This Sichuan dish—often better known by its Americanized name “kung pao chicken”—is only moderately spicy.
Kung Pao Chicken
This Sichuan dish—often better known by its Americanized name "kung pao chicken"—is full of flavor but only moderately spicy.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 4 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 3 tbsp. shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. chicken stock
- 4 tsp. Chinkiang vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
- 2 tsp. Chinese dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. peanut oil
- 12 dried hot red chiles, stemmed, halved crosswise, and seeded
- 5 scallions, white part only, thickly sliced crosswise
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled, ends trimmed off, and thinly sliced
- 1 (1/2″) piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1⁄2 cup shelled raw skinless peanuts
- Mix together cornstarch and 1 tbsp. of the soy sauce in a medium bowl, add chicken, toss well, and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining 3 tbsp. soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, stock, vinegar, sesame oil, and dark soy sauce. Set aside.
- Heat peanut oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add chiles, half the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chicken and stir-fry until chicken is golden, 3–5 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture and stir-fry until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in peanuts. Garnish with remaining scallions.