I took a stab at making Kung Pao Chicken, and while I improvised some ingredients (e.g. jalapeno in lieu of chili peppers), it was a fun, quick dinner to make.
The sauce has a slight sweetness to it, with bites of garlic and hints of ginger. I added steamed vegetables which gave the dish some crunch. It’s a great week night dinner and makes for great lunch leftovers for the next day.
Back in college, I remember our cafeteria had a “wok station.” Oh the creations Future-Hubs and I made! I will be honest, though, he made most of the amazing dishes… with crunchy celery, baby carrots, different sauces. A man that a cook is always a keeper.
This is the epitome of a one-pan (er, wok!) dinner with minimal cleanup (you know how I love that). If you LOVE lots of sauce or plan on using a lot of rice an/or veggies, I suggest doubling the batch of sauce. It was just enough to cover the chicken and veggies for us.
Enjoy this semi-homemade Asian dish!
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons shiraz (I used Yellow Tail Shiraz 2012)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil
- 1/4 teaspoon peanut sauce
- 2 teaspoons sweet and sour sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 2 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- Handful of peanuts (about 1/4 cup)
- Frozen stir-fry vegetables, cooked according to package (optional)
- 2 cups of brown rice, cooked according to package (optional)
- In a medium bowl mix together all of the marinate ingredients – soy sauce, shiraz and cornstarch – until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, hot chili oil, peanut sauce, sweet and sour sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Stir well, then set aside.
- Heat a wok (or large pan) over high heat. Add the vegetable oil, swirl and coat the pan, then add the jalapeno. Stir-fry for about 1 minute. Then add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.
- Add the scallion whites, garlic and ginger to the wok for about 30 seconds. Pour in the prepared sauce and toss until coated. Taste test – add a dash of soy sauce or sprinkle of hot pepper flakes (if it’s not hot enough for you).
- Stir in the peanuts and Asian vegetables (if using). Sprinkle scallion greens on top.
- Serve Kung Pao Chicken over rice (or eat as-is!).