Marty and I make a ton of stir fry recipes. We used to go to our favorite Chinese restaurants a lot because we had such a hard time making good Chinese food at home, but then I came across Rasa Malaysia awhile back and that completely changed my outlook on authentic Asian cooking! Now we almost never go to Chinese restaurants. We do still venture out sometimes for a hot bowl of Pho, but Pho is a post for another day. Marty is half Cambodian, so he was familiar with some Asian cooking (and navigating our local International grocery store to get the right ingredients) but we still struggled with some of our favorite restaurant dishes.
Interestingly, my favorite dishes changed once we started making them at home. I almost never ordered Kung Pao Chicken at restaurants, but I could eat gobs of my homemade variety. I think I particularly like it made at home because I like to have veggies on the side, and Kung Pao at restaurants typically does not come with many. When we make it at home I can make a side of steamed broccoli, or we can just toss some veggies right in the stir fry. Stir fry dishes are so easy to customize to your liking.
We typically shop at our local Asian/International grocery store for all of our stir fry ingredients, but if you don’t have one nearby you should be able to get by with the International section of your local grocery store for this recipe.
This recipe has been adapted from the Rasa Malaysia version.
Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
1 1/2 boneless & skinless chicken breasts sliced very thin
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2-4 dried red chilies sliced in half and remove seeds*
3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
5 slices peeled fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 small can sliced water chestnuts (optional)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons soy sauce**
1 tablespoon Shaoxing (rice cooking) wine
1 teaspoon vegetable or peanut oil
1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce***
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black vinegar (I use Chinkiang brand. Can substitute balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon corn starch
*Add additional red chilies if you prefer more spice. Wash hands well after handling chilies.
**I use Kimlan brand soy sauce. Brands such as Kikkoman are widely available, but I find the flavor of Kimlan to be superior and better for stir fries. If you are using Kikkoman, I would use half low sodium as the sodium content is higher.
***Light soy sauce can be found at many Asian supermarkets, which is different from low-sodium soy sauce. If not available, use regular soy sauce.
- Mix together Marinade ingredients in a large bowl
- Cut the chicken into thin strips and add to marinade for 30 minutes.
- Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat up a wok or large skillet with one tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken 70% cooked. Dish out and set aside.
- Clean the wok and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until it smokes.
- Add in the ginger and garlic slices and stir fry for 30 seconds
- Add mushrooms and stir fry until browned (optional)
- Add water chestnuts (optional) and red chilies and stir fry until chilies are aromatic
- Stir in sliced chicken
- Add the roasted peanuts and continue to stir
- Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated and the sauce begins to thicken.
- Stir in the green onion
- Dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.
This recipe also doubles well. I typically double this recipe and use my largest cast iron skillet to make enough to last us a couple days.
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