If you know me, I love hot and spicy food. I just love it. I love the flavors of chilies, and the results of those flavors on my pallet. I have been thinking of the usual go to Thai dishes lately, however I wanted something different, however Asian inspired. I immediately scanned some of my favorite Chinese takeout restaurant menus, and quickly found Kung Pao Chicken, a common and traditional dish. Who can go wrong with that? I know the flavors of that dish, and I realize that I can get a nice heat off of the peppers, so I decided to come up with my version of Kung Pao Chicken.
Let’s just say that you get a nice subtle heat (my wife doesn’t like spicy food and she loved it).
This recipe also deals with a wok, and with that, you have the stir fry, so as you can tell, this one is really quick to make. You can have it ready to go within a hour.
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp of sherry cooking wine
- 2 tbsp of corn starch
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Asian sesame oil (dark)
- 1/3 cup of water
- 6 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of cashews
- 8 oz sliced water chestnuts
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 green onions, green parts thinly slicked, white parts halved
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 6 chili de arbol, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Cooked white rice
Begin by marinading your chicken. You do this by by mixing 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the black pepper, 1 tablespoon sherry cooking wine, and 1 tablespoon of the corn starch. Let this set and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, make your sauce. You simply do this by adding the sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, water, 5 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the corn starch to a bowl. Whisk this really well.
Preheat your wok until it gets smokey hot. Add in your olive oil, and swirl around the wok. Toss in your peppers, and cashews, and quickly cook for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to be used later.
Next toss in your garlic and white parts of the green onions, and cook for another 30 seconds. Add in your chicken mixture, and cook for about 4 minutes, continuing to wok and roll until they are fully cooked. Next, toss in the water chestnuts, give a stir, then the sauce you just made and watch how this sauce begins to thicken up due to the corn starch. It is truly a beautiful sight to see. Toss in your chili flakes, chilies and cashews. Give a nice stir.
Top over your rice and get ready for some serious Kung Pao flavor! Enjoy.