Kung Pao Chicken is an authentic Chinese chicken and vegetables dish. This spicy knock-down food originated from the Sichuan region of China. Depending on your Chinese restaurant, you might see it alternatively called Kung Po or Gong Bao. In typical Chinese, this dish is served either with or without rice. Traditionally, it’s made with lean chicken, scallions and fresh vegetables.
Although the basic recipe for this delicious dish consists of just four main ingredients, some cooks do add more ingredients to make the dish spicier and more delicious. Usually, one of the main ingredients is Chinese black beans, which enhance the flavor and tenderness of the meat. Another important ingredient is Chinese roasted peanuts, which add nutty and sweet flavor to the dish. Other common additions are onions, garlic, scallions, ginger, raisins and dried fruits.
The most important thing to remember when preparing this popular Chinese dish is that peanuts must be soaked first before using them as a main ingredient. Although the dish usually uses dried peanuts, sometimes freshly ground peanuts are used. For best results, soak the peanuts overnight and make sure they’re totally dry by the morning. If they’re not totally dry, the dish will be bland and not tasty.
To make the unique Chinese kung pao chicken recipe, we need to soak the chicken in a mixture of water and soya. The idea is to make the sauce stick to the chicken. While this may sound complicated, it’s actually easy once you get past the initial trial and error stage.
The most important ingredients for this recipe are ginger and dried red chili peppers. These ingredients give the dish its distinctive taste and hot color. The kung pao chicken recipe requires you to mix these two ingredients together first before adding anything else to the mixture. Once everything is mixed, all you have to do is simmer the recipe in a covered saucepan with just enough water to cover the ingredients. Cook the recipe to perfection, stirring occasionally to ensure that the ingredients don’t stick to each other. Once the sauce comes out of the pan, make sure to wipe it well with a paper towel so the sauce does not stick to the ingredients.
After the recipe is completely done, this delicious dish is best served with steamed white rice. It’s important not to over-boil the rice because the dish will become dry and overcooked. Although the recipe calls for just enough water, if you cook the rice according to the recipe, it should take about 20 minutes for it to be completely done.
Another way to make this dish healthier is to use lean beef instead of pork or chicken. Although I personally prefer to have antibiotic-free beef, your health care provider may advise against using pork products. Since garlic and tomatoes are also beneficial elements for your health, I would also recommend adding these into the marinade. To spice things up even more, after the cooking process is complete, simply strain the mixture and add it into your salads. This delicious dish is also excellent served with fresh steamed veggies.
Although there are many variations to this classic Chinese dish, the basic ingredients are always the same: noodles, chicken, vegetables and a sauce. In addition to that, you can either make the velveting process easier by using a sauce, such as soy or hot oil. Or, to cut down on the amount of work required in cooking the dish, try to prepare it the night before. The night before will help the sauce tenderize the noodles, making the velveting process easier.