Kung Pao chicken has always been the one meal that we constantly see in movies and series. But have you ever wonder how it tastes like?
Kung Pao chicken is a spicy dish originated from the Schezuan Province, southwest of China. Made with dried Schezuan chillies, roasted cashew nuts, a splash of Shaoxing cooking wine and of course, fried chicken cubes coated with a thick sauce, Kung Pao chicken is a feel-good dish that is well-loved by everyone.
Growing up, Kung Pao chicken is a compulsory Sunday dish that we usually have during our weekly family outings. Contrary to popular opinion, I like to enjoy this simple dish for breakfast, paired with some hot steamed mantou buns that just sop up all the gravy, giving you an explosion of flavour as you bite into the soft, fluffy bun.
Making Kung Pao chicken is super easy and really fast, especially if you prepare it using my recipe. My own Kung Pao chicken recipe does not exactly following the traditional recipe since I do not use Shaoxing wine which I substitute with chinese vinegar instead. Despite the change, the taste is as authentic as it gets and I promise you, you won’t be looking for another recipe after this.
a) Other Ingredients
- 84g chicken breast or fillet (skinless & boneless), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons roasted cashew nuts
- 8 dried red chilies, seeded and cut into halves
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 6 slices peeled fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk scallion, cut to 1-inch strips
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
- 4 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- Wash and cut the chicken meat into small cubes, pat dry with towels and marinate the chicken cubes for 30 minutes.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat up a wok with 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until they are 80% cooked. Remove the fried chicken cubes and set aside. Clean the wok and add in another 2 tablespoons of oil and heat it until a slight smoke is coming out.
- Add in the ginger and garlic slices. Do a quick stir before adding in the dried red chilies.
- Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic and a spicy smell is detected, Add in the fried chicken cubes. Do a few quick stirs before adding in the roasted cashew nuts.
- Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated with the sauce.
- Add in the scallions, stir to combine well with the chicken, dish out and serve.
The Right Kind of Spicy
With rice or steamed buns, Kung Pao chicken is just perfect for quiet stay-ins or potlucks. The balance between its sweetness and spiciness makes it a dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. There’s no need at all for you to adjust the recipe according to taste difference or preference. Truly, there’s no wholesome dish such as a plate of good ol’ Kung Pao Chicken.