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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kung Pao Chicken

kung pao chicken easy quick

I make my version of kung pao chicken quite often, but, I realized I haven't posted a recipe here so far. It is fairly light and non-greasy, and I usually serve it with sticky jasmine rice.

I like the sauce to just coat the chicken, and not have the few chicken pieces float in a pool of sauce. But, adjust sauce quantity to suit your taste. Also, the Kung Pao sauce ingredients can be varied in proportion to suit your taste as well.

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
4 Tbsp canola oil

coating: ¼ cup cornstarch + ¼ cup rice flour

marinade: soy sauce + red wine vinegar

kung pao sauce:
6-8 kung pao chilies (I used the ones from my garden)
2-3 medium shallots, finely diced
6-8 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (or 1 Tbsp dry ginger powder)
¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
¼ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup kecap manis
¼ cup plain distilled vinegar
¼ cup sambal oelek or, any favorite hot chili sauce (less if preferred)
2 Tbsp mirin (optional)
1 Tbsp brown sugar or agave nectar (adjust to taste)
2 to 3 cups water
1 tsp cornstarch in 1Tbsp water for thickening (optional)

  1. marinate the chicken pieces in the marinade for about 15-20 minutes while assembling the other items
  2. heat 1 Tbsp oil in a sauce pan and sauté the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilies, then add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the saucepan and simmer gently over medium low heat till sauce reduces and thickens a bit; if too runny, thicken with corn starch
  3. heat 3 Tbsp oil in a pan, drain the chicken pieces, pat dry, and dredge with the coating, shake off excess, and add them to the hot oil in the pan; allow to form a seared coating at the bottom, then turn over and do the same; cook the chicken till done
  4. turn off the heat for the sauce as well as the chicken and slowly add the sauce to the chicken, a little at a time, stirring gently to coat the chicken well; save any remaining sauce to use as dip or for stir fry seasoning
  5. serve warm with hot jasmine rice

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