Hoisin sauce is an Asian condiment made from soybeans, garlic, chile peppers, and other spices. It adds a sweet and spicy flavor to stir-fry dishes. It can be purchased in jars at well-stocked supermarkets. Serve this classic combination of chicken and cashew nuts with noodles.
Yield: Serves 4
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 boned and skinned chicken breast halves (about 1½ pounds), cut into ½-by-2-inch strips
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large garlic clove, halved
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and halved
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips
3 green onions, including some tender green tops, sliced
¼ cup cashew halves
1 package (6 ounces) Asian noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained
In a large bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, water, and cornstarch. Add chicken, toss to coat, and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
In a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Remove garlic and ginger and discard. Remove chicken from marinade with a slotted spoon and add to wok. Reserve marinade. Stir-fry until chicken turns white, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the wok. When oil is hot, add mushrooms, bell pepper, and green onions and stir-fry until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to wok along with the reserved marinade and stir-fry until heated through and sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cashews and serve immediately with noodles.