Kung Pao Chicken entirely came from Chinese origin. But this doesn’t stop it from being a common dish in the Philippines.
Seeing how much Filipinos normally eat Chinese food proves how it influenced our cuisine. It’s a good thing though since we seem to enjoy them a lot. At the same time, they helped us to widen our knowledge when it comes to food. But what really is kung pao and why was it named that way?
The dish is called gong bao in China to be specific. That means the one that we know of today got into a few edits based on the original. And now, this version became the more widely used recipe. The main points of the dish are its sweetness, spiciness, and the signature ingredient - peanuts.
First of all, the meat must be marinated to make it tastier. So these will be the ingredients we’ll need for the first step:
Get boneless and skinless chicken thigh fillet from the market. You can also ask them to chop the white meat into cubes to make it easier to prepare.
The marinade consists of soy sauce for the salty flavor, oil for moisture, and cornstarch to keep the marinade intact with the meat. You may add an optional tablespoon of Chinese rice wine to achieve a more authentic Chinese flavor.
The sauce, which is the life of kung pao, consists of these ingredients:
Soy sauce will work as a base and provider of saltiness. Sweet dark soy sauce, on the other hand, provides a balanced combination of sweetness and saltiness. Plus, it has this thick consistency that will give it the perfect thickness.
A little bit of white vinegar will give the dish a little kick. An amount enough to balance all the other flavors. Then additional brown sugar since the dish must be a little bit sweeter than the other ingredients can provide.
Don’t forget the peanuts which the dish is known for. Of course, you may remove this from the recipe if someone has allergies. Or try other kinds of nuts like cashew.
Learn how to make Kung Pao Chicken
Marinate the chicken fillet first in a bowl. Put the white meat, soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, oil, and cornstarch together in the bowl. Then use your hand to massage the marinade into the chicken. Set aside for a while.
Combine both soy sauce, white vinegar, brown sugar, water, and cornstarch in another bowl. Mix until well combined. Heat some cooking oil in a pan. Stir fry the marinated chicken for about 7 minutes or until they turn dark brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Using the same pan, cook sliced garlic and ginger. Add the dried chilis then stir-fry again for another few minutes. Put back the pre-cooked marinated meat and continue stir-frying. Then add the roasted peanuts then cook again.
Pour the ready-made sauce into the pan. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Add chopped spring onions as a garnish and for additional flavor. Cook for a few more minutes then transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy with freshly cooked rice.
That's how quick and easy it is to prepare this extremely delicious dish that will surely make your love one's happy especially those who loves spicy food!
Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 thumb-size ginger sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 5-7 pcs dried chili cut into halves
- ¼ cup roasted peanut
- 2 stalk spring onion chopped
- 600 g chicken thigh fillet boneless, skinless, cut into serving pieces
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine optional
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
Kung Pao Sauce
- 1 ½ tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sweet dark soy sauce
- ¼ tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- In a bowl, marinate the chicken fillet with soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, oil and cornstarch. Set aside.
- To make the sauce, combine soy sauce, white vinegar, brown sugar, water and cornstarch. Mix until well combined.
- In a pan over medium heat, add the oil, stir fry the marinated chicken for about 7 minutes or until dark brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, sauté the garlic and ginger. Stir fry the dried chili until fragrant.
- Put back the pre-cooked chicken. Add the roasted peanuts and continue to stir fry.
- Pour the prepared sauce into the pan, cook until it thickens. Sprinkle chopped spring onion for garnish and serve with hot cooked rice.