Kung Pao Chicken is a dish featuring small pieces of diced
chicken, peanuts, and chilies. While the dish originated in
Sichuan province, its fame brought it to other provinces as
well, each with their own regional variation.
1. Start by roasting the peanuts
2. MARINATE THE CHICKEN:
Combine the chicken with 1 teaspoon each of oil, cornstarch, and Shaoxing wine, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of white pepper. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
3. PREPARE THE SAUCE:
Mix together light soy sauce dark soy sauce rice wine vinegar , sugar, water, and and set aside.
4. GRAB THE REST OF YOUR INGREDIENTS:
• 3 tablespoons oil
• 3 cloves garlic , smashed and sliced
• 2 thin slices ginger , minced
• 2 dried red chilies , deseeded and chopped (these can be quite spicy, so adjust according to your own tastes)
• 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
• 6 scallions , white portions only, cut into 3/4” pieces
5. AND YOU’RE READY TO COOK KUNG PAO CHICKEN:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over high heat. Sear the chicken, remove from the wok to a bowl, and set aside.
Turn the heat to low and add another tablespoon oil. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies, Sichuan peppercorn powder , and scallions. Cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
Add the chicken back to the wok. Turn up the heat to high and stir fry for a minute. Then stir up your prepared sauce (the cornstarch will have settled to the bottom, so make sure it’s well incorporated). Add the sauce to the wok and stir fry for another minute. The sauce should thicken very quickly.
Finally, add the peanuts.
• 1 -1.5 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into inch cube
• Can substitute with peeled and deveined shrimp or thinly sliced flank steak
• Plant based option:
• 1 packet of firm tofu, drain, pat dry, and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
• Cauliflower florets, cut into bite sized pieces
• 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
• 2 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 small yellow onion, cut into inch dice
• 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
• 1 tablespoon finely minced or grated fresh ginger
• 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, cut into inch dice
• 2 celery stalk, cut into inch dice
• cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts (can substitute with macadamia nuts or cashews), roughly chopped
• 15 to 20 whole dried tianjin or other Chinese chilies (can substitute with dried chile de arbol), cut in half if you want it spicy!
• teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
• 1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
• 2 scallions, cut into 1 inch batons or sliced (use whites and green)
• Steamed coconut rice (ingredients below), white rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa, for serving