Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken

Here is another recipe to practice using your Asian ingredients. This is one of my husband's favorite dishes and he always asks me to make it!


Here are a final few tips:
  • Feel free to interchange vegetables. You can use whatever vegetables you want with this recipe and most other Asian recipes. I prefer onions, bell peppers and broccoli but whatever your favorites are just substitute those! 
  • The heat level is up to you based on how much you add and of what. This recipe originally called for dried red hot chilies but I changed it to red pepper flakes. You could also use the garlic chili paste I mentioned in the last post. 
  • If you forget to marinate the chicken for the minimum time, do the best you can. I usually do the meat first, so I can let it marinate while I chop up other veggies, set the table and clean up the kitchen. Some marinades, like this one with soy sauce is potent enough that 30 min was adequate. 
  • Use whatever nuts you have, traditional Kung Pao has peanuts  but cashews could work too just for texture! 
  • Use white or brown rice depending on how healthy you want to be!

Again, if you don't have every one of these Asian ingredients use as many as you have. You would still get the main flavors as long as you have soy sauce, ginger, green onion, red pepper and cornstarch. But if you have the sesame oil, white cooking wine, even better!

I decorated our table with any Asian decor we had and it made for such a fun dinner! 








Kung Pao Chicken 
adapted from TheNest.com
Serves 4

Ingredients
Chicken Marinade 
2-3 chicken breasts
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine (omit or use white cooking wine)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Sauce 
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine (see above)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or Chenkiang vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt

Additional Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Desired vegetables: red/green bell pepper, broccoli, onion, snap peas, carrots etc.
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (or dried)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped green onion
3/4 cup peanuts
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil 

Directions

Cut chicken into bite sized chunks. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch and vegetable oil then toss chicken to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes or up to one day in refrigerator.
 
Heat vegetable oil in deep skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding vegetables and garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and green onion. Cook until chicken is cooked through. 

To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir to dissolve the dry ingredients, and mix everything together well.

Stir the sauce, and add it to the pan. Cook another minute, tossing often, and then add the peanuts and sesame oil. 

Serve with rice and enjoy!


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