garlic. Melt the palm sugar in a wok, and add a little sesame oil. Gently simmer the ginger slices in this on a very low heat until nicely caramelised and soft but not crisp. Now add the garlic slices, a dash more sesame oil, and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the contents to a side dish and reserve for later.
Toast the cashews in the wok without adding anything else. Once they’re lightly browned, remove them to the side dish.
Slice the spring onions into small pieces on the diagonal. Add a little peanut oil to the wok, heat, and toss the spring onions around in it for a minute. Remove to the side dish.
Add a little more peanut oil, a dash of sesame oil, and stir-fry a few slivers of chicken at a time, removing the cooked pieces to the side dish. Add more oil with each new batch.
Drain the noodles into a colander and shake it a few times over the sink to remove excess water.
Back to the wok: add more peanut oil and sesame oil, soy and mirin, and return the contents of the side dish. Toss it around with two wooden spoons, add the noodles, toss some more. You’re done.
TGIFood Tip: You’ll notice there’s no chilli. Of course you can add some. Chinese chicken cashew often has strips of dried chillies in it, which works beautifully. Toss them in the wok for a minute after cooking the spring onions and then place them in the side dish. DM168/TGIFood
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