Delicious moist chicken with cashews, peppers, onions, garlic and a rich Asian-inspired sauce.
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This recipe has good reviews but having lived in Hong Kong for 25 years I know something about Chinese food and this was certainly not authentic Chinese. Even if I didn't know Chinese cooking this recipe fails miserably. The sauce totally overwhelmed the dish. It was just far too strong for chicken. Far too much soy and whoever heard of fish sauce with chicken?
Sorry but your first bomb!!
John, I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy this recipe. This may sound a bit crazy, but when I share recipes with everyone here on Rouxbe I sort of feel like I am inviting then to dinner, so it is hard to hear "this recipe fails miserably", as it makes me feel like you did not enjoy anything I served you for dinner. Does that make sense?...like I said, I know it's crazy :-)
That being said, I am a big girl and I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Also, not everyone has the same tastes.
I will say that we were taught this recipe while we were in cooking school in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In our experience (at least in Thailand), we used fish sauce with chicken quite often. In fact, the Thai chef at the cooking school said that he used fish sauce in nearly every dish he made, as it is used instead of salt.
Again, sorry to hear that this dish did not work for you. All the best and thanks for sharing your feedback. Cheers!
This dish was easy and very flavorful...but I have a question. as I was cooking the chicken and onions, a lot of liquid was pooling at the bottom of my wok. I did have the chick at room temp before I cooked and also patted it dry...so I am guessing it was from the onions. Can you tell me how to avoid this, and whether I should have stopped and drained the dish before I added the sauce. Again it was very delish, but I wish the sauce was a little thicker in the end product.
Could have been a couple of things. First, your wok may not have been hot enough (this is common, especially if you are not using a gas stove). If using electric, you may want to use a large, stainless-steel pan next time, to give you more surface area. Either way, make sure the wok or pan is nice and hot before you get started. Second, you may have overcrowded the wok with the ingredients. Overcrowding brings down the temperature of the wok substantially and the ingredients start to "sweat". You may need to cook the chicken and onions in two batches next time before incorporating the rest of the ingredients. Cheers!
I truly loved this dish. My husband and children enjoyed as well. However, I found it very, very salty. I have seen that other people agree on this. Next time I will ignore the 1/2 tsp of salt that the recipe calls for and I will reduce 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Otherwise, excellent recipe. I served it with the coconut infused Basmati rice, which turned out to be a perfect combination.
The thing to remember when cooking with recipes is that the salt added is generally just a guideline or an approximate measure. This is because one may be adding a bit more chicken and/or peppers than the recipe calls for (as all ingredients are not always exact) or perhaps the soy sauce used was saltier; therefore the salt or saltiness of a dish can vary.
This is why it is important to season as you go and even learn how salty your ingredients are. For example, taste your soy sauce, so you can get a sense for how salty it is. Learning to season with salt is one of the most important parts of cooking, which is ultimately why we did an entire lesson called "How to Season with Salt". Hope this helps. Cheers!
Thanks Dawn. You are quite right. Being from Mexico, I am new to cooking Asian cuisine in general. In fact, this is the first time I ever used Oyster sauce and I must confess, I did not try it first. Next time, I will make sure to taste the dish as I add the ingredients. As I said before, other than that, this recipe is a keeper.
Absolutely. A wok has to get to a very high heat to be effective, unless it's non-stick (which is not a true wok but only wok shaped). It takes as long as it takes - don't know the strength of your burners. Be more patient, the true virtue of a good cook.
The grocery store in the town I live in is usually very complete; however, after visiting several times, I have yet to find oyster sauce. I've asked, and looked at several other nearby markets, all of which don't have it, and I don't have the hour there and back to go to the closest asian market... Is there a decent substitute? Or do I just have to wait until I can drive by there and get it? Thanks guys(:
I've been ordering this dish at Thai restaurants for about 25 years, it's often on the menu as Gai Pad Himmapan. I've also tried cooking several versions of it and yours is one of the best I've come across. Just made it again with some sliced carrot and celery thrown in and - this is key - Black Soy Sauce in place of the regular stuff. It's thicker and has a sweeter flavor than regular soy sauce so you may want to back off on the palm sugar a bit, but it adds a smokiness that I really love. It can be tough to find but if you've got a decent Asian market nearby they'll probably have it. Look for Kwong Hung Seng brand, with a dragonfly on the label, and make sure you get the Black soy sauce (they make "sweet" and "thin" soy sauces too).
Thanks for another great recipe!
Depending upon your brand of fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce that you use in this recipe, you can end up with an incredible amount of salt (sodium) in your meal. As I checked the labels of my ingredients, I realized that I was using:
Fish sauce: 1270 mg per Tbsp (15 ml)
Oyster Sauce: 600 mg per Tbsp
Light Soy Sauce: 510mg per Tbsp
Add those all together, with volumes indicated, and I had a total of 5890mg of sodium in just the sauce. Whew!
Thanks for the information Leigh. Yes, many of these products are full of sodium. It's important to read labels and follow your taste buds when you cook. We all perceive salt differently and there is a range of levels that people find acceptable. Enjoy!
I had this with some coconut infused jasmine rice and was quite happy with it. I thought it was even more delicious as leftovers as the flavors melded together.
Are there any tricks to getting that melded leftover taste the first night the dish is cooked? Can the peppers and onion marinate in the sauce beforehand?
Putting aside the high sodium discussion for a moment, I'm curious if there was a reason to add the salt in the wok rather than pre-seasoning the chicken.
As mentioned above, this recipe is one that we learned in a Thai Cooking School, while we were on vacation in Thailand.
If you would like to marinate the chicken before hand you certainly can. I wouldn't necessarily marinate the onions and pepper however as that would only draw out their moisture and make them hard to stir-fry. Cheers!