Sunday, 14 February 2021

Kung Pao Chicken

 Kung Pao Chicken


Chinese cuisine has many regional varieties to pick and choose from. India and Pakistan, and possibly Sri Lanka and the UAE have their versions made up by the populations favourites. 

Adapted and adopted the Szechuan, Sichuan. Szechwan Chinese regional cuisine is possibly the most popular and easily available followed by Hakka. This is largely due to the food flavours having a hint of spice that is more popular the Subcontinental palate. The levels of heat added varies once again largely depending on who it is being prepared for, specially in the restaurants serving the local community. The Chinese may not necessarily approve of this adaptation. 

Kung Pao - borrowed from gong bao or the palace guardian, this word now refers to a spicy stir fried chicken in cubes. It also refers to the sauce that makes the dish. 

Key ingredients referred to are the peanuts, chillies and chicken which makes this dish.

To further enhance this dish the Chinese restaurant kitchens call the marinating process velveting. This seals the juices to keep the chicken moist and makes each piece tender to eat. 

Sichuan peppercorns are toasted and ground to be added to the mix.




Serves 6 persons

2 lb chicken pieces in cubes

Marinade

Mix together 

1/2 tbsp cornstarch or cornflour
pinch of salt
pinch of baking soda
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine, sake or rice wine vinegar alternately use egg white

Toss the chicken in this for 10 minutes before frying.

Oil to fry

Heat the oil and fry the chicken pieces few at a time. Ensure they are evenly browned all over. 

Kung Pao sauce you will need a cupful or more for the quantity of chicken

Saute 
1 finely diced  leek - or 3 spring onions

Toast fry
8 dry thin long red chillies
6 cloves of garlic
1 thumb size piece of ginger
mix in 
2 tbsp shaoxing wine, sherry or rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy
1 tbsp sugar

optionally add 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup chicken broth

With an emulsion blender grind this together and once cooked add 1/2 tsp of ground sichuan peppercorn powder.

In a wok add to toast and saute`
a few hand chopped peanuts
1 cup of diced red and green peppers/capsicum
1 cup of vegetables of choice - carrots, zucchini and celery
Add the fried chicken 
Pour the sauce over. Bring it to a boil. Add chicken stock or water to bring it to the right consistency and serve immediately with sticky/white rice.



1 tbsp of sichuan peppers ground = 1 tsp powder









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