Ryouri o tsukurimashou! Cashew Chicken
It’s time for another edition of Nintendo cooking! Be sure to check out this post for background about where this recipe came from, and more useful cooking vocabulary which will be built upon in this post.
This is technically a Chinese dish, but this is a Japanese version of it complete with ingredients like red miso paste. Just as Chinese, Japanese, Italian, etc. food has been Americanized in many places here in the US, so foreign recipes are “Japanified” to appeal to local palates in Japan. But it’s still certainly good! If you have trouble locating any of the ingredients, check out this post for a list of Asian markets in NYC and online. Also, bringing along an ingredients list in Japanese might be a good idea in case you need to ask a store employee for help.
鶏肉とカシューナッツのいためもの – Cashew Chicken
Yield: 4 servings
|240 g (8.47 oz = 0.53 lb) chicken breast
|2 tsp + 4 tsp soy sauce
|2 tsp + 1 Tbsp sake
|120 g (4.23 oz = 0.26 lb) cashew nuts
|2 green bell peppers (Note: Japanese bell peppers are smaller than their American counterparts, so just one large green bell pepper would be fine.)
|1 red bell pepper
|1 green onion
|⅔ piece (1⅓ cm) of ginger (Note: This is a strange way of measuring in this recipe. In Japanese it’s talking about an “arm” of the root as a “piece,” I think)
|1 red chili pepper
|4 tsp salad oil
|Frying oil (as needed)
|2 Tbsp red miso
|2 tsp sugar
|1 tsp granulated Chinese soup stock (dry bouillon granules)
|2 Tbsp water
In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp red miso, 4 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp sake, 1 tsp granulated Chinese soup stock, and 2 Tbsp water. Set aside.
Cut the 240 g of chicken breast into 1-inch pieces. Place the chicken in a small bowl, then cover with 2 tsp sake. Set aside.
Remove the seeds and cores of the bell peppers. Cut the green bell pepper(s), 1 red bell pepper, and green onion into half-inch pieces. Peel 1⅓ cm fresh ginger and slice thinly. Chop the red chili pepper into thin rings. Set aside.
In a pot, add some frying oil and heat until the oil begins to give off heat. Add the 120 g cashew nuts and deep fry until golden brown, then turn off the heat. Put the nuts on a paper towel to drain. (I was lazy and just pan-fried the nuts instead. But be careful! They burn VERY quickly!)
Add 4 tsp salad oil to a frying pan and set on high heat. Add the chicken, vegetables, and ginger, then cook until the chicken changes color. Turn the heat to low and add the soup stock mixture. Add the cashew nuts and stir well.
Transfer to a plate and enjoy.
(Note: I also recommend making some rice since this portion alone isn’t really enough for a meal. I made this for a potluck once, and it was a hit!)
||Sake (here, refers to cooking sake, but almost any filtered sake will do)
||Japanese green bell pepper (smaller and sweeter than the common American version)
||Kitchen knife, carving knife
||Small kitchen skimmer, strainer (used to scoop out the fried cashews from the hot oil)
||To cut, chop
||kawa o muku
||To peel the skin/rind/etc. (off)
||usukiri ni suru
||To cut thinly
||To fry; deep-fry
||To cook; fry; saute; stir-fry
||Set phrase meaning “Finished.” It’s said at the end of every recipe in the game.
||General counter for objects (when there is no specific counter)
||hon, bon, pon
||Counter for long, thin objects
||Counter for fragments or flakes; slice; piece
Counter suffixes are all over the place in Japanese, so you should probably become familiar with at least a few of them. They come at the end of numbers to indicate what type of object is being described (it’s equivalent to saying a slice of cheese or a piece of cake in English, for example). Other common counters include 台 (dai – for vehicles), 匹 (hiki/piki – for small animals), 枚 (mai – for thin, flat objects like paper), and 冊 (satsu – for books), just to name a few. See here for more information and many more examples.