Kung pao chicken is a very affordable, fast and simple Chinese dish that’s spicy, slightly sweet and super delicious! If you like loads of vegetables, while it’s not very traditional, you can add bok choy or snow peas (or any other green veg) right at the end of cooking.
kung pao chicken
- 6 Ritchies skinless chicken thighs, cut in 3cm cubes
- ½ cup roasted peanuts
- 8 dried red chillies, seeded and cut into halves (or 2 tablespoons chilli flakes plus 3 tablespoons peanut oil)
- 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 spring onions, cut into 2 cm sections
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing rice wine (or dry white wine)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
- ½ cup water
to serve (optional)
- 2 long fresh red chillies, sliced
- fresh coriander
kung pao chicken method
Place the chicken in a medium bowl, add the marinade ingredients, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat a wok or large frying pan on a very high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until almost cooked through (you may need to do this in batches so the chicken doesn’t stew in the wok, adding more oil if you need to). Remove from the wok and set aside. Clean the wok and on a very high heat add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the ginger and garlic slices and stir before adding in the chillies. Stir-fry until fragrant.
Return the chicken to the wok and stir well. Add the roasted peanuts. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir continuously until the chicken meat is coated with the thickened sauce. Add in the spring onions and stir to combine well with the chicken. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
Serves 4. Prep time 15 minutes. Cook time 10 minutes.
Cooks Note: Traditionally this dish has 1 tablespoon of Schezuan pepper – add it if you like the peppery, slightly numbing taste.