21, Apr 2013
Kung Pao Chicken

This is from Fuchsia Dunlop. This came out very good when I made it, though I would add the scallions later so they retain more fresh crunch. I’d probably also try it with celery and carrots, as some restaurants do.


2 boneless chicken breasts (~2/3 lb), cut in 1/2″ cubes
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
equal amount ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
5 scallions, white parts only, cut in squarish chunks
2 tbsp peanut oil
handful dried red chiles (at least 10), halved and deseeded (wear gloves!)
1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
2/3 c roasted unsalted peanuts

1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
2 1/4 tsp cornstarch (or 1 1/2 tsp potato flour)
1 tbsp water

3 tsp sugar
1 1/8 tsp cornstarch (or 3/4 tsp potato flour)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
3 tsp Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chicken stock (or water)


Place chicken in a small bowl and mix in the marinade ingredients.
Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Add 2 tbsp oil to wok and heat over a high flame. When hot but not smoking, add the chiles and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry briefly, taking care not to burn them.
Add the chicken and fry over a high flame, stirring constantly. As soon as the chicken cubes have separated, add ginger, garlic, and scallions and continue to stir-fry until the meat is cooked through.
Stir the sauce and add it to the wok, continuing to stir and toss. As soon as the sauce has become thick and shiny, stir in the peanuts and serve.