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Kung pao chicken
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This legendary dish hails from China's Szechuan province. Serve with fluffy rice and for dessert, sliced mango with a squeeze of lime.
- In a large bowl, mix 1½ tbsp soy sauce, the vinegar, garlic, Szechuan peppercorns and white pepper. Add the chicken and dried chiles and toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cornstarch, ketchup, tomato paste, sherry and the remaining 1½ tbsp soy sauce. Whisk smooth, then whisk in the broth.
- Remove about half of the red chilis from the chicken, or remove all for a less spicy dish. Spray a large nonstick or ceramic skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. With tongs, lift the chicken and remaining chiles from the bowl and add to the skillet, leaving the marinade behind. Discard the marinade.
- Cook the chicken, tossing often, for 5–6 minutes, or until it’s mostly opaque on the outside and about half cooked.
- Add the bell pepper, scallions, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Toss well, cover, and cook, stirring a few times for 4–5 minutes, or until the bell pepper is crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Whisk the broth mixture again, pour it into the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat slightly and cook gently for 2–3 minutes, tossing, until the sauce has thickened.
- Line a shallow serving dish with the baby spinach leaves. Spoon the chicken over the spinach and serve hot.