My favourite type of Chinese cuisine is Sichuan-style cuisine–the spicier, the better. One dish in particular that I always order-in is kung pao chicken. After travelling to China, I was lucky enough to learn how this dish comes together.
Chinese cooking takes a lot of prep work but the cooking time is really fast (especially when everything is organized and ready to be added to the wok). Also, an observation that I made is that everything tastes better in a wok! I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the shape of the pot that allows for flavours to mingle perfectly together. If you don’t have a wok, you can use a deep skillet instead.
Like I mentioned earlier, the wok cooking part of this recipe is really fast so be sure to prepare everything ahead of cooking. I made some white rice to serve with this dish and it also helped to bring down the heat, if needed. If you prefer noodles, they would also be great with this dish.
If you are cooking for children, remove some of the dried chillies to make the dish milder. I hope you enjoy my take on take-out kung pao chicken! Ready in 30 minutes or less!
- 1 lb chicken thighs
- Marinade for chicken:
- 1 Tbsp Corn starch
- 1 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 egg white
- Ingredients for the stir-fry:
- 1 Tbsp ginger, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp garlic, crushed
- 6 green onions
- 2 Tbsp peanuts (cashews or pine nuts work too)
- 8 dried chillies (seeds removed)
- Chili flakes/seeds and salt to taste
- Stir-fry Sauce:
- 1 Tbsp Rice wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp black Chinese vinegar
- ½ tsp corn starch
- Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Prepare the marinade by combining all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken and set aside to let it marinate for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the stir-fry ingredients: Put each ingredient into its own small bowl. Cut the bottoms of your green onions into one inch pieces, reserving the dark green ends for garnish. Set aside. Wipe your dried red chillies with a damp paper towel. Using a knife, cut a slit into the pepper lengthwise and empty the seeds into a bowl and set aside (repeat with remaining peppers). Set aside all stir-fry ingredients.
- Prepare stir-fry sauce: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Bring a non-stick wok to medium-high heat, add three tablespoons of oil to the wok and once heated,
- Add the marinated chicken to the wok and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the ginger, garlic, dry red chillies, green onions and peanuts. Stir-fry for about 7 minutes and when the chicken is almost done, add in your sauce and stir well to thicken the sauce. Taste for desired saltiness and spiciness before adding any extra chilli flakes or salt. Plate and serve with a side of white rice. Garnish with green onions.