Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
Every time we go out for Chinese food, I always end up ordering a spicy chicken dish. Back home it used to be “Chili Chicken” but now, it’s mostly “Kung Pao Chicken”. I thought of giving it a shot at home to see if I could achieve the restaurant/ take out flavors. I was more than happy with the end result! The heat can be adjusted to suit your palate, so go ahead and give it a shot! I came across various recipes online, but finally adapted my dish from this one.
1 lb / 450 gms boneless, skinless, Chicken Breasts, cut into ¾ -inch cubes
1/2 cup Celery, Chopped or Sliced (Optional)
1/2 cup Water Chestnut, Diced ( I used canned), (Optional)
1 tbsp. + 1 tbsp. Oil
8 Dried red chilies, split & seeds removed (or more or less)
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Ginger, grated
1/3 cup Peanuts
Marinade – Whisk the ingredients together until the corn starch is dissolved.
2 tsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese Rice Wine
1 tbsp Cornstarch
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Schezwan Sauce
Sauce – Whisk the ingredients together until the corn starch is dissolved. Set Aside
1 1/2 tbsp Low Sodium Soy sauce
2 tsp. Dark Soy sauce
1/4 tsp. Chili Vinegar
2 tbsp. Water
1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
1 tsp. Sugar
1. In a bowl, marinate the cubed chicken with the marinade. Set aside for 25-30 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet/wok on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated chicken and cook until almost done. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the peanuts to the same skillet and roast for a few minutes. Remove and set aside.
3. In a separate skillet heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, remove the skillet from heat and add the dried red chili. Keep stirring the chilies for about 30 seconds to make sure they don’t burn.
4. Return the pan to heat and add the minced garlic and the grated ginger. Keep stirring and cook till the raw smell disappears. Next, add chopped celery and cook for 1-2 minutes, followed by the diced water chestnut(drained & rinsed). Mix well and cook for another minute.
5. Now add the chicken to the skillet followed peanuts. Stir for a minute and add the prepared sauce. Stir well to make sure the chicken is evenly coated.
6. Once done, serve hot over plain rice or steamed rice.
1. Pat dry the chicken before marination. Do not marinate for more than 30 minutes. Do not over cook the chicken or it will become dry & stiff.
2. Adding celery & water chestnut is optional.
3. I did not add any extra salt as the soy sauce had enough salt already.
4. Feel free to adjust the chili, sugar & salt levels to suit your palate.