Cashew chicken

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Cashew chicken
Cashewchickenphoto.jpg
A plate of stir-fried cashew chicken (traditional)
Course Main course
Place of origin United States
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Chicken, cashews, chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, vegetables
Variations stir-fried, deep-fried
Cookbook:Cashew chicken  Cashew chicken

Cashew chicken (Chinese: 腰果雞丁) is a simple Chinese-American dish that combines chicken, (usually stir-fried but occasionally deep-fried, depending on the variation), with cashews, and either a light brown garlic sauce or a thick sauce made from chicken stock, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Traditional Cashew Chicken[edit]

The traditional version of cashew chicken is stir-fried in a wok. Tender chunks of chicken are combined with crispy roasted cashews, vegetables and are tossed in a light sauce made from garlic, soy sauce and hoisin sauce, thinned with water.[1]

Springfield-style cashew chicken[edit]

The deep-fried version of the dish is closely associated with the city of Springfield, Missouri.[2] Deep-fried cashew chicken was apparently first served in 1963 at the Grove Supper Club in Springfield. David Leong, the chef, who moved to the United States from China in 1940, struggled to gain acceptance for the foods of his homeland so he began searching for a dish that would appeal to local residents' taste buds. His famous deep-fried cashew chicken recipe was so popular he soon opened Leong's Tea House in Springfield.[3][4][5] The dish became exceedingly popular in the Springfield area and is often cited as the unofficial "dish of the city". Springfield even hosts an annual festival that is centered around this chicken dish: Springfield Sertoma's Cashew Craze.[6][7]

A plate of Springfield-style (deep fried) cashew chicken

Borrowing from the local love of fried chicken, Leong came up with a variation of the preexisting dish. Instead of stir-frying the chicken, as is normally done, he deep-fried the chicken chunks. He then covered them with the typical sauce made from chicken stock, soy sauce and oyster sauce, and added the handful of cashews. He also included chopped green onions as a twist and it became an immediate hit with the local crowd. As word spread about the dish, so did the recipe. Leong's Tea House closed its doors in 1997, but Springfield-style cashew chicken is still being served at over 70 Chinese restaurants, as well as many non-Chinese restaurants, in and around the Springfield metropolitan area, and elsewhere in Missouri and other states.[2][3][8] Springfield-style cashew chicken has been mentioned on The Food Channel,[9][10] a nationwide syndicated radio program,[11] and the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.[12]

In 2010, Leong's son, with his father's assistance, opened a new restaurant in Springfield serving the same style of cashew chicken.[13]

Similar dishes[edit]

In Thai cuisine, there is a related stir-fry dish called kai pad med mamuang himmapan or gai pad med ma muang.[14]

In Haitian cuisine, there is an unrelated chicken stew with cashews called poul ak nwa.[15][16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Segal, Jennifer. "Cashew Chicken". Once Upon A Chef. 
  2. ^ a b Edge, John T. (March 11, 2009). "Missouri Chinese: Two Cultures Claim This Chicken". New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b Bridges, Amos (2006-02-23). "Cashew chicken satisfies Ozarkers' palates". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  4. ^ Brown, Brian (December 20, 2012). "12 People You Need to Know in 2013: David Leong: Godfather of Cashew Chicken". Springfield Business Journal. 
  5. ^ Pickle, Geoff (August 20, 2013). "Creator of Springfield's cashew chicken reflects on 50 years". Springfield Business Journal. 
  6. ^ Simmons, Briana (April 9, 2013). "Best cashew chicken declared winner". The Standard, Missouri State University. 
  7. ^ "Springfield Restaurants Going Head-to-Head for "Cashew Craze"". KOLR. April 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ Nachtlgal, Jerry (April 29, 1990). "Springfield Restaurants Make Lots Of Cashewed Chicken". Nevada Daily Mail. p. 2A. 
  9. ^ Logsdon, Kay (February 16, 2011). "Springfield Style Cashew Chicken: Try the recipe or visit this Ozarks city and take a restaurant tasting tour". Food Channel. 
  10. ^ "Springfield Cashew Chicken: From The Kitchens of The Food Channel". Springfield Business Journal. March 2, 2011. 
  11. ^ Rippe, Cindy (February 28, 2014). "Cashew Chicken Springfield Missouri Style!!". WIXX. 
  12. ^ Long, Billy (March 15, 2013). "Recognizing David Leong". Congressional Record 159 (38). pp. E315–E316. 
  13. ^ Grant, Steve (December 7, 2010). "New Leong's restaurant recalls origin of famous Springfield cashew chicken". KYTV (TV). 
  14. ^ Chaiya, Siwawut. "Top 10 Thai Dishes You Just Have to Eat". The Gourmet Connection Magazine. 
  15. ^ Yurnet-Thomas, Mirta (2003). A Taste of Haiti. Hippocrene Books. ISBN 9780781809986. 
  16. ^ "North Signature Dish - Poul Ak Nwa - Chicken With Cashews; What you will need to make Poul ak Nwa - Chicken with Cashews". Haiti Observer. June 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]