Crispy Cashew Chicken with Chinese Plum Sauce

Crispy Cashew Chicken with Chinese Plum Sauce

International, Healthy and Yummy

After French, Moroccan and Hungarian dishes I go back to Chinese. I have previously shared the recipes for Sesame Honey Chicken with Cauliflower Rice, Paleo Braised and Glazed Pig Trotter and Coconut Curry Shrimp with Sweet Potato Noodles with you. And today I bring you cashew chicken with Chinese plum sauce.

Chinese cuisine is very varied, full with lots of very delicious food. This fried cashew chicken breast with Chinese plum sauce is also a perfect example to support my claim. I made two changes to make this dish healthy in addition to delicious. First replacing soy sauce with coconut aminos and second the brown sugar with coconut sugar.

The flavor of soy sauce comes from fermented soybeans, along with roasted grains (wheat), salt, water and a mold or yeast culture. It is a condiment derived from grains and legumes, what we avoid. And it negatively impacts people with celiac disease and any other autoimmune disease.


September is Plum Season

My grandparents had a beautiful plum tree in their garden. To me it’s not just nostalgic, but I actually have never tasted a better plum in my life than from that tree. The difference in quality is very big. Specially if you compare fresh pickings from your tree to unripe fruit which has been transported from far away. In the Netherlands there are not many vegetables and fruits native to the region that can be harvested with natural conditions. Most of them are from greenhouses but fortunately not plums.

Plums are possibly one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. Three of the most abundant cultivars are not found in the wild, only around human settlements. Plums are a diverse group of species. I used Damson but Greengage, Mirabelle, Satsuma plum, Victoria and Golden plum are also very well-known and very popular. A large number of the Damson variety are grown in Hungary, used to make plum jam and a traditional fruit brandy, called pálinka.

Plums have various health benefits. They are a good source of Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and folate. Dried plums (prunes) have the same nutritional benefits. But they are much higher in sugar. People with diabetes have to pay attention to this.

Crispy Cashew Chicken with Chinese Plum Sauce

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 2
Author: Andrea


Plum sauce*

  • 800 gram plum Damson, pitted and chopped
  • 50 gram onion finely cut
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 60 ml coconut aminos
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 60 gram coconut sugar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 60 gram sweet potato cut small cubes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder

Crispy Cashew Chicken

  • 450 gram chicken breast filet cut into strips
  • 200 gram raw cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp salt I use Himalaya salt
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • coconut oil or ghee for cooking


  • Make the plum sauce first. Put all ingredients, except 5-spice powder, into a 2-liter pot.
  • Start to cook on high heat until it starts to boil then reduce heat, just simmer for 30 minutes without lid.
  • Blend with immersion blender or blender until its consistency is homogeneous, smooth.
  • Put 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder into a paper tea bags and add to the plum sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. (Sweet potato’s high amount of starch helps to thick the sauce too. This is the reason why it is also used in sauces.)
  • Throw out the tea bag and let the sauce cool. You can serve it lukewarm and cold. Store in the fridge in an airtight glass jar for up to 2 weeks.
  • While plum sauce is cooking, make the cashew chicken.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Put cashew, salt, paprika powder, garlic powder into the food processor and pulse for 2 minutes, until looks like coarser breadcrumb. Pour to bowl.
  • Whisk eggs in another bowl.
  • Put chicken strips into the whisked eggs, coat them very well, then put eggs coated chicken strips into the cashew mixture to cover with it too.
  • Melt coconut oil or ghee in a big sauté pan, once hot, add the coated chicken stripes in it. Be careful, not to overcrowd the pan, the strips can’t touch each other. Cook them for 1 minute per side. Just the coating has to be fried, inside will still be a bit raw.
  • Place precooked strips to lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until they are cooked through.
  • Serve with lukewarm plum sauce. And enjoy this healthy and yummy dish!


*Makes 600 ml sauce