On weeknights we heavily rely on the wok. Besides our love of Asian food, it is a great way to fix a healthy, quick meal and make classics we love when dining out.
This version of Kung Pao Chicken is adapted from a recipe in Saveur, but you could easily swap out your proteins (such as shrimp, tofu, or beef) while adding vegetables as you like (such as water chestnuts). However, if in doubt, simple is best. Serve with steamed rice.
Serves 2 as a Main Course, or 4 as an Appetizer
- 1 lb of chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons chicken stock
- 4 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar/Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced with some green tops reserved for garnish
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1½ inch piece ginger, minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Unsalted peanuts for garnish
- In a mixing bowl combine the chicken, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce. Mix thoroughly and put in the fridge for 30 minutes, covered.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining light soy sauce, sugar, stock, sherry, black vinegar, sesame oil, and dark soy sauce.
- Over medium-high heat, heat the wok and add grapeseed oil. You want the wok to be smoking. Add the green pepper, green onions, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes, and chicken and cook until the chicken is golden brown. This takes about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture to the wok and cook until the sauce is reduced and thick. Depending on the heat, this will probably take 2-3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the peanuts (a nice handful) and reserved sliced green onion tops. Serve with steamed white or brown rice.