Cashew Chicken (Versatile Brown Sauce)

I came up with this sauce when I noticed that a lot of my favorite Chinese recipes use a similar sauce. It somewhat resembles the brown sauce known as “stir fry” sauce but isn’t as salty. Cashew chicken is one of my favorite Chinese recipes with brown sauce. Read to the end of the recipe for more ideas with the same sauce!

The Chicken

Start by velveting the chicken. Cut into thin slices:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast

Marinate for 15-30 minutes in the following:

1 egg white

1 T. cornstarch

Meanwhile, make the rice. I use the Instant Pot for mine and make extra rice by cooking 3 c. rice, 4 1/2 c. water, high pressure for 5 minutes, and quick release.

The Brown Sauce

Mix together in a bowl and set aside for now:

¼ c. oyster sauce

2 t. rice wine

¼ c. soy sauce

½ c. water

2 t. sugar

1 ½ T. cornstarch

⅛ t. white pepper

⅛ t. ginger powder

1 t. sesame oil

⅛ t. garlic powder

Making the Cashew Chicken

Heat a wok until it’s very hot and stir fry the chicken until it’s mostly cooked through, then remove it to a plate.

The vegetables in cashew chicken can vary a lot, but I find that we use broccoli more than anything. Stir fry next:

1 lb. of your favorite vegetables

Then, add the chicken back in with the sauce and stir until it thickens.

Sprinkle over the top:

3/4 c. roasted, unsalted cashews

Serve the cashew chicken with the rice.

Find more Chinese recipes here.

cashew chicken
cashew chicken

Cashew Chicken (Versatile Brown Sauce)

Cashew chicken is one of my favorite Chinese recipes with brown sauce. Read to the end of the recipe for more ideas with the same sauce!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4


  • pressure cooker


The Chicken and Rice

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups rice
  • 4 1/2 cups water

The Brown Sauce

  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

The Stir Fry

  • 1 pound vegetables
  • 3/4 cup cashews roasted, unsalted


The Chicken and Rice

  • Cut the chicken into thin slices. Marinate it for 15 minutes in the egg white and cornstarch.
    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Cook the rice in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes with a quick release.
    3 cups rice, 4 1/2 cups water

The Brown Sauce

  • Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set it aside for now.
    1/4 cup oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons rice wine, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

The Stir Fry

  • Heat a wok or large skillet. Rinse the chicken and pat dry, then stir fry it until it's mostly done, then remove it to a plate.
  • Stir fry your favorite vegetables until they are to your liking.
    1 pound vegetables
  • Add the chicken back to the vegetables. Stir in the sauce and keep stirring until it thickens and the chicken cooks all the way through.
  • Sprinkle cashews over the top. Serve over rice.
    3/4 cup cashews
Keyword chicken, rice
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Other Recipes Using The Same Brown Sauce

My favorite Chinese dishes all use a similar brown sauce. It’s amazing how different a dish can taste with different meat and vegetables, even when the sauce is the same. Try this sauce with any of the following dishes:

  • beef with peppers
  • beef with snow peas
  • broccoli beef
  • chow mein
  • garlic beef
  • lo mein
  • Mongolian beef
  • mushroom chicken

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