To make vegetarian cashew chicken, use well-pressed extra firm tofu to substitute for chicken. Add fresh ginger and canned bamboo shoots for depth of flavor and extra texture.
To press tofu, sandwich a whole block of tofu or slices of tofu arranged in a single layer between two layers of clean kitchen towels, then place the kitchen towels between two cookie sheets. Place a weight atop the upper cookie sheet, such as a large book or canned goods. Let the tofu sit for 15 minutes to several hours.
Stir fry 1 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger and 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic with 2 tablespoons of vegetable or peanut oil in a large skillet or wok for about one or two minutes. Add 8 ounces of firm or extra firm tofu, sliced and chopped into bite-size pieces. Cook the tofu until it is lightly browned, stirring constantly for three to four minutes.
Stir in 2 sliced celery stalks and 1 chopped red or green bell pepper for about one to two minutes until they are heated through. Toss in 3/4 cup of sliced mushrooms and 1 14-ounce can of thinly sliced, drained bamboo shoots. Pour in 1/3 cup of vegetable broth or water and simmer until the vegetables are tender but not yet done.
Combine 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, add it to the stir fry along with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and stir over the heat until the entire dish thickens. Add 1/2 cup of cashews and 3 chopped green onions, stirring just to combine. Serve with rice.