This spicy stir-fry dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers originated in the Sichuan Province of central-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving.
Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine, which in my post on Beef & Broccoli covered its origination. This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes, as I have a flare for spicy foods. But in trying to keep things on the healthier side, this is stir fried, rather than deep-fried reducing the overall fat content
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 7 to 8 ounces each
8 small dried red chili peppers
2 cloves garlic
2 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
4 Tbsp oil for stir-frying, or as needed
1 tsp Szechuan peppercorn, optional
1/2 cup peanuts or cashews
a few drops sesame oil, optional
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp brown sugar
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.
Cut the chilies in half so that they are about 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Eat Chicken Wraps – Mouthgasm of Epic Proportions (foodpersuasion.com)
- 10 Surprises in Singapore (wanderlushh.com)
- A Missed Fortune (mpmcvey.wordpress.com)
- Mind-Blowing Chicken Wings (foxnews.com)
- A Taste of China (greyhoundinchina.wordpress.com)
- P.F Chang’s – Love it or Hate it? (north3rnlights.wordpress.com)
- More Foods (soulofqueen.wordpress.com)
- Takeniwa Asian Fusion BistroAsian everyone craves (caller.com)
- Labor Day Wingfest: Cantonese Wings! (examiner.com)
- Asian Shredded Chicken Salad with Crushed Roasted Peanuts (cookstyleeat.com)