Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken

My husband and I both adore Kung Pao Chicken, and have been looking for the "perfect" one since our favorite place to eat it closed down several years ago. We have tried it all over town and nothing is exactly like we remember.

Hubby finally decided to make it himself. We have made it a few times before but haven't been satisfied with the results. This recipe is very close so we have decided to make it every other Friday night until we get it "perfect".

We started out with Kevin from Closet Cooking's Kung Pao Shrimp and hubby dabbled from there. I will let him take over now.

You will need.............

1.25 -1.5 pounds chicken (we used 1/2 boneless skinless breast portions and 1/2 boneless skinless thighs, rinse and remove large fat pieces) Cube into about 1/2" squares
2 teaspoons corn starch
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons Shao Xing (if you cant find Shao Xing ask for Shao Sing it's cooking rice wine -- same product)
3 tablespoons peanut oil
10 dried red chilies (whole)
5 dried red chilies coarsely chopped
5 green onions (sliced)
1/3 white onion diced largely
2 tablespoons garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons ginger (1 tsp grated, one chopped finely)
2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 teaspoon light soy sauce
5 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil (the dark stuff)
3 tablespoon chicken stock
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 generous handful roasted peanuts


Mix the chicken, cornstarch, water, soy sauce, and rice wine in a plastic bag and let marinate for 10-20 minutes

Heat the oil in a pan until hot, then ad the red chilies and sichuan peppercorns and fry until fragrant, about a minute -- they will smoke and blacken, turn often, watch carefully and remove the peppers from the oil immediately once it looks like they start to burn (if you eat these, and I DO, they have a WONDERFUL peanutty flavor)

Let the oil get back to near smoking hot, add the chicken and saute for a minute or so per side, turning often to get a good sear

Add the white part of the green onions, the white onion, garlic and ginger.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chicken stock, sugar and corn starch and cook until the chicken is cooked and the sauce thickens, a couple of minutes.

Serve with rice, garnished with the peanuts and the green part of the green onions.

Possible changes:

I will likely remove the chicken from the marinade and toss separately in the corn starch prior to frying. I'll still add in the marinade as it makes up much of the sauce base. I will also toy around with some bean paste and oyster sauce. Also, thinking back to travels in China (where they had not heard of Kung Pao even in Sichuan restaurants) instead of sugar I will use honey and punch up the sweet and tangy side of this dish.
See you soon for more tweaks.


Lea Ann said...

I have never ever made Kung Pao Chicken. I'm going to save this recipe and give it a try. Thanks for the post.

grace said...

you know, i'm not crazy about chinese food in general, but this looks like something i'd really enjoy. granted, the ingredient list is a mile long, but i think it'd be worth it for sure!

Donna-FFW said...

This looks delicious. Great instructions your hubby gave. Cant wait to you get it tweaked. I will benefit from your trial and error. Dont know how it will get much better as it looks fabulous.

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

keep tweaking... I have a dive place that makes the best General Tso's Chicken and has ruined me for everyone elses.

Now you put the thought in my head that the health department may discover them some day and they will be gone like your place.

Take out tonight for me!

The Blonde Duck said...

It sounds lovley! And how could I miss your biscuit and gravy post? Shame on me!

Unknown said...

Your hubby did a fantastic job! Looks delicious!

Bethie said...

He did a great job. I would gobble it right up!!

Velva said...

My family loves Kun Pao Chicken. This is a great recipe. I have it on my list to try.

Bunny said...

I've never made this but my hubby loves Asian cooking. But there's a problem, although my hubby likes the heat the kids don't. I see lots of dried chilies in the recipe, is it very hot ( spicy)??

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

We will be making this. I love Kung Pao chicken! Thanks for the recipe and all the tips.

Sophia said...

I think they use something like rock sugar or palm sugar. I used to eat this every week on Saturdays. I've never heard of it until I moved to America, though, lol.

Pam said...

Yum, yum, yum. This looks really tasty. Good job John.

test it comm said...

That kung pao chicken looks great! I just can't get enough of that chili and sichuan peppercorn combo!

teresa said...

this is making my mouth water like crazy! it looks SOO good!

Muneeba said...

Whoa ... check out the hubbs going all gourmet .. impressive! And a good kung pao with fried rice is so awesome, even though the Chinese probably laugh at us for it, since it's not authentic at all!

Debbie said...

Cheryl, this looks delicious. I've never made this dish but love Chinese food. Thanks to hubby for sharing his tips!

figtree said...

My kids will be soooooooooooo excited that I can make this dish..Looks delish!Figtreeapps

Foodiewife said...

I've been craving Chinese food (still learning how to make it) and this is my husband's fave! Oh, I have to shop for this and make it.

Anonymous said...

It looks great. One recommendation: Don't use the "cooking wine" that they sell at any Asia grocer. The cooking wines are LOADED with salt, and they use the worst wines. Find a "drinking quality" Chinese Rice Wine ( It's more expensive, but if you're looking for the best, you should use the best ingredients.

PTrann's Kitchen said...

woww . . . you make me hungry because it's my favorite . Your husband is tatent like a good chef . By the way ,I live in Oregon ,too . Let me save your recipe and try it soon . Thanks for sharing this recipe . Have a great day

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