Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
Kung Pao is one of the most classic hot and sour Sichuanese sauces, and can be stir-fried with seafood, meat or vegetables as well as chicken. The seasonings are fried in oil over high heat, intensifying the spiciness and flavoring the oil.
Ingredients: (Serves 6)
- 350 g/12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast,
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (cornflour)
- 120 g/4½ oz/¾ cup peeled water chestnuts
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 450 g/1 lb baby English spinach leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 120 g (4½ oz/¾ cup) unsalted peanuts
- 1 scallion (spring onion), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Chinese black rice vinegar
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) chicken stock
- Cut the chicken into 2.5 cm/1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice wine, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, and toss lightly. Marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Blanch the water chestnuts in a pan of boiling water, then refresh in cold water. Drain, pat dry and cut into thin slices.
- Heat a wok over high heat, add 1 teaspoon of oil until very hot. Stir-fry spinach, salt, 2 teaspoons garlic and 2 teaspoons of rice wine, turning constantly, until the spinach is just becoming limp. Remove spinach from the wok, arrange around the edge of a platter, cover and keep warm.
- Reheat wok over high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry half the chicken pieces, turning constantly until cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining chicken. Wipe out the pan.
- Dry-fry the peanuts in the wok until browned, remove and set aside.
- Reheat the wok over a high heat, add remaining oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry the scallion, ginger, the remaining garlic and the chili sauce for 10 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the sliced water chestnuts and stir-fry for 15 seconds, or until heated through.
- Combine the sugar, black vinegar, chicken stock and remaining soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and cornstarch, add to the wok and simmer until thickened. Add cooked chicken and the peanuts. Toss lightly to coat with the sauce. Transfer to the center of the platter and serve.