Kung pao chicken is a delicious stir fry dish that originated in the Sichuan region of China. Sichuan, or Szechuan cuisine is known for its spicy hot flavor derived from the spicy Sichuan peppercorn. These peppercorns were actually banned in the US by the Food and Drug Administration until 2005 because they carried dangerous bacteria. Therefore many of the spicy Sichuan dishes were changed, substituting these peppercorns with chili peppers and sometimes even ground white pepper.
The spicy kung pao recipe below uses small red Thai chili peppers for their source of flavor and heat. The recipe calls for the seeds of these peppers to remain in the dish. However, if you are not a fan of spicy food simply remove these seeds before chopping the peppers. Try this delicious spicy dish and let me know what you think in the Chinese food forum. Enjoy!
To see a video of these instructions click here.
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1.5lbs)
2 large stalks of green onion
6 to 8 dried red Thai chili peppers
¼ piece fresh ginger
2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 tbsp peanut oil
¼ tsp garlic salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
- Remove all of the fat from the chicken and cut each breast into ½ inch to 1 inch pieces. Place these pieces in a large bowl to be marinated
- Next add the marinade in the following steps. First sprinkle in the garlic salt using your hands to mix it in thoroughly. Then do the same with the sugar.
- Finally add the cornstarch, using your hand to make sure that each piece is coated. Then set the chicken aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Prepare the green onions. Cut off their bases and about a half inch from the top of the green stalks and discard.
- Then rinse them under cold running water and dry them with paper towels. Dice the remaining stalks into small pieces and set them aside.
- Chop the chili peppers into small pieces and set them aside.
- Remove the skin from the ginger and dice the remaining ginger into small pieces. Set them aside.
- In a large cup mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Make sure all of the cornstarch dissolves. Then set this mixture aside.
- Heat a non stick pot or wok on high. Once the wok is hot add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir fry it for about 5 minutes, or until it is lightly brown and cooked through.
- Once the chicken has cooked, remove it from the wok.
- Keep the wok on high, add the ginger and chili peppers, and stir fry them for about 15 to 20 seconds.
- Add the green onion and stir fry everything for another 10 seconds. Then add the peanuts and the sauce; and return the chicken to the wok. Mix everything together thoroughly and stir until the sauce thickens and the chicken is coated.
- Serve with either steamed white or fried rice. Makes 3 servings.