Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kung Pao Chicken




I had Kung Pao chicken for the first time at Panda Express and it became one of my favourites ever since. Well marinated chicken deep fried, sauteed with spicy red chillies, onions,bell peppers,ginger-garlic, green onions(you may add your own choice of vegetables) in a tangy, spicy, creamy, delectable dark brown sauce! Doesn't this sound great? Oh the very thought of it makes me drool.

My love for Kung pao led me to research more into it and came upon this info in Wikipedia which I would like to share here. Kung pao is a classic dish of Schezwan cuisine, that originated in Sichuan province of central-western China. The name Kung Pao was derived from the title Gong Bao, which was the title of Ding Baozhen, the late governor of Sichuan province. The dish was named after him.


In the original Sichuan version diced chicken is marinated and stir fried with chillies, Sichuan peppercorns, vegetables and roasted peanuts. Shaoxing wine was used for an extra flavour in the marinade. The most important component was the Sichuan peppercorns that imparted the unique authentic flavour to the dish.

However in Westernized versions which most of us have tried out, marinated chicken is mixed with corn starch, deep fried and then later stir fried with ginger garlic, vegetables, roasted peanuts in a sauce prepared with rice vinegar, oyster sauce, chili peppers etc. Compared to the Sichuan version this doesn't use Sichuan peppercorns as it was illegal to import these peppercorns into US. Though the ban is now lifted, this resulted in Westernized version of the dish.


Every time I have Kung Pao chicken from the restaurant I try to figure out the ingredients that went into the preparation but couldn't completely figure it out until I accidentally came upon Vahreh Vah's Kung Pao Chicken. I have made changes to the chef's recipe and created my version. Instead of deep frying the marinated chicken I opted for stir fry as it would make it a lot more healthier. Also I added teriyaki sauce while stir frying chicken to add more flavour and to give more glaze.And even though I couldn't exactly create a clone of Panda Express Kung Pao I was very well satisfied with the final outcome. This goes well with fried rice/steamed rice. Now for the moment lets enjoy this spicy Kung Pao!


Ingredients:
Boneless chicken diced - 1.25 lb
3/4 white onion chopped to squares
Green bell pepper - 1 chopped
Celery stalk - 1 chopped
Green onions - 4 chopped
Snow peas - 15 chopped
Mushrooms - 5 oz(140 g) sliced
Dry red chillies - 4 broken
Fresh ginger minced - 1 tbsp
Fresh garlic minced - 3 cloves
Ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste
A pinch of MSG( I used 1/2 packet fried rice seasoning mix)
Roasted peanuts - A handful or more
Cornstarch(cornflour) - 2 tsp dissolved in enough water
Sesame oil for cooking
For marinating chicken:
Soy sauce - 1.5 tbsp
Egg - 1 beaten
Salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
Cornstarch(cornflour) - 2 tbsp(approx)
For preparing the sauce:
Chicken broth - 1 3/4 cup
Soy sauce - 3 tbsp(approx)
Rice Vinegar - 2 tbsp
Oyster sauce - 1 tbsp
Chilly sauce - 1/2 tbsp(adjust according to your taste buds)
Pinch of sugar
For stir frying chicken:
Teriyaki sauce(gives the required glaze)
Sesame oil

Method:
  • Marinate the chicken with ingredients mentioned under marinade. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a large pan over high heat, add 1 tsp sesame oil and stir fry the marinated chicken until it turns golden brown. During this process add teriyaki sauce over the chicken pieces and continue sauteeing.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high and continue the process till chicken is cooked well. You may go for deep frying instead of stir fry method.
  • When the chicken is fully cooked remove from pan and keep aside.
  • For preparing the sauce add soy sauce to broth till the colour turns dark brown. Now add the rest of the ingredients mentioned above for sauce preparation. Keep aside.
  • Heat the same pan used for cooking chicken, add sesame oil and stir fry broken red chillies till they turn dark brown.
  • Add minced ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell goes.
  • Add chopped onions along with snow peas and cook till onions turn transparent.
  • Add mushrooms, bell pepper, celery, half of chopped green onions and stir fry till mushrooms are cooked and water is absorbed.
  • Add enough salt and pepper to taste, seasoning mix(or MSG) and mix well.
  • Add the prepared sauce and bring to a boil.
  • Add stir fried chicken, reduce the heat and cook for few minutes more.
  • Add roasted peanuts and mix well.
  • Add about 1.5 tsp cornflour solution slowly till the sauce attains the required thickness. Do not add too much. It would spoil the entire dish. If the gravy isn't thick enough you may add more.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with the remaining chopped green onions.
  • Serve hot with fried rice/steamed rice.
  • Enjoy every bite of crunchy, tangy, spicy Kung pao!
This goes to:

AFAM Bell Peppers hosted by Priya & started by Maheswari.


The Potluck-Chicken event hosted by Vicky.



Pooja.

Other Chinese Dishes:

Fried RiceChilli ChickenMushroom Fried Rice

57 comments:

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Kung Pao Chicken @ Panda Express, mmm my fave too... btw do you have a friend there?? got this recipe from ur frnd?? this recipe sounds awesome looks great and ofcourse you made it just like the kung pao served at Panda Exp...

VineelaSiva said...

Wow nice recipe dear.Even me too love this recipe.But for me i have to buy lot of sauces.There r more ingredients dear.any way i want to try this recipe.Nice recipe for the event.

Parita said...

As i was reading the post with all those spices..my mouth started watering..even though m a veggie :)

Vani said...

Looks so good, Pooja!

Pooja said...

Thanks Ramya :) Unfortunately I dont have a friend there but would love to make a frienship with any chef there given a chance :) I saw this in a video, the link to which I have given in the post.

Pooja said...

Thanks Vineela :) I agree with you. I too had to buy when I planned on making but it was worth it :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Parita :) And dont worry you may make Vegetable Kung Pao in a similar way.

Pooja said...

Thanks Vani :)

Padma said...

Very nice recipe Pooja ... looks delicious :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Padma :)

SAILAJA said...

my favourite dish too...

Kalyani said...

my favorite dish ... looks delicious pooja .....

Pooja said...

Thanks Ms.Sailaja & Kalyani for your lovely words :)

Priya said...

Wowowww love kung pao chicken dish much..looks too delicious, fabulous and too yummy...Thanks for sending to AFAM Poojaaa:)

5 Star Foodie said...

Delicious! Kung Pao chicken is our favorite!

Pooja said...

Thanks Priya & welcome :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Natasha :)

Mangala Bhat said...

Hey Pooja ..I am a vegtarian ,.soos ossry ..but i will definatly tell this recipe to my friend ..she likes chicken :)

Vij said...

I have always wanted to make Kung Pao Chicken. Thanks for sharing. Urs look so good n tempting.

I am droolin over the pic.

Chef Jeena said...

Sounds and looks delicious Pooja! I love the combo of ingredients I would be having seconds for sure. :-)

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Mangala for going thru this inspite being a veggie :) You may make kung pao vegetable curry in a similar way too!

Pooja said...

Thanks Vij :) Do give it a try. You would love it :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Jeena :)

Vrinda said...

Wow that looks perfect Pooja..I too lov Kung Pao chicken,looks yummm,..Mahesh is good with making chineese type dishes,will ask him to make this..

Gita said...

wow...they look simply delicious...I have never tasted this dish before...I would love to try your recipe :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Vrinda :)Do give a try sometime. You both would like it :)
Thanks Gita :) Actually this is my favourite Chinese dish. You would love it too :)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

I love Kungpao... This looks so yum...

Pooja said...

Thanks HCOF :)

Divya Vikram said...

Whenever I go to Panda Exp My order is Orange n Kung Pao chicken! Looks too good.

Ammu said...

Lovely chicken dish pooja. Love the way u presented.

CHAITRA said...

Kung Pao @ Panda express mmmmmmm sounds great.I wish i was a non vegetarian.
Anyway great presentation.
Visit my blog sometime and leave your feedback.
Update my blog in your Blog roll
Chaitra

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow adding peanuts is new to me...might have give crunchy and yum taste to soft chicken....looks drool worthy...

Lena Rashmin Raj said...

Kung Pao Chicken sound great Pooja.. :)too tempting and im going to try your recipe.. :) bookmarked.. :)

Pavithra said...

Looks so so good pooja.. loved the color .. So sad i can just imagine how the taste willbe..I can adopt this with mushroom i hope..

Pooja said...

Thanks Divya :) Yes me too, Orange Chicken n Kungpao are my favourites!
Thanks Ammu :)
Thanks Chaitra :) Of course!
Thanks Lubna :) Yes the crunchiness of peanuts and the brown sauce makes this delectable :)
Thanks Lena :) Do try and let me know ur verdict too :)
Thanks Pavithra :) Hey dont worry..you can make kung pao vegetable curry too in a similar way.

Ann said...

Please accept the Award, that I love to Pass it to you!

aquadaze said...

this is one of our all time favourites, I have tried the same recipe from vah chef, though your idea of teriyaki sauce sounds great!!

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Ann! You have made my day :)
Thanks Aqua :)

Sweta said...

Wow-Kung pao Chicken!! That's an absolute fave-I've never tried making it though.Thanks a ton for figuring out the recipe:)

Pooja said...

Thanks Sweta :) And do try it out sometime. Love to hear your verdict too :)

Pooja said...

One more wonderful chicken entry..Looking delicious pooja..

Pooja said...

Thanks Pooja :)

Chitra said...

u had done a great job with so many ingredients:)looks yummm...

Pooja said...

Thanks Chitra :)

Premyscakes said...

wow lovely!!! sounds interesting.

Suparna said...

hey pooja,
That read was very interesting, got to know so much abt the dish and its variation. Have had KPC at restaurants...never attempted it at home for it's so elaborate, :) must say u've done a great job! nice clicks too,should take some inspiration from u dear :)
happy weekend

Pooja said...

Thanks Prema :)
Thanks Suparna :) Frankly its not at all tough to make this. It only needs few ingredients. The rest of the preparation is a cake walk and doesnt take much time. Its like preparing other Chinese dishes. Do give this a try some time :)

Lori Lynn said...

Oh, I think I would take your version over Panda Express for sure.
I am so glad to read this tonight, as I am planing on making stir-fry chicken (already marinating), now I will add the szechwan peppercorns too. Thanks for the good idea and the history.

Please stop by Taste With The Eyes late Sunday for the MLLA round-up. And thank you so much for your participation!
Lori Lynn

SriLekha said...

wow! its looking excellent!

Viki's Kitchen said...

Oh dear u are really good at making unique dishes with their native finish. I m sure kung pao chicken is going to grab the attention of many.
Great entry. Thanks for sharing:)

Pooja said...

Thanks Lori :) Glad that you liked it. Give this a try some time :)
Thanks SriLekha :)
Thanks Vicky :)

Seena said...

This makes me drooling, Pooja! Whatever dish with chicken.... :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Seena! Any dish with chicken makes me drool too hehe!

SriLekha said...

wow! its so tempting!

Pooja said...

Thanks Sri Lekha :)

Jaya said...

Pooja,
OMG!! Thats very interesting recipe and sure this looks so delicious...thanks for sharing this recipe..
hugs and smiles

Pooja said...

Thanks Jaya :)