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A Kung Pao Chicken Story

kung pao chicken

About this time two years ago my Irishman and I had a lovely holiday in Sydney staying in our friends Walsh Bay apartment with killer views of the Sydney harbour bridge.

One night we had an especially delicious dinner at Mr Wong. A seriously great Chinese restaurant in the CBD.

To cut a long story short, My Irishman was blown away by their Kung Pao Chicken.

As soon as we were home, he was in the kitchen trying to replicate Mr Wong’s KPC.

Now my Irishman is pretty handy in the kitchen but he doesn’t cook that often because I tend to hog the stove.

I love to be cooked for as much as the next girl, so I was thrilled to be the ‘guinea pig’ for his experiments.

Months later, when KPC was still on high rotation, I wasn’t quite so appreciative of being cooked for. So I took matters into my own hands and sent an email to Australian Gourmet Traveller, my favourite food magazine. I explained my predicament and asked if they could request the recipe from the chef.

A few months later my prayers were answered.

We had the official recipe! My Irishman was finally happy with his kung pao efforts. Life was good.

I’ve been wanting to tell you this story for a while now but I figured it needed a fitting occasion. And this week we have such an event!

This Friday my Irishman, aka GB, turns 40. So to celebrate I have the recipe for my (simple) version of kung pao chicken below plus a little sale…

The GB40 Sale!

GB40 sale new

When I was trying to decide how to celebrate such a milestone occasion, it didn’t take me long to figure it out.

I only have one product priced in the $40s… The ebook bundle deal where you can save $10 if you buy ‘The Tired & Hungry Cooks Companion’ and ‘Healthy & Tasty’ together.

Normally it’s $44 but for the next 40 hours you can get it for an extra 40% OFF!

To make sure you don’t miss out on the 40-hour 40% OFF price go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/bundle/

The sale is strictly limited to 40 hours, so don’t delay!

UPDATE: THE SALE IS NOW OVER.

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kung pao chicken

My Simple Kung Pao


There have been many dinner table discussions at out house on which ingredients could be left out of kung pao. I must point out that this is my simple interpretation and if my Irishman was cooking, he would stick to the original Mr Wong recipe.

Chinese black ‘Chinkiang’ vinegar is a really lovely ingredient but if you don’t have it already, use rice vinegar, sherry or red wine vinegar instead. It’s not worth buying a bottle especially for this recipe.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes + marinating

450g (1lb) chicken
1 tablespoon soy sauce + 2 tablespoons for sauce
4-6 fresh or dried red chillies 
1 tablespoon Chinkiang black vinegar
2 green onions (scallions), chopped
steamed rice or cauliflower ‘rice’, to serve

 
1. Slice chicken into bite sized strips and place in a bowl with 1 tablespoon soy. Cover and stand for a few minutes or if possible refrigerate for a few hours but no longer than 24.

2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan or wok. Add half the chicken and cook, stirring until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Place cooked chicken in a clean bowl and add the remaining chicken and the chilli. Continue to stir fry

3. When the second batch of chicken is browned and cooked through. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Stir.

4. Remove from the heat and add the additional 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the vinegar and stir well. Taste and add more soy or vinegar if you think it needs it.

5. Serve chicken on a bed of rice (or cauliflower ‘rice’ – raw cauliflower grated in the food processor) with green onions sprinkled on top.

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Variations

optional extras – handful roast peanuts, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar to marinate the chicken and another to finish the sauce.

vegetarian / vegan – replace chicken with firm tofu or use diced eggplant (add a little water and allow extra time for the eggplant to cook).

more veg – serve with steamed or stir fried Asian greens such as bok choy or Chinese broccoli on the side. I usually dress the greens with a little sesame oil. Steamed broccoli or broccolini is another lovely accompaniment. Or in Spring time consider asaparagus.

no Chinkiang vinegar – use rice vinegar, sherry or red wine vinegar instead. It’s not worth buying a bottle especially for this recipe unless you are a vinegar-ophile like me and are keen to add something new to your collection.

less hot – 6 chillies should make it pretty punchy, like ‘pao’! If you prefer less heat, use less chillies and remove the seeds. Or just skip the chilli.

With love,
Jules x

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Daryle in Vermont 21 January, 2015, 1:41 am

    H.B. GB.

  • Ashley (QLCC) 21 January, 2015, 3:17 am

    Wow, this looks mighty tasty and way healthier than the takeout kind :) I hope your Irishman likes it!

    • jules 27 January, 2015, 9:12 am

      He did like it Ashley! But of course he wasnt willing to say it was as god as his version! jx

  • Hoshang Dastur 21 January, 2015, 7:35 pm

    Dear Jules, is it possible to buy a hard copy of the 2 combined books in London ? I would prefer that.

    • Caroline (Jules Assistant) 22 January, 2015, 5:39 am

      Hi Hoshang,

      Unfortunately, these books are only available as in ebook. Jules does have two print books which can be found in the book section above. Both available to purchase online.

      Caroline

  • Shelley n 24 January, 2015, 3:56 am

    both of these recipes look AMAAAAAAYZING to me, i am such a whore for kung pao!! will try them both when time and supplies permit!

    so! speaking of home-made asian foods. i found this recipe for hot n sour soup, and while i would like to try it, it seems kinda dependent on the mushrooms and tofu? both of which i despise w a large and fiery passion.
    http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-hot-sour-soup-weeknight-dinner-recipes-from-the-kitchn-97281?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Kitchn+12315++Meal+Plan+A+Day+of+Thai+Cooking++Why+Soup+Is+My+Low-Carb+Breakfast++A+Micro+Cabins+Cozy+Kitchen++Quick+Easy+Hot++Sour+Soup&utm_content=The+Kitchn+12315++Meal+Plan+A+Day+of+Thai+Cooking++Why+Soup+Is+My+Low-Carb+Breakfast++A+Micro+Cabins+Cozy+Kitchen++Quick+Easy+Hot++Sour+Soup+CID_0c14f1f72109f21aadfa0ccc99f2a28f&utm_source=email_newsletter&utm_term=Quick%20Easy%20Hot%20and%20Sour%20Soup
    so… i could maybe stand the soak water from the mushrooms, if absolutely necessary, but do you have any suggestions or recipes that i can try WITHOUT the actual mushrooms or tofu??
    please and thanks!

    • jules 27 January, 2015, 9:09 am

      Hi Shelly!

      Great to hear from a fellow kung pao lover!

      I had a look at that hot & sour soup recipe and i think you could easily replace the tofu with extra pork and either skip the mushrooms or maybe replace with a tablespoon of soy sauce to give some extra umami flavours.

      Hope that helps!
      Jx

  • Eva 27 January, 2015, 5:13 am

    Just tried this – with a bit of Sichuan pepper and half a teaspoon of sugar added. FANTASTIC and superfast! My 16-year old immediately said “it’s a keeper”. Thanks so much!

    • jules 27 January, 2015, 9:01 am

      Awesome Eva! So glad you liked it
      Jx

  • Feronea 28 January, 2015, 8:55 pm

    This looks delicious! It’s lovely of the chef to share their recipe, so many places refuse to share that information. I’m keen to try it, thanks for sharing :)

    • jules 3 February, 2015, 8:33 am

      I agree Feronea! Although I did notice the recipe they shared with the magazine is different to the version in his book :)

  • Caitlin @ teaspoon 29 January, 2015, 11:49 pm

    Looks so easy and delicious! I need to work on finding some black vinegar though. Yum.

    • Caitlin @ teaspoon 29 January, 2015, 11:50 pm

      just kidding! didn’t read far enough. thanks for the substitutes :)

    • jules 3 February, 2015, 8:40 am

      You can make it using the alternatives in the recipe Caitlin! it’s still great without black vinegar jx

  • Katherine 30 June, 2015, 5:37 am

    Sorry if I’m being blind… but I can’t see where the chillies get added?

    • Caroline (Jules Assistant) 30 June, 2015, 6:30 am

      Hi Katherine,
      The chilli is added is step 2. With the second half of the chicken.
      Hope this helps!
      Caroline

  • Katherine 9 July, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Ah – got it – thank you! I was being blind!

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