Photo courtesy of redhousespice.
Kung Pao chicken is a Chinese stir-fried dish that is made traditionally with Sichuan peppercorns and includes cubes of chicken, chilis, vegetables, and peanuts. The dish, which pairs perfectly with rice, has become an extremely popular dish in Chinese restaurants.
It is believed that Kung Pao chicken is named after Ding Baozhen, a Governor of Sichuan (a southwestern province in China) during the late Qing Dynasty that held the title Gongbao or palace guardian.
What makes this dish a favorite is the umami flavors with a twist of spice and sweetness.
Let’s get into making Kung Pao!
- Tien tsin peppers
- Cubed chicken
- Red and green bell peppers
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Chili flakes
- Red chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Ginger powder
- Onion powder
- Red onions and green onions
- Ginger garlic paste
- Gochujang paste or Gochugaru flakes
- Heat up your pan with vegetable oil and ginger garlic paste.
- Chop up some red onions and garlic. Once the oil is heated, place the onions and garlic into the pan and have them caramelize.
- Place a handful of Tien tsin peppers and chopped up red and green bell peppers into the pan. Let them soften.
- While waiting for the vegetables to cook, chop up some chicken into cubes. Add 2 tbsp of soy sauce and 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the chicken cubes. Let the cubes marinate for at least 15-20 minutes.
- For the sauce, whisk together 1 cup of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, 1 tbsp of red chili powder, 1 tbsp of chili flakes, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, 1 tbsp of ginger powder, 1 tbsp of onion powder, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp of Gochujang paste. I did not have the Gochujang paste, but used 1 tbsp of the Mother in Law’s Gochugaru Korean Chile Flakes as a substitute. Mince up some ginger and garlic and add it to this sauce.
- Add the chicken to the pan and stir fry it for 30-40 minutes on medium heat. I like to coat the chicken with pam cooking oil spray so that the flavors stick better.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, add the sauce mixture into the pan, ensuring each chicken cube is coated.
- Garnish with peanuts and chopped up green onions (optional)
- Serve and Enjoy!