Chicken with cashew nuts and snow peas


At the beginning of the snow pea season, I searched my cookbooks on Eat Your Books for recipes featuring snow peas.  I received less hits than I thought I would.  This recipe is one of those hits.  I made it with my first snow peas and we have had it quite a few times since.  It tastes fantastic, is dead easy to make and uses my lovely, fresh, home-grown snow peas.

I have been very happy with the snow pea haul this winter.  We have produced more than we can eat (I froze one huge bag of them – I do hope they freeze well – and the dogs got some that we left too long before we picked them) but, mostly, we have been able to keep up with them.  It is such a relief from the inevitable glut of cucumbers and tomatoes we get every summer.  We have steamed some and stir fried others but the majority have gone into this recipe.

This recipe is in a little cookbook that used to be my mum’s.  I only have three of mum’s cookbooks so each is special, but this one is really, really, special. It is South East Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon.  It was published in 1972.  I would not be surprised if this was her first published book.  When I searched “Charmaine Solomon books” in Google, 51 titles appeared but not this one.  The earliest in that list is her award winning, The Complete Asian Cookbook which was first published in 1976.  I am guessing that South East Asian Cookbook morphed into The Complete Asian Cookbook.

I have cooked many recipes from this little book.  Clearly, it is a gem of a book but, also, when I was young, I didn’t have many cookbooks so I used those I had often.  Now I have hundreds, there are some I have never used.

This recipe takes minutes to prepare and tastes great.  Better still, there is not a long list of ingredients.  I know that will appeal to a lot of busy people out there.

This will serve 2-3 when served with rice.


  • one skinless chicken breast
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbs* Chinese wine or sherry
  • 1 tbs* soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour (extra)
  • 2 tbs* cold water
  • oil
  • 250g snow peas
  • 1½ tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup roasted cashew nuts (salted or unsalted, it doesn’t really matter)

*These are 20 mil tablespoons.


  1. Cut the chicken into thin strips.
  2. Combine the three teaspoons of corn flour, the five spice powder and the salt and sprinkle over the chicken.  Stir to coat then set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the wine, soy sauce, sugar, two teaspoons of corn flour and cold water, then set aside.
  4. Heat some oil in a wok.  Stir fry the snow peas for 30 seconds, remove from wok and set aside.
  5. Fry the ginger and garlic for a few seconds then add the chicken and stir fry until just cooked.
  6. Add the wine and soy sauce mixture.  When boiling (which only takes seconds), add the cashews and the snow peas.  Stir to coat.
  7. Serve immediately, with rice.

14 thoughts on “Chicken with cashew nuts and snow peas

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  4. This season’s snow peas have been wonderful. I’ve been buying them every week at the farmers markets. I like the look of this simple tasty recipe. Will be a nice change for us from slow cooked winter foods.

  5. It’s amazing how many cookbooks one can collect over the years! Going back through them can seem like a real trip down memory lane sometimes. This looks divine – love the cashew nuts.

    • Hi, you are so right – I love them all, (well maybe not all, but most) but I do think one can have too many. I have some I have barely opened.

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