Salty, tangy and sweet, kung pao chicken traces its origin from China’s Sichuan region where it is cooked with Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilies.
The Guizhou version uses skin-on chicken fillets and fermented chili paste.
Western versions are sweet and hardly spicy.
This recipe which uses skin-on chicken fillets and includes chili paste in the sauce more closely resembles Guizhou kung pao chicken.
Kung Pao ChickenRecipe by
- 500 grams chicken thigh fillets skin-on, cut into two-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon grated garlic
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon chili paste
- Place the chicken cubes in a bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade, mix well and set aside for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
- In a wok heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of one-half inch.
- Spread the marinated chicken in the hot oil and cook over medium heat, turning the over a few times, until cooked through, about seven minutes.
- Scoop out the chicken and set aside.
- Pour off the oil leaving only two tablespoonfuls.
- Stir fry the white/light green portion of the scallions with the bell peppers for about half a minute.
- Add the peanuts and cook, stirring often, until heated through.
- Pour in the sauce and cook for about a minute until slightly reduced and thickened.
- Throw the chicken back into the wok and continue stir frying until every piece of chicken is coated with sauce.
- Tip the contents of the wok into a shallow bowl and sprinkle your kung pao chicken with the dark green portion of the scallions before serving.