This recipe is from the king of American Chinese cooking, Martin Yan. I was lucky enough to have him personally provide a quote and endorsement for my cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. Enjoy this recipe!
Back in 2008, I met Chef Martin Yan for the first time. I was so girly-giddy that I breathlessly told him that he was my “culinary superhero.”
And if that didn’t scream, “freaky-fan-stalker!” then maybe he got a clue when I got a little too close trying to videotape Yan carving a chicken in 18 seconds that I almost got my bangs thwacked off. But nope, because that same evening, when I mentioned I was writing a cookbook, he actually said, “Send me a copy to review, I’ll write a quote for the back of the book.”
There was a chance that Chef Yan was just sayin’ that to be nice. I mean, he’s a celebrity chef who meets hundreds of people every day, he couldn’t possibly have remembered what he said to whom? So, two months ago, when my book was complete, I prayed that he really, really meant what he said and sent him a copy of the book galley with a kind note.
He remembered. And Martin graciously penned, “Jaden delivers beautiful, simple and delicious food that will bring family and friends to your table. She is the real deal who learned from the best, her mom. – Martin Yan.”
My publisher slapped that endorsement on the back cover of the book…and then I nearly fainted.
If Yan Can…
carve a chicken in 18 seconds… SO CAN YOU!
This is the second time I’ve seen him do this – just simply amazing. Hear that camera-clicking? That’s me, multi-tasking. Camcorder in left hand, heavy camera in right hand. Hold still…. don’t get too close to that cleaver!
Thai Basil Chicken with Cashew Recipe
FOR THE CHICKEN MARINADE:
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or white pepper
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1/2-inch cubes
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
FOR THE STIR-FRY
- 2 tablespoons neutral flavored cooking oil like avocado or vegetable oil (not olive oil)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 ounces asparagus trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 fresh chili pepper of your choice thinly sliced into rings (optional)
- 1/4 cup lightly packed Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place a wok or wide saute pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the chicken, asparagus, bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly until the chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the sauce, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in chili, basil leaves and cashews.