Hard Recipes

Slow-Cooked Chinese Five Spice Chicken with Cashews & Shiitake Mushrooms


Since winter started, many customers have been walking into the store and asking, “What do you recommend using in a slow-cooker?” That’s an easy answer – Sichuan Chinese Five Spice. But until today, we haven’t had a slow-cooker recipe up on the site to share with all of you who have requested it. So here’s the first – Slow Cooked Chinese Five Spice Chicken with Cashews & Shiitake Mushrooms.

As much as I enjoy stir-frying up a quick meal, during our busiest time in December when we would come home late and hungry, there was always a sigh of exhaustion walking through the front door and into an empty kitchen where nothing was prepped for dinner. I know many of you feel the same way – especially the many parents out there who experience that same dreaded feeling (multiplied by the number of kids you have).

This slow-cooker recipe is for the both of us. Because we all deserve to walk in the house after a long day at work, and smell the warm, rich aroma of a home cooked five spice chicken ready to serve immediately over steaming rice.

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If you want to experience a real homestyle Chinese meal, I highly recommend trying this Slow-Cooked Chinese Five Spice Chicken with Cashews & Shiitake Mushrooms. No matter what dishes my mom cooks up for dinner back in Malaysia, she will usually serve a Chinese-style chicken or pork broth dish to accompany the meal. It’s incredibly nourishing, which is especially important here in the winter months to keep your body healthy and happy.

Since this is a slow-cooker recipe, it’s easy to modify without sacrificing the dish. So go ahead and leave out a couple of ingredients from the list if you don’t have them, or add in a few more. Just have the basics ready – a whole chicken, dried Shiitake mushrooms, cashews, garlic, a few Chinese cooking essentials, and a high quality Chinese Five Spice powder.

I specifically used our Sichuan Chinese Five Spice for this recipe because of the addition of Sichuan Pepper (remember, it has a citrusy, numbing flavor – it’s not spicy at all). The spice works its magic into the chicken all day as it cooks, and gives that wonderful sensation on the tongue when you take your first sip of the savory broth.

Once you’ve served up your last portion of this Slow-Cooked Chinese Five Spice Chicken with Cashews & Shiitake Mushrooms, there will probably be some leftovers. That’s great news since you already have a head start for dinner tomorrow. Even when I have leftovers, I like to change up dinner the next day. So for this specific dish, I used the leftovers to cook a healthy noodle dish, which I will share with you in my next post. Stay tuned!

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Slow-Cooked Chinese Five Spice Chicken with Cashews & Shiitake Mushrooms

  • Author: Chef Lilian


  1. 1 whole chicken
  2. Oil for light coating
  3. Salt, to season (try our Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt)
  4. About 1 tablespoon of Season with Spice’s Sichuan Chinese Five Spice powder
  5. 45 cloves of garlic – smashed
  6. 1 large knob of fresh ginger – peeled and sliced thinly
  7. 2 medium yellow onions – sliced
  8. 34 medium size carrots – cut into about 1/2 inch pieces
  9. 1416 dried shiitake mushrooms
  10. A large handful of raw cashews


  1. 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  2. 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  3. 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  4. 2 tsp sugar
  5. 1 tsp of Season with Spice’s Sichuan Chinese Five Spice powder
  6. 1.5 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
  7. 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Thickener (Optional)

  1. 1.5 tsp corn starch – mixed with 2 tsp water


  1. Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms by soaking them in warm water for 15-20 minutes, or until they are softened. Drain.
  2. Place onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger at the bottom of the slow cooker in a single layer. Then add in the cashews and reconstituted shiitake mushrooms.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Chinese five spice, rice wine/dry sherry, and toasted sesame oil.
  4. Lightly coat the chicken with oil and season it with salt. You can put a couple of garlic cloves and ginger slices into the cavity. Depending on the size of the chicken, season it with about a tablespoon of Chinese five spice. Place the prepared chicken in the slow cooker, and then pour the sauce around the chicken.
  5. Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked through. Once ready, you can enjoy the broth as, or thicken it into a sauce*. Serve the slow-cooked chicken and veggies with a bowl of steamed rice!
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  1. For a thicker sauce:
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water until there are no lumps.
  3. Scoop out the broth (leave some behind if you want to keep for leftovers) and add it into a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Then slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture. Stir until fully incorporated and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
  4. Serve the chicken and vegetables on steamed rice. Then pour the sauce over it and enjoy!

About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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