Chinese Cashew Chicken

I learned a new trick to tenderize chicken for dishes like stir fry that I’m super excited about! I would have never thought of it on my own, but stumbled across it when I was craving Chinese food and was looking for a recipe online to inspire my dinner the other night. Get read for it… Baking Soda.

That’s it! Just “marinate” the chicken pieces in baking soda for 20 minutes (and then rinse them thoroughly) and your dish will come out with that silky, moist chicken that Chinese dishes are known for. After the baking soda, I marinated my chicken in a sauce for a few hours and it came out so flavorful and tender. Totally hit the spot!

*Note: this recipe is not completely SCD legal. It is, however, gluten-free and Paleo legal. While I am following SCD, I chose to use organic Tamari, a wheat free fermented soy sauce. I purchase it from Whole Foods and they are committed to using non-GMO soy products.¬† I haven’t tried it, so I can’t guarantee it will taste the same, but you can use salt and pepper instead of the Tamari.

Ingredients (serves 4)
For the chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (or 2 breasts butterflied into 4 thin pieces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons Tamari sauce (wheat free)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
1 garlic clove, minced

For the stir fry

3 tablespoons grape seed oil (or coconut, or safflower)
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped asparagus
1 cup frozen broccoli florets
1/2 cup whole cashews (dry roasted, lightly salted)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (make sure to buy sugar free, organic to avoid illegals)
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon rice wine or vinegar (check labels carefully for sugar and additives)
2 teaspoons Tamari
(i use San J brand)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Place the chicken cutlets and the baking soda in a zip lock bag, tossing it a few times to coat the chicken. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then remove the chicken and rinse it thoroughly to make sure all of the baking soda is removed. Pat the chicken dry, then thinly slice it.

Place the chicken pieces into a clean bag and add 3 tablespoons Tamari, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, Chinese 5-spice powder, garlic, and ginger. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours for more flavor.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour the chicken and marinade into the pan and stir to cook until chicken loses its pink color. Turn onto a plate and return pan to burner.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add all of the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes. Add the cashews and stir for 2 minutes more.

Return the meat to the pan, then add all of the sauce ingredients. Stir until the sauce bubbles then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve immediately on it’s own or over brown rice for Gluten-free diets.

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