Recipe: Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish that is spicy, savory, and packed with flavor. Here’s a simple recipe that you can try at home:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3-4 dried red chilies
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, chopped
In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, and sugar. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the diced chicken and stir-fry until browned and cooked through.
Add the minced ginger, garlic, and dried red chilies to the pan. Stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
Add the diced bell peppers to the pan and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.
Pour in the sauce mixture and stir-fry for another minute until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken and vegetables.
Stir in the roasted peanuts and chopped scallion.
Serve immediately with steamed rice.
Unique and Delicious Recipe Variations:
Kung Pao Cauliflower:
Replace the chicken with cauliflower florets for a vegetarian twist on this classic dish. Toss the cauliflower in cornstarch before stir-frying to give it a crispy texture. Add chopped green onions and sesame seeds for extra flavor and crunch.
Kung Pao Shrimp:
Swap out the chicken for shrimp for a seafood version of this dish. Marinate the shrimp in soy sauce and garlic before stir-frying. Add sliced water chestnuts and bamboo shoots for a crunchy texture.
Kung Pao Tofu:
For a vegan option, use firm tofu instead of chicken and add sliced mushrooms for extra texture. Replace hoisin sauce with miso paste for a slightly different flavor profile.
Kung Pao Meatballs:
Shape ground chicken into meatballs and bake in the oven until cooked through. Make the sauce as you normally would and toss the meatballs in the sauce before serving. Serve with steamed rice and chopped scallions.
Kung Pao Chicken is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary restrictions. Whether you prefer meat, seafood, or plant-based options, there’s a Kung Pao variation that will satisfy your cravings. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own unique twist on this classic Chinese dish.