Kung Pao Chicken – A Chinese classic

This is a wonderful dish, which combines the smoky flavor of dark soy sauce, the freshness of green onion and the crunch of peanuts.

It is a fusion dish, as it often shows up on Szechwan menus, but is actually a dish from the Beijing region. Always a favorite of mine from Chinese take away, I finally worked out the recipe to make it at home.

1.5 lbs of boneless Chicken Breast, cut into cubes
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Egg White
1 Tbsp Rice Wine, or dry Sherry
Mix all ingredients together and marinade in refrigerator for at least one hour prior to cooking.
Prepare the sauce mixture just before beginning to cook and set it aside.
Sauce Mixture:
2 Tbsp of Rice Wine or dry Sherry
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp of Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp of Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp of Light Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp of Water
1 Tbsp of Cornstarch
4 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
6-8 dried whole red Chilies
1 inch piece Ginger Root, peeled and chopped. 
1 Red Pepper, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 bunch of Green Onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
½ cup of Peanuts, unsalted
Oil for cooking
Begin by preheating the wok or pan to a high heat, then add the oil to cover the bottom of the wok. This will be approx. 3 to 4 Tbsp.
When very hot, carefully add the dry chillies, garlic and ginger and quickly sauté, but do not brown. Add the chicken mixture to the pan and cook until I it takes on a velvety texture and is slightly brown. Remove it from the wok with a slotted spoon or your wok strainer.
Now add the red pepper and cook until almost done, then add the chicken back and let it finish cooking and finally add the sauce mixture and green onions and cook until it thickens. 
At the very end, stir in the peanuts and serve immediately with steamed Chinese rice.

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