If you are time poor then a stir fry is the perfect option for a speedy mid week dinner. This Kung Pao Chicken certainly ticked the boxes for me…….loaded flavour, quick and healthy. Again, I have stepped away from tradition but only slightly, with the addition of Chinese Broccoli to round the meal out nutritionally. Loved this one!
You could marinate the chicken in the morning if you wanted to whip this up in the evening. Otherwise, marinate the chicken, pour a glass of wine and chat to the family for half an hour. Also, don’t be alarmed by the chilli in this recipe. The whole chillies provide a lovely smokey flavour as do the peppercorns. If you like you can leave out the red chilli but I think it all adds to the flavour.
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking & Marinating time: 45 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
For the Marinade:
2 Chicken breast fillets, sliced thinly
1 tbs of Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
2 tsp of sesame oil
1 tbs of soy sauce
2 tsp of cornflour
For the Stir Fry:
Oil for frying (peanut, sunflower or any low smoke point oil)
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
3cm piece of ginger, finely grated
2 tsp of corn flour
2 tbs of soy sauce
2 tbs of rice wine vinegar
2 tsp of sugar
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1 tbs of Szechuan peppercorns, lightly toasted in a dry pan then ground in a mortar and pestle
8 dried red chillies
1 long red chilli, sliced
4 spring onions, sliced into 3cm batons (Green ends reserved for garnish and sliced diagonally)
1 cup of unsalted peanuts, toasted in a dry pan
1 bunch of Chinese broccoli, stems sliced into 3cm batons and leaves rolled up and shredded
Steamed Jasmine rice to serve
Combine the cornflour, shoaxing wine, sesame oil and soy in a bowl and mix well to combine. Toss the chicken strips in the marinade and set aside for half an hour.
Combine the cornflour, soy, rice wine vinegar, chicken stock and sugar in a small bowl or jug and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Heat a wok to nice and hot and add a little oil. Drain the marinade from the chicken and set aside for later. Fry the chicken in batches until golden and cooked through. Set aside.
Add a little more oil to the wok and fry the garlic, ginger, chilli and dried chillies for 1 minute before adding the chicken back to the wok. Continue stirring, sprinkle in the Szechuan peppercorns and toss before adding the peanuts, spring onions and chinese broccoli. When the broccoli and spring onions are a lovely bright green colour, pour in the leftover marinade and the sauce mixture, tossing all the time until the sauce goes from a dull sheen to a glossy sheen. This means that the cornflour has cooked.
Divide the stir fry over steamed Jasmine rice and garnish with spring onion tops.