Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kung Pao Chicken

This version of Kung Pao Chicken is pretty close to the ones I ate in China with one difference, it's a lot spicier!! But don't let that put you off, you can cut on the chiles, take a less hot variety or leave out the sambal.

The chiles I used this time are ones I grew and dried myself, the seeds I took from a bag of dried chiles that I bought in Long Sheng, China. They are scipy but not too much. Another kind I use a lot are dried bird eye chiles, these tiny peppers pack a huge punch, be very careful with them!! When I use them I use only 5 or 6 of them.

Sambal is a condiment from Indonesia and a nice selection is available in every supermarket here in the Netherlands, that's because Indonesia was one of our colonies. I use sambal brandal, a spicy variety, but any other will do, I add it for extra heat and to give the dish a more complex flavor.

I always buy my ginger at a Chinese supermarket we have here, I buy a lot and freeze it. When I need it, I just take a piece from the freezer and grate it. It will last for months in the freezer and tastes the same as the day you bought it.

2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine
1 small egg white

Main Dish
2 chicken breasts, cubed
10-12 Chinese chiles (or 5-6 dried bird eye chiles)
6 spring unions, cut into 1 inch pieces (keep white and green separate)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons medium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sambal brandal

Combine the marinade ingredients and add the chicken, put the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat up the oil in a wok, add the chiles (I cut up large ones, the small ones I leave whole) and let them turn black.

WARNING!!!! This will produce a very irritating smoke, so open up your windows and doors!!!! I'm not kidding! Really I'm not kidding, it's like somebody emptied a can of pepperspray in your kitchen!!! I warned you!!!

When the chiles are black and you can breath again, add the chicken and stir-fry a couple of minutes, add the ginger, stir-fry half a minute, add the garlic, stir-fry half a minute, add the white parts of the spring unions, stir-fry a minute or 2.
Now add the sauce and stir so it will coats everything, it will thicken up a bit.
Add the peanuts and the green parts of the spring union.

Serve over rice, I use basmati.


CB said...

I love kung pao chicken! I totally saved this recipe to try. Thanks for sharing!

Jaime said...

mmmm, i love kung pao chicken! i use the sambal oelek in a lot of my cooking too (even though i haven't been able to post about it yet...)

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Yum, I'm going to have to try this, after a I appropriate a gas mask...LOL!

Thanks for the handy tip for storing ginger, I always hate having to throw out shriveled pieces that I didn't get to use.