Named after a court official or “Kung Pao,” Kung Pao Chicken is a classic spicy sichuan dish made with diced chicken, peanuts and chili peppers. also spelled Kung Po chicken or Gung Po chicken in English.And it is very popular in the US and is on the menu of most Chinese restaurants.
Its origin is from Sichuan, but has taken on some slight variations through the years. For examples: in Thailand, fish sauce and sweet soy sauce are used to flavor a similar dish;in Malaysia, Kung Pao chicken is served without peanuts, but sometimes cashew nuts are used. However, the Kung Pao chicken we get in 90% of so-called Chinese restaurants in the United States is–sadly and unfortunately–the heavily Americanized version that appears gooey, greasy, and sweet.
Gong Bao Chicken is really fairly quick and easy to prepare and I hope that with these step-by-step instructions, everyone who wants to try this dish, can cook it at home. You may also cook Gong Bao Beef, Gong Bao Shrimps and Gong Bao Fish Meat Slices, following the same ingredients and cooking method in this recipe.I tried to keep my Kung Pao Chicken recipe as authentic as possible, but feel free to tone down the quantity of dried chilies as you wish.
Ingredients for Kung Pao Chicken Recipe:
(1),2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 7 to 8 ounces each
(2),Marinade for Kung Pao Chicken Recipe:
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
(3),Sauce for Kung Pao Chicken Recipe:
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
- 8 small dried red chili peppers
- 4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
- 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorn, optional
- 1/2 cup peanuts or cashews
- a few drops sesame oil, optional
Step by step to cook Kung Pao Chicken Recipe:
(1),Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Combine with the marinade ingredients, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 25 minutes.
(2),While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables: In a small bowl, combine the dark soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.
(3),Cut the chilies in half so that they are approximately the same size as the chicken cubes. Remove the seeds. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut the green onion on the diagonal into thirds.
(4),Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Stir-fry until it turns white and is 80 percent cooked. Remove from the wok.
(5),Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the chili peppers and the Szechuan peppercorn if using. Stir-fry briefly until they turn dark red.
(6),Add the sauce to the wok. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken back into the pan. Stir in the peanuts and the green onion. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot.
Diners’ views on this Kung Pao Chicken Recipe:
“I really liked this recipe as written. I usually make a recipe exactly as written the first time so I can give it a fair chance. I didn’t have enough time to deep fry the chicken so I just stir fried it and it was still good. The second time I made a few changes to have it more closely match the Kung Pao at our favourite restaurant. I like lots of sauce so I added 1/2 cup of chicken stock and upped the corn starch to 1 TBS. I also added 1 TBS Sambal Oelek to the marinade and 1 TBS (more or less) of Sriracha to the sauce. As it called for no veggies as written I added 1 yellow onion cut into wedges, one green pepper cut fairly chunky, and 1 large carrot cut on the bias. I stir fried the meat then removed it. I added more oil (2 TBS) then stir fried the garlic/onions adding the carrots later into the cooking process. Just before adding the sauce I added the green peppers, peanuts and the cooked chicken just to make sure everything was done “tender crisp” at exactly the same time. As close as I can get to the restaurant! We ate it with home-made potstickers. Slurrp, yummy!” —–by cotegary.
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