Stir-fried chicken with green peas and cashew nuts

Stir-fried chicken with green peas and cashew nuts

Kowloon House on West Avenue in Quezon City was a significant part of my childhood. While we feasted in Chinatown years earlier, by the time I was in my last few years of grade school, we were dining at Kowloon House more often. It was more accessible, there was ample parking space and it was more comfortable. The dining hall was large, carpeted and air-conditioned, the comfort rooms were more presentable and it was possible to make reservations in advance.

Not that we made reservations often; on most occasions that we dined at Kowloon House, it was more a spur of the moment. I remember one time (I was in the fourth or fifth grade), there were no classes because of some storm, and my father unexpectedly announced that we should get dressed because we were having lunch at Kowloon House. I threw on a light blue blazer, a cream-colored skirt and white sandals. And we went, just like that, because those were times when traffic was not a problem and a not-so-bad storm did not leave the streets flooded.

We had our Kowloon House staples back then. Before I was allergic to crustaceans, we always ordered camaron rebosado, sweet and sour pork, hototay soup, lumpiang shanghai and stir fried green peas with cashew nuts, the latter sometimes with shrimp and, at other times, with chicken.

After I became a mommy, Kowloon House would continue to be a significant part of my life. When Sam and Alex were old enough to eat table food, their first introduction to restaurant dining consisted of Chinese food. Speedy and I brought them to Kowloon House often. But we didn’t order the exact same dishes from my childhood. Among their favorites were nido (bird’s nest) soup with quail eggs, stir fried beef with broccoli, stir fried beef with mushrooms, camaron rebosado and lumpiang shanghai. No stir fried green peas with cashew nuts because they really hated green peas.

We don’t go to Kowloon House very often anymore — in fact, I can’t even remember the last time we ate there. As Sam and Alex grew older, they discovered that they preferred Japanese food over Chinese food and on the occasions that they craved Chinese food, we often went to Causeway Seafood Restaurant and President Grand Palace in Chinatown which have become for them what Kowloon House and San Jacinto in Chinatown were for me as a child.

This stir-fried chicken with green peas and cashew nuts recipe is in remembrance of those by-gone times, my childhood and my children’s, and those lovely meals we had at Kowloon House.

As with any stir fried dish, this chicken with green peas and cashew nuts should be cooked in a short time over very high heat. Remember to cut the chicken into thin slices so that they get cooked through in a matter of minutes. For more details about stir-frying, see the post on stir frying basics. »

How to make: Vietnamese chicken salad


Think cole slaw but with chicken, nuts and fresh herbs. And with no mayo. Doesn't sound like cole slaw anymore? That's okay. This Vietnamese chicken salad is better than cole slaw.Bias of an Asian? Maybe. Maybe not. With the chicken, this salad … »

How to cook: Lamb biryani


Although considered an everyday dish in many South Asian countries, cooking biryani can be a challenge especially because the list of ingredients is long and can be intimidating. But it is really worth the effort. Since biryani is a complete meal, … »

How to cook: Glass (cellophane) noodle salad


Unlike Western salads that often feel heavy with ingredients like bacon bits, ham and cheese, this Thai salad is very light in comparison. The flavors are fresh and delicate, the appearance is diaphanous and the texture is light -- but it is quite … »

How to cook: Pineapple and chicken rice

pineapple and chicken rice

And so I bring home a taste of Phuket. Last Saturday, I cooked this chicken and pineapple rice and my daughters and I had it for lunch. I would have cooked it days earlier, heaven knows how excited I was to try it, but my older daughter (who took the … »

Mango tart, pili nut tart and turrones de casuy


Unlike my daughters who got introduced -- unfortunately -- to potato chips at an early age, my earliest memory of potato chips was a can of Pik-nik. I was about five years old, we were at the cemetery on All Saints' Day and an uncle hurt his fingers … »