kung pao chicken (宫保鸡丁)

The LAM likes Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁) a lot. In fact, I only knew this dish existed because of him. I had never ordered it before in restaurants before I met him.

For many years, I would buy tubs of kung pao sauce from a certain brand. I really liked the taste. Then one day, this was no longer sold in the supermarkets. I don’t know what that happened, but I was really annoyed. Without much of a choice, I bought kung pao sauce from various other brands but I didn’t like any of them.

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For some bizarre reason, it never occurred to me to make my own kung pao sauce. In my mind, it had to be some complicated recipe because kung pao sauce has quite a complex taste. Finally, out of sheer desperation, I thought I would google the recipe for the sauce. What I didn’t expect to see was how easy it was to put together, and the best part of the whole thing was that I have all the ingredients for the sauce in my pantry.

DOH! 

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There are many variations of this dish, largely due to its popularity. In the original version, Szechuan peppercorns were used. Since many cannot take the heat from these peppercorns, many cooks simply omit them. Some times I would add cashew nuts when I cook this, but since I did not have any, I left them out. You can also add peanuts if you wish.

To make the dish, start by cutting the chicken thighs into small pieces. Traditionally, the chicken (usually breast) is diced, but you can also use little strips of chicken thigh. Season the chicken with a little ginger juice, Shaoxing wine, light soy, sesame oil, white pepper and corn starch. Set this aside.

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I also soaked some dried chili in boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes before draining them. Adjust the amount of chilies used according to your preference. I like A LOT of chili! Set this aside as well.

To make the sauce, mix together light soy, dark soy, sugar, black vinegar, water and corn starch. Set this aside.

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In a heated wok, stir-fried the garlic in hot vegetable oil for about 20 seconds. Add the chili and stir-fry until it is aromatic.

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Add the chicken and stir-fry until almost cooked through. Since I had cut the chicken into small pieces, this did not take very long. If you are adding nuts, this will be a good time to add them as well.

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Add the sauce. Because corn starch has been added, the sauce will thicken quickly.

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When that happens, the dish is done.

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Yes, it really takes very little time to cook kung pao chicken. 😀

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Naturally, I will never buy ready-made kung pao sauce ever again!

WORKSHOPS 

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Date: Saturday 18 February 2017

Workshop: Hands-on Chiffon Cakes Workshop

Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm

Venue: The Eureka Cooking Lab

Tickets Link > CLICK HERE

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Date: Friday 17 February 2017

Workshop: Hands-on Ondeh-Ondeh Cake with Gula Melaka Swiss Meringue Buttercream Workshop

Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm

Venue: The Eureka Cooking Lab

Tickets Link > CLICK HERE 

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Date: Friday 3 March 2017

Workshop: Hands-on Valrhona Marble Butter Cake and Lana-Inspired Chocolate Fudge Cake Workshop

Time: 9.00am – 12.00pm

Venue: The Eureka Cooking Lab

Tickets Link > CLICK HERE

Date: Saturday 11 March 2017

Workshop: Hands-on Valrhona Marble Butter Cake and Lana-Inspired Chocolate Fudge Cake Workshop

Time: 2.30pm – 5.30pm

Venue: Butter & Bake

Tickets Link > CLICK HERE

Kung Pao Chicken
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 skinless thighs, cut into strips (or diced)
  2. 1/4 cup cashew nuts or peanuts, if desired
  3. 12 pieces dried chilli
  4. 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
For the Marinate
  1. 1 tablespoon corn starch
  2. 2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  3. 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  4. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  5. 1 tablespoon ginger juice
  6. A dash of white pepper
For the sauce
  1. 1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  2. 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  3. 1 teaspoon sugar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon black vinegar
  5. 2 tablespoons water
  6. 1 teaspoon corn starch
Instructions
  1. Start by cutting the chicken thighs into small pieces. Season the chicken with a little ginger juice, Shaoxing wine, light soy, sesame oil, white pepper and corn starch. Set this aside.
  2. Soak some dried chili in boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes before draining them. Adjust the amount of chilies used according to your preference. Set this aside.
  3. To make the sauce, mix together light soy, dark soy, sugar, black vinegar, water and corn starch. Set this aside.
  4. In a heated wok, stir-fried the garlic in hot vegetable oil for about 20 seconds. Add the chili and stir-fry until it is aromatic.
  5. Add the chicken and stir-fry until almost cooked through. If you are adding nuts, this will be a good time to add them as well.
  6. Add the sauce. Because corn starch has been added, the sauce will thicken quickly.
  7. Serve immediately, with rice.
Adapted from RasaMalaysia
Adapted from RasaMalaysia
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe http://thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com/



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