Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken


This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory’s recipe.  You won’t want takeout anymore!

 Savory with just the perfect amount of spice… hearty and filling, yet surprisingly light… this spicy cashew chicken is an amazing copycat of one of my favorite restaurant versions of cashew chicken!

Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken | The Chunky Chef | This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory's recipe. You won't want takeout anymore!

Have you guys ever been to The Cheesecake Factory?  If you’ve been, have you had the cashew chicken?  Ohhhhh man… it’s GOOD.  It has a uniquely deep and rich flavor that has been hard for me to replicate.  Until now 😉

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I found a recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a little bit and BAM… just about the perfect copycat recipe!

Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken | The Chunky Chef | This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory's recipe. You won't want takeout anymore!

One of the things I love about this cashew chicken, is that even though it’s fried, it tastes surprisingly light!  That’s due to the use of rice flour, which is used in several Chinese dishes.  It was a bit of a pain to find here in the Midwest, so if you can’t find it, I’ve heard you can substitute potato starch, cake flour, or half all purpose flour and half cornstarch.  I found it at our Whole Foods, and it was pretty cheap (in comparison to the other specialty flours).

Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken | The Chunky Chef | This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory's recipe. You won't want takeout anymore!

Let’s talk about this sauce… wow.  Talk about finger-lickin good!  It’s different from regular takeout cashew chicken… it’s deeper, more complex, savory, spicy with a hint of sticky sweetness.  Simply put… it’s incredible!

The one downside of this meal is that the leftovers aren’t all that great.  Anytime you put something crispy (chicken) into something wet (sauce), it tends to go soggy and well, kinda gross.  But there’s an up side!  You probably won’t have any left anyway 😉

I like to serve this over my Sticky Coconut Rice… the slight sweetness of the rice works beautifully with the flavors here!

Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken | The Chunky Chef | This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory's recipe. You won't want takeout anymore!

The next time you feel like have some truly delicious Chinese food… don’t run out to a restaurant… make it at home, save money, and enjoy some quality family time. 🙂  If you’d prefer a version more like the takeout style cashew chicken, try this one!

Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken | The Chunky Chef | This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory's recipe. You won't want takeout anymore!

Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken | The Chunky Chef | This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory's recipe. You won't want takeout anymore!

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4.67 from 3 votes
4 servings
Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
This cashew chicken is deliciously spicy and savory, and tastes almost exactly like The Cheesecake Factory's recipe. You won't want takeout anymore!
Author: The Chunky Chef
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil or vegetable
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • Seasoned Rice Flour recipe below
  • Rice flour batter recipe below
  • Spicy Hoisin Soy Sauce recipe below
  • 8 oz cashews
  • 6 pieces green onions sliced into
  • White sesame seeds to garnish
  • SEASONED RICE FLOUR:
  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 18/ tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of Chinese 5 Spice
  • RICE FLOUR BATTER
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of ice water (you want it to be thick but still pourable)
  • SPICY HOISIN SOY SAUCE:
  • 1 cup Hosin Sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated or minced
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
Instructions
  1. SPICY HOISIN SOY SAUCE:
  2. Place the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and sriracha into small mixing bowl and stir to blend. Add sugar, garlic, crushed red chili flakes and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  3. SEASONED RICE FLOUR:
  4. Place all ingredients for seasoned rice flour into a ziptop plastic bag, seal, and shake gently to mix. Place chicken in the bag and shake until chicken is well coated. Set aside.
  5. RICE FLOUR BATTER:
  6. Place all ingredients for rice flour batter into a bowl and mix. Add cold water and whisk until combined. Keep cold.
  7. TO MAKE THE CHICKEN:
  8. Add oil to wok or large skillet and heat over MED heat. Let oil come up to temperature.
  9. Add the rice flour coated chicken to the bowl of batter and gently fold together so each piece of chicken is coated in batter.
  10. One at a time, add the chicken to the hot oil. You'll need to work in batches, as you don't want to overcrowd your pan.
  11. Fry until chicken is golden brown on both sides, crispy, and cooked through. Remove with a strainer or kitchen tongs and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain.
  12. Pour out excess oil.
  13. Add the spicy hoisin soy sauce mixture, cashews, and 3/4 of the green onions to the pan.
  14. Cook for a minute to allow flavors to combine and the sauce to heat up.
  15. Add cooked chicken and toss until each piece of chicken is coated in the sauce.
  16. To serve, place chicken atop white rice and garnish with remaining green onions and white sesame seeds.
Recipe Notes

** feel free to serve this over any type of rice you'd like, or even over some steamed broccoli
** cooking time is approximate, as depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to fit more or less chicken than I did
** Recipe slightly adapted from Feeding Big and ABC (from Cheesecake Factory)

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30 comments on “Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken”

  1. I’ve never tried cashew chicken! Looks like this is the perfect recipe to start with!

  2. Amanda, It looks delicious, I’d love to dive right into that bowl!

  3. The sauce looks so deep and rich. Very pretty on the plate!

  4. This sounds so delicious, I love spicy cashew chicken

  5. Oh my. This looks incredibly delicious! It also looks a wee bit involved to make, but worth every minute spent in making it. I’m pinning and can’t wait to try this asap.

    • Thank you Renee!! It’s a little more involved, since you batter and fry the chicken first, which always takes some time… but like you said, sooo worth it 🙂 I hope you love it 😀

  6. Amanda, this cashew chicken looks absolutely delicious. My daughter’s favorite meal at the Cheesecake Factory is this one and now I can’t wait to give your recipe a try at home – I know she’ll love it!

  7. I love the cashew chicken from cheesecake factory! I can’t wait to try this!!

  8. Yum – your photos make me want to grab a fork and dig right in! It’s pinned and I’ll definitely be making it soon.

  9. This looks absolutely amazing! I’ve never had this particular dish, but your version is simply gorgeous! I know my family will love this too! Pinning!

  10. I have had cashew chicken before but never spicy! I will definitely have to try since I LOVE cashew chicken and I certainly do love some spice in my life!

  11. That chicken looks so incredibly good Amanda!! Can’t wait to try it out!!

  12. All of the cashew chicken recipes I have seen are more on the sweet side so I am so glad to see what that contains sriracha! That miracle condiment that brings joy to me all the time! Thanks for sharing with Saucy Saturdays. I will be eating this dish this Saturday for sure!

  13. I love Cashew Chicken stir fry!! It’s my husbands favourite too (because he likes to pick out the cashews and eat all of them!) Frying the chicken first will make it even better!! Loving the crispy chicken with all those flavours! 🙂

  14. Actually, this was delicious AND you’re right: Nothing leftover at all!

    Thanks for a great recipe! 🙂

  15. This looks amazing! Definitely putting it on my meal plan for this week 🙂