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Friday, July 17, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

One of the well-known chinese cuisine originating from Szechuan (Sichuan) province, live up to its spicy and pungent reputation, tinged with a hint of sweet and sour flavour. Combined diced chicken breast, dried red chilli pepper and peanuts by stir-frying and made them into in one dish, Kung Pao chicken has found its way to many Asian and United States kitchens.Named after a late chinese Qing Dynasty official Ding Baozhen(丁宝桢), the name "Kung Pao" chicken is derived from this title as palatial guardian (or 宫保 in chinese). 
Kung Pao Chicken Home Cooking RecipeDon't be intimidated by cooking Asian cuisine. The dish may looks complicated, but it's actually not when you try it out on your own.

Instead of deep-frying the chicken as called by recipe, I stir-fried the chicken in a wok, to cut down oil absorption. Some westernized version of kung pao chicken (more popular in US and Canada) have been customized to suit their tastebuds, by using vegetables (such as zucchini, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, celery, Chinese cabbage, water chestnuts, and carrots), sherry, hoisin sauce or oyster sauce. The tweak with suitable ingredients perhaps will come out with a delicious fusion of East-meet-West cuisine, making Kung Pao chicken a versatile relish.

The tangy aroma of peanuts and the earthy flavor of chicken, rounded up together with sweet, sour and spicy notes. This is the dish to satisfy our spurts of cravings and we gobbled it up!

I love Szechuan dishes (四川菜 or 川菜) for its bold flavour, with pungency and spicyness kick up the dish! Sichuan cooking features hot and numbing flavor (麻辣味), making it pretty alluring to my family's palate. Among other well-known Szechuan dishes are twice cooked pork (回锅肉), mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐), spicy deep-fried chicken (辣子鸡), bon bon chicken (棒棒鸡) and many others which I can't wait to try out!

Here is my endeavor with legendary Kung Bao Chicken.

Kung Pao Chicken Home Cooking Recipe

Ingredients : 材料

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (cubed)
1/2 cup peanuts (or cashewsnut)
8 small dried red chillies, soaked, seeds removed, chopped (or alternatively fresh red chilli peppers, quantity as desired)
1 slice peeled fresh ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tbsp of spring onions (scallions), chopped
vegetable oil for stir-frying

Marinade : 腌料
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp water

Seasoning : 调味料
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chinese rice wine vinegar (or shaoxing wine, Westernized version call for dry sherry)
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil

Method : 做法

1. Combine the bite-sized chicken with the marinade ingredients, then adding the cornstarch in a bowl, toss to coat. The chicken left to marinade for 30 minutes.

2. Prepare the seasoning in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Stir-fry 1/2 cup of peanuts in a hot wok with vegetable oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain and set aside.

4. Chinese wok is heated on a high flame, until the wok is quite hot. A swish of the ladle spreads a couple of teaspoons of vegetable oil, then the chicken is flash fried in the hot oil to bring out the flavor (for 2-3 minutes until the chicken cubes no longer in pink color, but not so long that it loses its juices or tenderness). Remove chicken from the wok, drain and set aside.

5. Add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in the wok. When the oil turn hot, add dried red chillies (or alternatively red chilli peppers) and stir-fry briefly until they turn dark red colour. Then add the chopped ginger, minced garlic and the pre-fried chicken to the wok, stir constantly until aromatic. Then add the prepared seasoning to the wok, then stir until the gravy is thickened. Add in the peanuts and lastly spring onion. Serve hot, the dish goes well with piping hot rice.


  1. Wow I love your recipes. I have enjoyed visiting your blog. Congratulations you have done a lot in a month! Good on you!

  2. Thanks The Wizz! I should put all the credits into your guidance on blog know how, it help me to step through and apply on my new blog. I will keep posting to document all my culinary repertoire and hopefully it will be a more complete Asian recipe collection for cooking enthusiasts one day.

  3. I love home cooking. Your cooking pictures all look great. I used to use sauce mix for cooking Kung Pao Chicken, but I'll try your recipe soon. Thanks.

  4. Hi Emi, you can adjust the quantity of dried red chillies (or red chillies pepper) to suit your spicy tastebuds tolerance. Let me know the dish outcome. :) I visited your cooking diaries, the blueberry muffins look tempting!



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