Kung Pao Chicken (or Pork or Shrimp)

Marinade:
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 medium)

Sauce:
3 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch

For Stir fry:
2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
6-8 fresh small, thin red chili peppers, whole (Thai)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp dried crushed chili flakes
3 green onions white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
Black or yellow sesame seeds for garnish

In a medium bowl, stir together the marinade ingredients. Add chicken cubes and toss to coat. Let sit on the counter while you prepare the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and stir well until smooth. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh red peppers and cook, stirring, until they start to brown in spots. Add red pepper flakes, white part of green onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until onion softens, about 45-60 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, until chicken is just cooked through and no longer pink. Stir sauce and then add to the hot skillet. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens. Add peanuts and 1/2 of the green part of the green onion. Stir to combine.

The red peppers aren’t intended to be eaten, as they are extremely hot, even after cooking. Their role is to infuse the heat in to the dish only. You can eat around them or simply discard before serving.

Serve over noodles or rice, if you like, with vegetables on the side. Garnish with remaining green onion and sesame seeds.

Leave a Reply