Pork and cashew nut stir-fry

Pork and cashew nut stir-fry

The Sunday Night Book
Patricia Niven

Stir-fries always remind me of student days, when they seemed to be what everyone made – and were often just an excuse to dump the contents of the fridge into a pan. As I was already cooking professionally to earn extra cash, I was never that into them at the time, but have since discovered what a quick and easy supper they make, without becoming a dumping ground for anything and everything! This one is simplicity itself and seems to appeal to adults and kids alike, either served with plain noodles or rice, or just on its own. Once you’ve mastered this stir-fry, you can use the same flavourings to make endless variations: try chicken and basil, beef and ginger, or fish and garlic.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons sunflower or grapeseed oil
30g cashew nuts
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
4 spring onions
200g leftover cooked pork
or 280g pork loin
1 teaspoon cornflour
120ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the cashews until golden brown, stirring constantly. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, then chop roughly.
  2. Throw the chilli flakes into the frying pan and let them brown. Strain the oil through a fine sieve to catch the chilli flakes and discard them, unless you like seriously spicy food – in which case, mix some or all of them with the cashews.
  3. Slice the spring onions into nice long strands and thinly slice the pork, be it raw or cooked. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a couple of tablespoons of the stock.
  4. Wipe out the wok or pan, pour in the chilli-infused oil and place over a medium to high heat. If using raw pork, add it first, stir-frying it until it changes colour, then add the spring onions. If using leftover cooked pork, just throw it and the spring onions in together and brown very quickly, keeping them moving constantly. Return the cashew nuts to the pan. Next add the curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and the rest of the stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle out a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce and stir into the cornflour paste to loosen it and make it easier to add back to the stir-fry. Pour the paste into the pan and stir for a couple of minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add soy sauce to taste and serve straight away.
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