This was a request I received from April. She was asking if I had a good tried and true recipe for Kung Pao Chicken. Surprisingly, I did not! So I did a little researching and came up with something that was easy and delicious. I'm definitely adding it to my Chinese menu rotation!
I will note that this dish is spicy, which can be omitted all together, but you'll be left with, in my opinion, a very boring dish. The spice is what makes this authentic.
In a bowl, mix together the marinade:
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine (use sake or dry sherry for substitute)
1 tsp oil
Cut up 4 chicken thighs into bite size pieces. You could use chicken breast, but you really do want a dark meat for this recipe.
Put the chicken and marinade in a ziploc and let sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice some green onion on the diagonal.
Finely sliver some fresh gingerroot.
Thinly slice 2 cloves garlic.
And toast some peanuts in a 400 degree oven. I went a little crazy with the peanuts and there were far too many in the dish. Do only HALF of what you see in this picture.
In a bowl, whisk together:
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce (this is actually a mushroom soy sauce. I had to ask at the asian market here and was given the 411 on it. LOL)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black vinegar (found in asian markets)
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch
Heat your wok with about 1 Tbsp oil. Add the marinated chicken and cook until about 70% done. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Wash out the pan.
Heat the wok back up with another tablespoon of oil. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a few seconds.
At this stage, you really are supposed to add red chiles, deseeded and thinly sliced, but I couldn't find them so I used crushed red pepper flakes. I added way too many. LOL SPICY!!!!!!!!!! But it was goooooooddddd. If you can't find the red chiles, use red pepper flakes but only a dash.
Add the peanuts and mix everything around.
Add the chicken back to the wok.
Pour in the cooking sauce and stir. It will begin thickening immediately. Remove the pan from the burner once it's thick and coats all the chicken.
Add your green onion and toss to coat. Serve with steamed white rice.
We had ours with rice and sweet and sour chicken. Yummy!