Kung Pao Chicken

Stir-fry.  For some reason, my husband and I are not big fans of either Chinese food (the kinds in Chilliwack) or stir-fry.  I’m not even sure exactly what it is about it that we don’t like!  Other Asian food-Indian, Thai, Japanese  is fantastic!  We like soy sauce and ginger, but just not really Chinese food.  However, there is one recipe that we do really like.  It’s for Kung Pao Chicken.  It is spicy, flavorful and delicious!  And since we like at least one stir-fry, it gives me hope that maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to try another.

Now, a few notes about this recipe.  Sambal oelek is an Indonesian spicy red chili paste that you can buy at the grocery store in the Asian aisle.  It is one of my husband’s favorite condiments (because it’s also in his favorite Dutch-Indonesian dish, Nasi Goreng).  You can buy a chunk of gingerroot, cut off what you need and freeze the rest.  I always think it would be easier to peel it before I freeze it, but I usually end up being too lazy and I have to peel it when I use it.  I used a whole green pepper and omitted the red pepper– the green pepper is at least half the price of the red pepper.  Oh, and PREP EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU START COOKING.  I’ve learned this the hard way.  It’s worth the extra five minutes before you start.  You will not have time to chop once you start cooking!!!!

Kung Pao Chicken
Recipe from Company’s Coming Most Loved Main Courses
Serves 4

Kung Pao Sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp.  Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2-1 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste)
2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or thighs, diced
1 tsp sesame or cooking oil
1 egg white, beaten
1 garlic clove, crushed

1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp. finely grated peeled gingerroot
2 small carrots, thinly sliced

1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1-5 fresh small red chilies, seeds and ribs removed for less heat
3 green onions, cut into 1″ pieces

1 Tbsp. cooking oil

Kung Pao Sauce: Combine the cornstarch, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sambal oelek and water in a small bowl until smooth.  Set aside.

Stir the second amount of soy sauce into the second amount of cornstartch in a medium bowl until smooth.  Add the chicken, sesame oil, egg white and garlic clove.  Stir until the chicken is well-coated.  Set aside.

Heat a wok on medium-high heat until hot.  Add cooking oil.  Add the second amount of garlic, ginger and carrot.  Stir-fry for 1 minutes.  Add the peppers, chilies and green onions and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp (mine took closer to 5 minutes).  Transfer to a separate medium bowl.

Add the second amount of cooking oil to the wok.  Add the chicken mixture.  Stir to break up the chicken.  Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.  Stir the sauce and add to chicken mixture.  Stir until it is boiling and thickened.  Add the pepper mixture.  Heat and stir until it is heated through and the peppers are coated. 

Serve with rice noodles, other noodles or rice!

The Hungry Teacher

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Filed under Chicken, Dinner

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