Saturday, July 09, 2005
A friend has asked for the recipe Kung Pao chicken (gōngbäo jīdīng), a favorite Szechuan dish of mine originating from western China. This is a personalized recipe my father came up with to facilitate the preferences of my mother and I.
Kung Pao ChickenFor variety and further customization, chicken drumsticks can be skinless or replaced with 250g breast meat. More cubed vegetables and spring onion can also be added to the recipe. Typical Szechuan choices are cucumber, celery, bamboo shoot, water chestnut or pineapple. Cashew nuts can be replaced with roasted peanuts. To enhance flavor, seafood or Hoisin sauce and Chinese rice wine can be added to the sauce and balsamic, black or white vinegar to the marinade.
Marinate chicken for 30 to 45 minutes. Shallow fry chicken until fragrant and golden. Drain and set aside. Combine sauce ingredients and thickening separately.
- 3 chicken drumsticks, deboned
- 12 dried chillies, soaked, seeded and halved
- 1 onion, quartered
- ½ green capsicum, cubed
- ½ red capsicum, cubed
- 100g cashew nuts, deep–fried
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
Marinade for chicken:
- ½ tbsp light soy sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- ½ an egg white
- a dash of pepper
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- ½ tbsp black bean sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp sugar or to taste
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste
- 1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 2 tbsp water
Heat oil in a wok, fry dried chillies for 30 seconds. Add in the onions and capsicums, then the chicken. Stir–fry briskly, then add sauce. Bring to a simmer and thicken accordingly. Sprinkle with a dash of sesame oil. Plate and spread cashewnuts on top.
Serve hot with rice or Chinese flower rolls.
Tips: When frying the cashew nuts, be sure the oil is hot enough (use the bubbling chopstick test) before adding nuts. Remove while color is still light as it will darken while being cooled. Similar style of sauce and vegetables can also used for Kung Pao seafood. Do not remove the dried chillies when serving as they provide flavor to the dish.
All the best girl!
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