Sesame Chicken with Dates and Cashews

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Dinner! by Melissa Clark

Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 12 thin coins
  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 bunch (about 8) scallions (white and green parts), cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 3 to 4 dried red chiles, or ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • ½ cup unsalted roasted cashews
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds; preferably with skin on, but off is okay), cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce or tamari
  • 4 pitted dates, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups fresh basil or cilantro leaves, or a combination
  • Rice vinegar or fresh lime juice to taste, for serving

Sesame Chicken with Dates and Cashews

Sesame Chicken with Dates and Cashews

Click image to enlarge



Heat a 12-inch skillet or wok over high heat until it's very hot, at least 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil to the wok and swirl it around; the oil should thin on contact. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, scallions, and chiles. Stir-fry until the garlic is golden at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the cashews, and the chicken, and stir-fry until the chicken starts to brown, 4 to 5 minutes (reduce the heat if the cashews are browning too

quickly). Add the rice wine, soy sauce, and dates; simmer until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency and the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in the basil, sprinkle with rice vinegar, and serve over rice.


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