Guest Recipe: John’s Kung Pao Chicken

Mmmm.  Delicious.  If you’re averse to spice you can cut down on the peppers, but if you like it hot, then this one’s for you!

What you need:

1 & 1/2 boneless & skinless chicken breasts

3 tablespoons roasted peanuts

8-12 dried red chilies, deseeded and cut into halves (it was quite hot with 9 chilies, so you can experiment with the number that’s right for you)

3 tablespoons cooking oil

5 thin slices peeled fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stalk scallion

For the marinade:

1 tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or other rice wine)

1 teaspoon oil

For the sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon black vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon corn starch

What you do:

1. Cut the chicken into small cubes, combine marinade ingredients and let the chicken marinate in it for about 30 minutes.

2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Heat the wok or large frying pan with one tablespoon cooking oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until it is 70% cooked. Remove chicken and set aside.

4.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to wok and heat until it smokes.

5. Add in the ginger and garlic slices and stir quickly before adding the dried red chilies.

6. Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic, then stir in the partially cooked chicken.

7. Add the roasted peanuts and continue to stir a few times.

8. Add the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated with the sauce.

9. Stir in the scallions, then dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.

This recipe serves three to four people with some side dishes.  We had steamed baby bok choy with a drizzle of oyster sauce.

All of these ingredients were found in Vancouver’s China Town.

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