Sunbasket’s Gong Bao Chicken with Cashews and Black Rice

When it comes to cooking, I usually stick to what I know – simple dishes I grew up on, veggie staples, and easy proteins like tofu and chicken. When it comes to any food from a different culture, I’m not one to try and experiment at home, so I’d usually get it out at a restaurant. Sunbasket has helped bring new flavors and cultural dishes to my plate that I’d NEVER usually venture to try cooking at home. The best part is that they only send you as much sauce or seasonings as you need for the recipe, so I don’t have to go venturing off to buy a large bottle of a sauce I’ve never heard of only to try it once. Sunbasket, you are a GAME CHANGER for my taste buds.

I’ve tried many Sunbasket meal by now as we get them every other week over here at home, but a few have stuck out in my mind as being absolutely mind blowing. We were both speechless when we had this for dinner, it was bursting with flavors, especially ones our taste buds aren’t tired of at this point. Something new and delicious, count me in!

Dishes like this always made me think I would have to slave away in the kitchen not knowing what I was doing, but this recipe is SO much simpler (and quick-thank GOD) than I ever thought. Simply cook the black rice and use just 1 large wok or cast iron skillet to cook the remaining ingredients. Then I added some fresh basil from our garden in the backyard. Not too shabby for a weeknight!


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Sunbasket’s Gong Bao Chicken with Cashews and Black Rice

  • Author: Sunbasket
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


This delicious recipe from Sunbasket is much simpler to make, and healthier than your typical take-out, but just as (if not more!) delicious! Gluten Free. 



  • ¾ cup black rice
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 organic red or other bell pepper
  • 3 organic scallions
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
  • ¼ ounce Chinese chiles (optional)
  • ⅓ cup cashews
  • Sun Basket gong bao sauce base (make your own with: gluten-free tamari – sesame oil – fresh garlic – brown sugar – fresh ginger)


Cook the rice

  1. In a small sauce pot, combine the black rice and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ cups)water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered. 
  2. While the rice cooks, prepare the rest of the meal.

Prep and marinate the chicken

1. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel; cut the chicken lengthwise into ½-inch-wide slices, then crosswise into ½-inch pieces.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, cornstarch, and sherry vinegar; season lightly with salt and toss to coat. Let stand while you prepare the vegetables and cashews.

Prep the vegetables

1. Remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the bell pepper; cut the pepper lengthwise into ½-inch-wide strips, then crosswise into ½-inch pieces.

2. Trim the root ends from the scallions; cut 2 (4) scallions crosswise into 1-inch lengths for the stir-fry. Thinly slice the remaining scallion (2 scallions) on the diagonal for garnish.
3. If using the Sichuan peppercorns, on a cutting board, using a rolling pin or the bottom of a small pot or bowl, lightly crush the peppercorns.
4. If using the Chinese chiles, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Wash your hands after handling.

Toast the cashews

1. In a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons (¼ cup) oil until hot but not smoking. Add the cashews and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon (2 TBL) oil from the pan.

Cook the gong bao chicken

1. In the same pan used for the cashews, working in batches if needed, add the chicken and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil between batches if needed. Wipe out the pan.
2. In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 teaspoons (2 to 4 tsp) oil until hot but not smoking. Add as many peppercorns and Chinese chiles as you like and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and scallion pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juices and the gong bao sauce base, toss to coat, and cook until the sauce is thickened slightly and the chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and discard the chiles, if using. Stir in the cashews and season to taste with salt and pepper.


-Transfer the rice to individual bowls and top with the gong bao chicken. Garnish with the thinly sliced scallion and serve. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

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