Kung Hei Fat Choi – Cooking Cashew Chicken With My Small Daughter

Ruby-Roo has always enjoyed cooking.  Before she discovered The Disney Channel and all things Mickey Mouse, she used to be fond of that irritatingly chirpy Katie, who presents I Can Cook on CBeebies.  We tried out a few recipes every now and again, and that has since evolved to helping me out most evenings as I cook dinner for us all.

Whether it be grating, stirring, or cracking eggs, she is on it like a bonnet.

Today, being Chinese New Year, I decided to make Mandajuice’s Cashew Chicken.  I’ve made it a few times before and each time I do, I am reminded of how epic it really is.  OK, so it’s a bit of a work up, and not a quick supper by any means, but the time and effort is definitely worth it.

Amanda has typed up the recipe so well, you might as well hop on over to see it there, but this is what we did.

First, get out the iPad, and locate the recipe, and then enlist a willing helper and get to it.

I chopped 3 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, whilst teaching my child all about the woes of touching raw chicken and salmonella.  I’ve had salmonella, it’s the most excruciatingly terrible thing ever. Doubled over in pain, I was, amongst other things that I won’t mention whilst writing about cooking.

After this, I had my little soux chef measure out and whisk up the following:

3 tablespoons of mirin

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of corn flour

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

I added the chicken to this and we popped it in the fridge to marinate.

Meanwhile, I rinsed and sliced 3/4 of a packet of mange tout, and a small can of water chestnuts, and Ruby rubbed the salt off a packet of cashew nuts.  Like Manda, I couldn’t get hold of unsalted cashews, but she had fun rubbing them with kitchen paper, and sampled a few when she thought I wasn’t looking.  She hasn’t yet figured out that Mummy has eyes in the back of her head.

The sauce is made in much the same way as the marinade.  Ruby did some more measuring of the same ingredients as before, but this time in larger quantities:

1 cup chicken stock.  We had roast chicken yesterday, and all this afternoon, I had the carcass boiling away on the hob to make stock, so I poured the required amount in for her, as it was still hot.

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

7 tablespoons of rice wine. We used up our mirin making the aforementioned marinade, so had to improvise. I am fairly certain they are very similar ingredients.

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

4 teaspoons corn flour

At this point, we put on the rice.  I always make rice using the absorbtion method.  That is, I add cold water to rice at a ratio of 1:2 cups of rice to water, heat it on the hob with the lid on, and the second it comes off the boil, take it off the heat and allow it to sit for 20 minutes or so.  I never take the lid off the pan.  It always always works perfectly.

As the rest of the preparation involves stir-frying the chicken and veg at a high heat, and then reducing the sauce, I ushered Roo off to play with her brother, and finished the recipe myself.  However, she did help me to dish out, and this is the finished result.

Pretty fab if I do say so myself. She’s a talented little lass.


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  1. My daughter and I cook together too. Even though i think she is a bit too young…She loves helping me and she is very proud when she is.
    Thanks for coming by my blog x

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