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Kung Pao Chicken 宮保雞丁

This saucy and nutty dish needs no introduction. Kung Pao Chicken might just be the most famous and quintessential Chinese dish throughout the world. It is a takeout favorite. Not often considered as a street food, however, you can always count on it being on a Chinese restaurant menu. Different regions adopt their own versions of this dish. I personally love the Sichuan version. It’s spicy and bold. No matter how spicy it is, you won’t be able to resist!

- Yu Tsai


by Yu Tsai
Serves  6
Prep time  20 Min
Cooks in  10 Min
Difficulty  Medium

photo by Yu Tsai

Ingredients

    Ingredients:

    • 2 lbs (900g) boneless and skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into cubes

    Stir Fry Ingredients:

    • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
    • 6 cloves garlic sliced
    • 8 thumbs ginger minced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into cubes
    • 2 scallions chopped with green and white parts separated
    • 8 to 10 dried chilies (deseeded if you don't want it too spicy)
    • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
    • 3 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
    • 1/2 cup (118ml) roasted unsalted peanuts
    • coriander for garnish

    Marinade

    • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons peanut oil

    Sauce

    • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
    • 3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
    • 1/2 cup (118ml) of water
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar or white sugar

Instructions


  1. Cut chicken into cubes and pat dry.
  2. Combine and mix up all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Combine all sauce ingredients in a separate small bowl.
  5. In a hot wok, add 2 tablespoons peanut oil and cook marinated chicken on high heat.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of Shaoxing wine around the edge of the wok and stir.
  7. Stir fry chicken for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns white. Remove from wok and set aside.
  8. Add oil if needed and heat to hot. Fragrant peppercorn, ginger, garlic, white part of scallions and red chilies in the wok for 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Add sauce to wok and bring to boil.
  10. At medium heat: Combine cooked Chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Add roasted peanuts, toss continuously for 2 minutes.
  12. Plate and garnish with green part of scallions and coriander.
  13. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sesame oil (optional).

Enjoy with a bowl of hot rice.

Note: different soy sauces will give different level of saltiness. Adjust as needed. You can add sugar if it’s too salty or add salt to your desired taste.

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