Authentic Kung Pao Chicken in Chinese Style & Kung Pao Chicken Recipe


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Kung Pao Chicken

Authentic Kung Pao Chicken in Chinese Style & Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Welcome to a culinary journey through the heart of Chinese cuisine! Today, we embark on an exploration of one of the most beloved dishes of Sichuan province: Kung Pao Chicken. Prepare to tantalise your taste buds with an authentic Kung Pao Chicken recipe with traditional flavours and spices. 

Join us as we delve into the kung pao chicken origin, ingredients, recipe and flavours of this iconic dish. Unlock the secrets of this tantalising kung pao chicken recipe and try mastering it in your kitchen. Whether you're a seasoned chef or an adventurous home cook, get ready to elevate your culinary skills and delight your senses with our guide to crafting the perfect Kung Pao Chicken.

Kung Pao Chicken Origin 

The Kung Pao Chicken origin traces back to the heart of Chinese culinary heritage, the Sichuan province, renowned for its bold and flavourful cuisine. While its exact origins are shrouded in legend and lore, one popular theory suggests that the dish is named after Ding Baozhen, of Qing Dynasty, also known as Kung Pao. Ding Baozhen was fond of spicy food, and thus, a dish featuring diced chicken stir-fried with peanuts, vegetables, and chilli peppers was named in his honour.

Another tale is attributed to the famed general of the Tang Dynasty, Guo Ziyi. He enjoyed a dish made with diced chicken, peanuts, and chilli peppers, which became known as "Gong Bao Ji Ding" or "Kung Pao Chicken" in honour of the general's title.

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Kung Pao Chicken Recipe 

Today, Kung Pao Chicken remains a beloved favourite both in traditional Chinese restaurants and in home kitchens worldwide, cherished for its bold flavours, fiery heat, and rich cultural heritage. The enduring popularity of Kung Pao Chicken speaks to its status as an ageless dish in the pantheon of Chinese culinary delights. Here’s a quick Kung Pao Chicken recipe to bring out the real flavours of Hunan cuisine to your home. 

Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients 

Ingredients for Marination

  • 12 oz. chicken breast (cut into 3/4-inch/2cm cubes) 
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour 
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine Salt to taste 
  • 1 pinch white pepper sauce

Ingredients for Kung Pao Chicken Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoon hoisin sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons water or Chicken stock 
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour 

Cooking Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil 3 cloves garlic sliced 
  • 2 thin slices of ginger chopped 
  • 2-4 dried red chillies deseeded and chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder (or)
  • 1 teaspoon of Hunan’s Sichuan chilli paste
  • 6 scallions white portions only 
  • 1 cup roasted shelled peanuts 

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How to Make Authentic Kung Pao Chicken in Chinese Style?

Step 1: Marinate the chicken breast cubes with a mixture of vegetable oil, cornflour, Shaoxing wine, salt, and white pepper in a bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes. 

Step 2: For the Kung Pao Chicken sauce, combine light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar), hoisin sauce, sugar, water (or chicken stock), and cornflour. 

Step 3: Now for the main cooking process, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over high heat. Brown the marinated chicken by searing it in the wok until golden, then transfer it to a bowl and set aside.

Step 4: Reduce the heat to low and add a tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add the garlic, ginger, Sichuan chilli paste or peppercorn powder, and scallions and cook until the aroma is released.

Step 5: Return the chicken to the wok and increase the flame to high. Stir-fry for a minute, then pour in the prepared sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken before adding roasted peanuts.

Step 6: Give the dish a final stir to combine all the ingredients well. 

Step 7: Serve the hot Kung Pao Chicken and enjoy the flavorful combination of tender chicken, aromatic spices, and crunchy peanuts.

Follow these steps for a delicious and aromatic Kung Pao Chicken dish at your home, sure to impress!

How to Serve Kung Pao Chicken?

Kung Pao Chicken pairs exceptionally well with a variety of side dishes and beverages, enhancing its bold flavours and creating a satisfying meal experience. 

Here are some delicious pairings to consider:

1. Steamed Rice: The fluffy texture and neutral flavour of steamed rice make it an ideal accompaniment to Kung Pao Chicken. The rice helps balance the spiciness of the dish while providing a comforting base.

2. Noodles: Serve Kung Pao Chicken with noodles, such as lo mein or chow mein, for a satisfying meal. The noodles soak up the flavorful sauce, adding depth to each bite.

4. Asian Salad: A crisp Asian-inspired salad with mixed greens, shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing pairs well with Kung Pao Chicken. The refreshing salad balances the heat of the dish and adds a burst of freshness to the meal.

5. Beer: A cold, crisp beer such as lager or pale ale complements the spicy flavours of Kung Pao Chicken. The effervescence of the beer helps cleanse the palate between bites.

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What does Kung Pao Chicken taste like?

Kung Pao Chicken combines bold, spicy, and savoury flavours. It has a complex taste profile with a balance of salty, sweet, and tangy notes. The tender chicken with crunchy peanuts and aromatic spices like garlic, ginger, and Sichuan chilli paste offers a fiery kick needed for a delightful meal.

Is Kung Pao Chicken Spicy?

Yes, Kung Pao Chicken is known for being spicy. The use of dried red chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns adds to its heat characteristic. Some versions of Kung Pao Chicken may be milder, while others can be quite fiery.

Is Kung Pao Chicken Healthy?

Kung Pao Chicken can be part of a healthy diet when prepared with lean chicken breast, plenty of vegetables, and minimal added fats and sugars.

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With its tender chicken, crunchy peanuts, and fiery sauce, Kung Pao Chicken offers a delightful fusion of textures and tastes that captivate the palate. By following our authentic Kung Pao Chicken recipe and incorporating fresh, quality ingredients, you can recreate the magic of Kung Pao Chicken in your kitchen. 

Whether enjoyed as a comforting family meal or shared with friends at a gathering, this iconic Kung Pao Chicken dish will tie everyone around the table. 

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