Stir-Fry Tips & Cashew Chicken

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Stir-fry is king queen in my kitchen, especially on busy week nights when dinner often takes second (or third) place behind work and homework and after school activities (and exhaustion). They’re quick and a great way to make the most of whatever’s hanging out in your fridge or pantry. You can mix up your proteins and veggies and mix a tasty sauce up with a few of your pantry essentials. Check out Five Must Have Ingredients to Stock Your Asian Pantry for inspiration.

This Cashew Chicken is a perfect go-to dish when dinner in a hurry is what’s on the menu. If you’re like me – a dedicated apostle in the church of the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs – you’ll have these on hand All. The. Time. Add your favorite veggies, a l’il sauce, a quick turn in a really hot pan and you’ll have dinner on the table in minutes! Here are a few tips to elevate your stir-fry game.

Stir-Fry Tips

1. Stir-frying is quick so it’s important to have your mise en place ready to go when you turn on the heat.

2. Size matters when you’re stir-frying. Make sure you cut all your veggies and your proteins about the same size so they’ll cook in about the same amount of time.

3. Hot woks (or pans) are key to a yummy stir-fry. Give your wok/pan and oil time to heat up before you start cooking.

4. Don’t crowd your wok/pan. The more food you add, the lower the temperature gets.

5. To thicken your stir-fry sauce toss your raw protein in cornstarch or flour or make a slurry to stir into your sauce as it cooks.

6. Once you’ve added your food to your wok/pan, keep it moving. (This is an exception to my Too Much of a Stir rule.) Your wok/pan’s high temp can burn if food’s left in one place too long.


Watch your temperature. Stir-frys are meant to be cooked quickly. You’ll need a medium-high to high temperature to get it done.

Stir-frys don’t require a lot of oil but it’s important that you choose one with a high smoke point that can withstand a stir-fry’s high temperature.

Typical stir-fry ingredients like soy sauce, hoisin sauce and fish sauce have pretty high salt content so add additional salt sparingly.

Don’t overcook your veggies or your protein. Beef and chicken should be tender and juicy. Veggies should be crisp-tender.



Small Bowl

Medium Bowl

Wok or Large Sauté Pan

Wooden Spoon or Spatula

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  1. Stock Your Asian Pantry with These Ingredients | Shrimp Fried Rice – Cooking Clarified

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