Marion, in case you have never heard of her, is Marion Grasby, a Thai Australian now residing in Bangkok. She has a website, marionskitchen.com, and is an Australian super chef, cookbook author, and meal kit producer. She was mentioned casually on The Takeout, as if I should know who she is, so I checked her out. I’m so glad I did.
I have mentioned before that I used own a wok and stir-fried up a storm, but it broke (from overuse) and I haven’t replaced it. I should put one on my Santa wishlist. Better Half used to stir-fry too; maybe I’ll put it on his list. ’Tis better to give than to receive, especially if what you give will also be used by you.
This recipe is just perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing, so it’s another cheating reprint. But best of all you don’t really need a wok.
Take it away, Marion! This serves 4, especially if you serve it over rice, but like most Asian food like this leftovers are also delightful. Marion doesn’t tell you to serve it over rice so maybe this is a faux pas on my part, like serving chicken piccata on a bed of white bread. I didn’t care; it wasn’t like I was serving this to Maha Vajiralongkorn, King of Thailand. (I would have cared if I were serving this to Yul Brynner in his “The King and I” days, but I digress.)
1 lb chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ cup cornstarch
vegetable oil for deep frying, plus 1 tbsp extra
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 onion, sliced
½ cup raw cashews [I used 1 cup because I heartemoji cashews.]
2 bell peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
5 dried red chillies, cut into small bite-sized pieces
¼ cup sliced scallions
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dark sweet soy sauce [I used 3 packets of soy sauce that came with our last Thai takeout meal, which was probably from about 3 months ago at least, and it was fine. I think restaurant soy sauce has a shelf life of 20 years, at least.]
½ tsp cornstarch
To make the stir-fry sauce, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about ¼ capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. The oil is hot enough at 165°C/325°F or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles.
Season the chicken with salt and toss with the cornstarch. Shake off the excess and carefully add half the chicken to the hot oil. Cook, flipping the pieces every so often, for 3-4 minutes or until the exterior is just ‘sealed’ but before the pieces turn golden. Transfer to a tray lined with paper to drain. Repeat with the remaining chicken and cornstarch.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a clean wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and stir-fry for half a minute. Add the cashews and dried chillies and stir-fry for another half a minute or until the cashews just start to turn golden. Add the bell peppers and stir-fry for another minute. Then add the chicken and the stir-fry sauce and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is thick and glossy. Toss through the scallions and serve.
This was great. I have also mentioned before that we have plenty of restaurants but most are overpriced and subpar. We also don’t lack for fast food, but…We have one decent Thai restaurant within a somewhat long but reasonable walk and though it’s a family operation (so they won’t suffer staffing shortages) they’ll still be hit with the rising cost of ingredients and who knows what their landlord will try to pull, and if they go under we’ll be Thai-free. Marion has become my lifesaver in just such an emergency.