« Food & Drinks

Cashew Chicken (Springfield Missouri style)

by Cindy Rippe

I grew up in Springfield Missouri, "The Cashew Chicken Capital of the World!" Chef David Leong,  moved to the U.S. from China in 1940 and created this recipe to appeal to local residents' taste buds. His famous deep-fried cashew chicken recipe was so popular he then opened Leong's Tea House in Springfield. This dish became exceedingly popular in the Springfield area. As word spread about this dish, so did the recipe. Leong's Tea House closed it's doors in 1997, but his cashew chicken is still being served at over 70 Chinese restaurants in the Springfield area, and elsewhere in Missouri and other states. I crave this recipe sometimes, and can't find it where I am living now. So whenever I have that "hankering" for it--I just make up a batch! My son asked if I would make if for Thanksgiving dinner this year, instead of the traditional turkey I normally make--and I think I will! 

Here's step by step instructions, with the recipe following.

First, rinse your boneless chicken breasts off and cut into bite sized pieces. 

Soak the chicken pieces in milk, beaten eggs and salt.

Heat oil and add chicken pieces one at a time. I like to do it in batches. Keep cooked pieces warm in a 200 degree oven. 

Fry to a golden light brown and drain on a paper towel lined platter or dish.

Add corn starch to a medium sized  sauce pan and add enough chicken broth to make a paste.

Blend in oyster sauce, soy sauce and pepper. Slowly add remaining  chicken broth.

Keep whisking and add more chicken broth and oyster sauce as needed. 

Pour sauce over friend chicken pieces, top with chopped green onions and cashews. See, it's really simple!! Serve with a side of white steamed rice or fried rice and enjoy!!! Now, if I could only get my favorite local Chinese restaurant to put this on their menu! 

Cashew Chicken (Springfield Mo style) 

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons water

2 eggs, well beaten


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 ½ cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Pepper to taste

1 cup flour

Peanut oil for frying

1 cup cashew nuts

½ cup chopped green onions

Soy Sauce

Hot fried rice

Marinate chicken in milk, water, eggs and salt for at least 20 minutes. In a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of broth; add remaining broth gradually to make a paste. Blend in oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and pepper. Stir over medium-high heat until sauce boils and begins to thicken. Set aside. Roll chicken in the flour. Fry in oil in a heavy pan until crisp and golden. Drop chicken in one piece at a time to prevent sticking together. Drain on paper towels. Arrange chicken on a serving platter; sprinkle with cashews and green onions. Reheat sauce add chicken broth if needed, and pour over chicken. Serve with soy sauce and rice.