I like meat, but sometimes I just don’t feel like I need or crave it in my meal. And it seems from recent research that skipping meat a few times a week is fine, even healthier (psssst…Americans eat too much protein).
Asian cuisine is one of my favorites, and I’m always tempted by the cashew chicken or the chicken and broccoli dishes on menus. But what I really like is the combination of crunchy cashews and tender broccoli in a savory brown sauce. And anyway I can never get the chicken into those thin slices while cooking at home like the restaurants do. So I set out to make a go-to recipe with just cashews and broccoli as the main stars. You can easily add chicken chunks to this recipe and I like to serve it over brown rice but it’s also great with noodles or just on its own.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp natural ketchup (such as Tessemae’s)
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp minced ginger (fresh or jarred)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups cooked broccoli florets (steam and then run under cold water to stop cooking)
- red pepper flakes
- 1 cup cashews
For the rice:
Put the rice and 2 cups water in a small pot and stir together. Bring to a boil, stir, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and stir periodically until the water is absorbed. Test the rice and add more water if needed until it is tender and cooked-through.
For the stirfry:
Heat the sesame oil on medium heat in a large pan. Add the sliced garlic and cooked until golden and fragrant. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked garlic to a bowl. In the same pan, combine the soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, minced ginger and rice vinegar. Stir as the sauce simmers. Combine the 1 cup of water and the cornstarch in a small pitcher until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stirring constantly, slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the pan. Stir the sauce slowly as it simmers and thickens. Add the cooked broccoli and cashews and coat with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat. Serve the cashew-broccoli and sauce on a bed of the brown rice.