Everything you know and love about Chinese Cashew Chicken….made with meatballs! This Cashew Chicken Meatballs recipe is made with a gorgeous sauce, truly like what you get from (good) Chinese restaurants, smothering tender chicken meatballs and tossed through with green capsicum / peppers and cashews. It’s a must try!
Monday Meatball Mania is back!!! Wow you guys LOVED the Swedish Meatballs I shared last month. Soft tender meatballs bathed in a creamy gravy….ugh. How did it take me so long to share that one??
For those not already on board the meatball train, here’s the background: my friend Jo from Jo Cooks and I whole heartedly agree that there needs to be more ball shaped foods in this world. Because ball shaped food are all delish. Think about it, come back and let me know if you think of any ball shaped food that you’re not a fan of. (Other than so-name animal part – doesn’t count!)
And the king of ball shaped foods are meatballs. So Jo and I embarked upon a monthly meatball challenge, aptly named Monday Meatball Mania. On the last Monday of every month, we will both post a meatball recipe. Pop over to Jo Cooks and see what she’s sharing this month!
As for moi? I have for you something a little different. One of your favourite Chinese takeout dishes – Cashew Chicken. In meatball form!
This Cashew Chicken Meatballs recipe truly is everything you know and love about classic Chinese Cashew Chicken, except it’s made with meatballs rather than chicken pieces. Beautifully saucy, with tender, seasoned meatballs with green capsicum / bell peppers and cashews.
Fans of meatballs and Chinese food…. one bite and you will fall in love. Completely and utterly. I couldn’t stop. I skipped the rice and inhaled an inordinate amount of these, with Dozer looking on pitifully, disbelieving that not a single meatball fell his way.
I’m a firm believer in learning to make classics the right way. And I expect that in my lifetime, I’ll be making Chinese Cashew Chicken the classic way much more frequently than with meatballs. There’s no denying it takes more hands on time to make meatballs, albeit because of the time it takes to tenderise and marinate the chicken, the classic way actually does take longer from start to finish.
But sometimes, it’s just nice to do something different, don’t you think?
Plus, this is a really versatile recipe. 4 basic ingredients for the sauce: soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, Oyster sauce and cornflour/cornstarch. Chicken or pork mince (that’s ground chicken to Americans!). Everything else is optional or can be substituted for whatever you have.
And truly, I think you’ll be amazed how delicious the sauce is! You can read the reviews on the Cashew Chicken recipe because it is exactly the same sauce! – Nagi x
Everything you know and love about Chinese Cashew Chicken - made with meatballs! Recipe video below.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, ordinary or light (Note 1)
- 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine (shaoshing wine, or sub with dry sherry) (Note 4)
- 1/4 cup Oyster sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 500g/1lb chicken mince (ground chicken)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg, small (Note 2)
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper (or sub with black)
- 2 tbsp peanut oil (or vegetable or canola)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 green capsicum / bell pepper, chopped into 1.75cm / 2/3"
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup cashews, unsalted
Place Sauce Part 1 ingredients in a jar and shake well. Place 2 tsp Sauce into a large bowl that you will be making the Meatballs in. Then add the cornflour into the Sauce jar and shake. Set Sauce aside.
Add remaining Meatballs ingredients into the bowl. Mix until just combined.
Measure out a heaped tablespoon of mixture and dollop onto a work surface. Then roll into balls (see Note 2 if mixture is too loose / sticky to form into balls).
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add meatballs and cook, browning as best you can all over, or at least on both sides. Once browned all over (about 4 minutes), carefully transfer onto a plate. They will still be a bit raw inside.
Return skillet to the stove, still on medium high. Add onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add capsicum and cook for 1 minute. Add Sauce and water and quickly mix - it will simmer quickly.
Transfer meatballs (and juices on the plate) into the Sauce. Turn heat down to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 - 4 minutes, or until the Sauce reduces and thickens (by which time the meatballs will be cooked).
Stir through cashews, serve over rice!
1. I make this with ordinary or light soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce or sweet soy sauce or kecap manis, it will change the flavour too much.
2. If you find that the meatballs are a bit too wet, which can happen if the chicken is purchased at supermarkets and is vac packed (or if the egg you used is large), you can either refrigerate the meat mixture for 30 minutes (this firms it up, making it easier to handle) or add a bit more breadcrumbs. Don't add too much, it will make the meatballs tough! Also, the other tip is to wet your hands lightly when rolling.
Chicken mince is wetter and softer than other meats so don't fret if you don't end up with perfect rounds - mine certainly aren't!
3. For all my other meatballs made with meat other than chicken, I always start with a mixture of fresh bread soaked with grated onion because it makes them super soft and adds extra flavour. The reason I don't do this with chicken is because it makes the meat too wet and loose, making it hard to form into balls (refer note 2 above). However, these meatballs are cooked faster than other meatball recipes, so as to ensure they are kept nice and juicy!
4. Chinese cooking wine is a key ingredient in Chinese cooking so I really urge you to find it or use dry sherry as a sub. Or even Sake or Mirin as a fall back. However, if you are unable to consume alcohol in any form, then just leave this out and instead of adding 3/4 cup of water, add chicken broth/stock instead.
5. This is also fantastic made with turkey or pork!
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings. 1/3 of the calories is from the cashews so if you want to reduce the calorie count, sacrifice the cashews!
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Cashew Chicken Meatballs recipe video!
LIFE OF DOZER
Just washed him. ? I guess I should be grateful the grass is clear of ? ?