Kung Pao chicken is a classic dish in Sichuan(Szechuan) cuisine, originating in Sichuan province of China. One of my co-workers mentioned to me that she loves this dish so much, she orders it almost every day from the near by restaurant. I think that this is the dish which is one of the most favourite of all the Chinese dishes among the North Americans! I myself like the spicy bite of this dish a lot. This is really not a difficult dish to make as most of us expected. Stir-fry the diced marinated chicken with skinless unsalted roasted peanuts, red bell peppers, rice wine, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and chili peppers. And that’s it.
I love the Chinese dishes made at home as I feel the restaurant food is so greasy and heavy, it makes me feel bloated for a long time once I eat it. That's why I always try to break down the recipes at the restaurant and try to make them home which I must say mostly turns out good! Some times yes, they turn out to be yucky but thank God, those times are seldom. If I see the dish is turning yucky, I immediately throw in something that for sure makes it tastes good, if not authentic or better! Hey, after all, Chopped is one of my favourite show and I've learned presence of mind from that show!
Try this recipe out sometime!!! You might like it.
In this healthier version of traditional Kung Pao Chicken, the chicken is stir-fried instead of deep-fried, reducing the fat content.
Kung Pao Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 7 to 8 ounces each
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
8 small dried red chili peppers
2 cloves garlic
2 green onions
4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
Diced green & red pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup sliced carrots
1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
1/2 cup peanuts or cashews
Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Combine with the marinade ingredients, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 25 minutes.
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.
Slit the chilies,remove the seeds. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut the green onion diagonally.
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 almost cooked. Remove from the wok.
Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the chili peppers and the diced green-red peppers, broccoli, carrots and ground pepper. Stir-fry briefly until they turn dark red.
Add the sauce to the wok. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken back into the pan. Stir in the peanuts/cashews and the green onion. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot.
I also added fried tofu along with chicken.