Takeout inspired Cashew & King Prawn Stir Fry – only slightly adapted (for gluten free palates) from a recipe actually used in a Chinese restaurant. It’s as close to takeout as you can get while working in your own kitchen! Make sure to prep all of your ingredients before you even turn on the stove top because this recipe comes together in no time at all!
All the credit for this Cashew & King Prawn Stir Fry has to go to Khoan Vong and his incredibly drool worthy and resourceful youtube channel! His whole channel is a really cool behind-the-scenes peak into running a Chinese take away. A while back I shared this Ginger and Spring Onion Chicken recipe based off of one of his videos and it’s since been a hit.
If you’re a fan of Chinese (or at least British-style Chinese) you should definitely have a look!
About this Cashew & King Prawn Stir Fry
The original version of this recipe can be found (and viewed) in this video here. I made a few changes for this version below. I obviously don’t want to mess to much with what an actual chef makes and serves, but I did tweak a few things:
- Since dark gluten free soy sauce isn’t an ingredient I’ve ever really come across I used regular gluten-free soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is sweeter and saltier than most all purpose soy sauces so I increased the sugar and salt to make up for this change.
- I left out the MSG as it tends to be a controversial ingredient that not too many people have on hand.
- Full disclosure: I do occasionally cook with MSG and recommend it foodies out there. It’s a wildly misunderstood (often times naturally occurring) ingredient found in protein rich foods. The umami from MSG goes such long way in making a dish pop. That being said, if you need to avoid MSG for health reasons – you know your body best!
- I adjusted a few cooking techniques more suitable for standard kitchens. The original chef has the benefit of working in a proper, takeaway kitchen with all the right equipment that can reach extremely hot temperatures. This recipe needed to be adjusted with a few tweaks to keep up.
- This recipe makes a larger portion size. The original recipe is made for one serving (as you would order in a restaurant. This Cashew & King Prawn Stir Fry makes enough to serve 2-3 people.
How To Make It
Altogether this recipe is incredibly easy to make and comes together in very little time. Once all of the individual ingredients and components are made it’s a very quick process that can be completed within about 20 minutes
- Mix the sauce: In a small cup or jar whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, water, sugar, starch and salt. Set that mixture aside.
- Prep the veg: dice the onions and carrots and drain the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts.
- Peel and devein prawns (shrimp) if needed.
- Cook the prawns in oil for about 2-3 minutes per side. Let the prawns cook until pink, then flip over the cook the other side. Once cooked, transfer them to a plate or bowl and set aside.
- Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan. Add the carrots, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts cook on high. You’re essentially blanching the veggies until the water evaporates then skipping the ice bath afterwards. Since there’s not a lot of water here, this should only take a few minutes. This will cook the hard vegetables just long enough to make them crisp without going too soft. Once cooked – add the veg to the prawn plate temporarily.
- Sauté the onions. Add the remaining oil along with the onions and cook 3-4 minutes to slightly soften the onion.
- Combine: add the prawns and crisp veggies back to the pan and mix together.
- Take the prepared sauce. Give it a good stir to mix the starch back into the liquids, then pour into the pan. Mix everything together and cook 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens in a thin-glaze. Add the cashews and mix.
- Serve and enjoy!
Mise en Place:
Mise en Place is a French culinary term meaning: ‘everything in its place’. This is used to refer to preparation in cooking. By having all of your ingredients and tools gathered and prepped before you begin, you ensure that everything comes together quickly and easily. This is especially important in a recipe like this where things move quickly.
- 1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, ensure gluten free if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup | 60 ml water
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or potato starch)
- pinch of salt
Stir Fry Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons | 30 ml toasted sesame oil, divided
- 10 oz | 280 g prawns (shrimp), shelled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons | 45 ml water
- 1/2 cup | 60 g carrot, cut into thin coin slices
- 1/2 cup | 80 g bamboo shoots
- 1/2 cup | 80 g water chestnuts
- 1/2 cup | 55 g white onion, cut into large chunks
- 1/2 cup | 70 g cashew nuts
- Prep the sauce: In a small cup or bowl whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, 1/4 cup (60 ml) water, sugar, starch and pinch of salt. Set aside for later.
- In a large pan or wok: add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and warm over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook about 2 minutes. Flip over and cook another 2 minutes. Remove shrimp from the pan - set aside on a plate or bowl.
- In the same pan: add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water and turn up the temperature to high. Add the carrots, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Bring the water up to a boil and cook the veggies about 4-5 minutes. Cook until the water evaporates. Transfer the carrot mixture to the shrimp plate and set aside for.
- In the same pan: add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil along with the diced onion. Cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes to soften the onion.
- Stir the shrimp and veggies back in to the pan and mix together over a medium heat.
- Stir together the prepared sauce from earlier (the starch will likely have sunk to the bottom of the cup/bowl). Pour sauce into the pan. Add the cashews and give the pan a good stir fully coating everything in sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Taste and season the sauce with more salt if needed. Turn off the heat and transfer the stir fry into a large serving bowl.
- Serve over rice and enjoy.