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KUNG PAO CHICKEN


Kung pao chicken is a classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in Sichuan province of south-western China. It is also transcribed as Gong bao or kung po, is a spicy stir-fry dish made with chicken, peanuts or cashew nuts, vegetables, and chili peppers  and Sichuan peppercorns.

It is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine. There are regional variations that typically less spicy than the Sichuan servings although the dish is found throughout china. This dish is believed to be named after Ding Baozhen, a late Qing Dynasty official, and governor of Sichuan province. His title was gongbao (kung-pao; it literally means “Palace Guardian). The name “kung pao” derived from this tittle. This dish’s name became politically incorrect because of its association with Ding during the Cultural Revolution. The dish was renamed “fast-fried chicken cubes” (Hongbao Jiding) or “chicken cubes with seared chilies” (Hula Jiding) until its political rehabilitation in the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.

My Kung pao chicken is very easy, authentic and delicious. The sauce is abit spicy so feel free to cut down the ton of dried chilies in the recipe. The secret here is the Chinese vinegar in the sauce. You may use red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar for equally delicious result.


Ingredients
*1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite size pieces
*5 tsp soy sauce (depending on how salty the soy sauce is, you can reduce or add as required but not more than 2 tsp
*1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
*2 spring onions, white part chopped, green part cut into 1 inch strips and set aside
*2 tsp brown sugar (for less sweet, reduce the sugar or add for more sweetly taste by 1 tsp depending on your preference)
*1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
*2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
*1/2  red bell pepper, diced
*1/2 green pepper, diced
*1 medium red onion, diced
*7 Chinese dried red chilies split lengthwise and seeds removed.
*4 tsp corn starch
* 2 tbsp sesame oil 
*1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts                                                                                       
*2 tsp Chinese rice wine
*1 tbsp red wine vinegar
*1 tbsp chopped celery
*1 tbsp tomato sauce
*1 tbsp hoi sin sauce

   Directions
In a bowl, add 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp Chinese rice wine, 2 tsp corn starch, 1 tsp Sichuan pepper corns and whisk the ingredients together until the corn starch is dissolved. Then add the chicken and massage for half a minute. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 15-20 minutes

Heat the oil in a wok on high heat. Once the wok starts smoking, turn the stove off. Add peppercorns and red chilies to the wok and stir constantly for 1 minute being careful not to burn the dried chilies and the peppercorns.
Add the chicken to the wok and turn the heat back on to medium high.
Once the chicken is cooked, it can be seen from the outer layer-add garlic, ginger, bell peppers, celery, spring onion, red onion all together and toss for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Slowly add 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 3 tsp soy sauce, hoi sin sauce, tomato sauce, 2 tsp corn starch dissolve in 1 tbsp of water or chicken stock, making sure the chicken is absorbing all the flavors between additions.
Once the chicken is done with cooking, add the green parts of the spring onion and peanuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Serve over steamed hot rice immediately.

 

 


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