Cashew Chicken was voted one of the seven wonders of Springfield, MO

Learn more about the Bible Belt



Yeehaw--Taste Good!

by Taryn

If you've eaten cashew chicken before, forget everything you know. I'm here to tell you that this recipe is unlike anything you've ever ordered from your favorite Chinese takeout. In fact, I'm not even sure how this meal could considered Asian cuisine anymore, it's been so flavored by the place from whence it came.

Fun Fact: According to the Chowhound message board, Leong’s Tea House (at 1036 W. Sunshine Street) was the birthplace of this culinary phenomenon.

Legend has it that this unusual style of Cashew Chicken finds its origins in Springfield, Missouri--smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. To those of you who find yourself skeptical about the importance of this tidbit, take note. Consider this: the only true indulgence allowed to Baptists is eating (I've heard more than one admit it!) And by that I mean to say, they know what they're doing. So trust me--and the well-honed stomachs of our fine evangelicals friends--and give it a whirl.


4 boneless breasts of chicken

3/4 cup flour

3 to 6 eggs

1/4 cup milk




1.) Wash chicken and cut into chunks. Dip chunks in flour; remove and let stand for 15 minutes.

2.) Mix eggs and milk in a bowl. Add chicken to mixture and let stand for 10 minutes.

3.) Deep fry chicken in 1/4 inch of grease for 5-7 minutes on each side. Season generously with salt and pepper.

4.) Place a baking sheet in the oven at 250 degrees to keep chicken piping hot as you go. You can also warm a bowl of cashews in there just before serving (or in the microwave on defrost for 1-2 minutes).

5.) Shred 4 or 5 chunks of chicken and set aside to add to rice later.

Fried rice:

4 to 5 cups prepared rice

stick of margarine

2 Tbs of soy sauce

4 stalks green onion

shredded chicken

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 egg

1.) Prepare 4 to 5 cups of rice according to package directions.

2.) Melt a stick of margarine in a pan or skillet.

3.) Add the following items to the pan: 1/2 cup chopped green onions, soy sauce, shredded chicken, salt, and sugar.

4.) Just before serving, scramble an egg with a fork, pour over top and work into rice.

Oyster sauce:

4 chicken bouillon cubes

1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp oyster sauce

9.5 oz. cashews

1.) Boil 3 cups of water and add bouillon cubes.

2.) In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of cold water and cornstarch. Dissolve completely and add to chicken broth.

3.) Add salt, sugar, and oyster sauce and thicken over medium/low heat.

To serve, cover a plate with a base of fried rice, top with several chicken nuggets, sprinkle with cashews, and ladle oyster sauce over it. Small dishes of cashews and chopped green onions can be left on the table for folks who prefer to "season to taste." And for thematic fun, adorn the table with fortune cookies and chopsticks--and maybe even a Gideon Bible or two. Whad'ya say, friends--couldn't we all use a little o' that old-time religion?




A Veggie Alternative

Instead of chicken, use three boxes of thawed Veat Nuggets, and just reduce your frying time to 3-4 minutes ('cause they're already cooked--you're just heating 'em up). As for the oyster sauce, there are vegetarian versions made with mushrooms instead of oysters.





Tip: Don't be intimidated by the thought of coordinating the three components--simplify by having all your ingredients prepared before you begin.





















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