Kung Pao

Kung Pao

1 pound boneless chicken (thighs are best) cut into narrow, small strips. Tenderize first by tapping with back of knife.

Marinade option 1:
1 egg white
In a medium bowl, combine chicken, egg white, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tsp of the sesame oil and 2 tsp of tapioca starch or cornstarch. Mix well.

Marinade option 2 (stronger flavor):
Increase quantities if chicken > 1 lb.
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp tapioca starch or cornstarch

Increase quantities if chicken > 1 lb.
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine
3 Tbsp Chinese black rice vinegar
1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp chicken stock (can substitute water)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp tapioca starch or corn starch
2 Tbsp Asian hot chili sauce / chili-bean paste

Vegetable Sauce:
Increase quantities if chicken > 1 lb.
1 large red pepper, cut into ¾ inch dice
Red Fresno chili, finely diced
2 stalks celery, cut into ¾ inch dice
1 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
5 scallions, finely chopped, separating the white and green parts
12 dried red Chinese chilies, hydrated in water first, broken into large pieces, seeds mostly emptied out
1 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

Make rice and follow this Action Plan:
Whisk marinade together.Tenderize chicken by tapping it with the dull side of the knife repeatedly.
Add chicken, toss to coat, set aside for 10+ mins. 
Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl; whisk together.
Toast sichuan peppercorns for a minute in wok without oil. Grind / crush them in mortar & pestle.
Heat wok to a high heat; drizzle oil around the edges so it coats the sides then hits the bottom.
Add chicken, spread into a single layer, and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken.
Let the wok cool a bit.
Add oil. Stir-fry the peanuts on med-low heat until brownish (an alternative is to use non-roasted peanuts, and fry them in the wok).
Remove the peanuts so they don’t burn.
Stir fry the chilies (dry and Fresno) and Sichuan peppercorns, along with white scallion parts, for 30 secs on low heat.
Add garlic and ginger, bell peppers, and celery. Increase heat, cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until brightly colored and browned in spots, about 1 minute.

Add chicken and sauce, cook for a few mins., then add peanuts and toss.
Add white pepper or red pepper flakes if more heat is needed.
Add green parts of scallions and serve over rice.

Photo inside the circle by foodism360 from Unsplash
Cinematography by smboro

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