I love Kung Pao Chicken. I don’t, however, enjoy the fact that most chinese restaurants around my area uses MSG or how some places deep fry the crap out of the chicken to the point that it becomes stringy and chewy. I think I’ve even had kung pao chicken one time where I was certain they just tossed the chicken in sweet and sour sauce and topped it with a couple peanuts. That, my friends, is not kung pao chicken! There’s suppose to be that “PAO”, hence the PAO in the Kung Pao. Actually, that may not be true but that’s what I like to believe.
I decided to make my own but with more kick, more peanuts, no MSG and not deep fried! Oh, it still has that deep fried crunch coating, it’s just not deep fried. Did I mention the chicken is very tender and very flavorful?
Go. Try. Now!
recipe adapted: MyRecipes
Marinade for chicken:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp minced or grated garlic
- 1.5 tsp minced or grated ginger
For the Sauce and Dredging:
- 1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch, plus 1.5 tsp
- 2 tbsp oil, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2.5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- 1.5 tsp sriracha or sambal oelek
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes, optional
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup scallions, light green and dark green parts, chopped
- 1/4 tbsp roasted and crushed peanuts, plus 1.5 tsp extra for garnish
- In a zip-lock bag, combine all the “marinate” ingredients and mix well to combine. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- In a pan over medium heat, heat the oil until it started to shimmer
- Dredge half of the marinated chicken with the 1/4 cup of corn or potato starch, shake off excess and place in the hot pan. Cook until it’s crunchy outside and it’s cooked inside. Remove from the pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Add the second 1 tbsp of oil, allow to heat up, dredge the second half of the marinated chicken and cook in the pan. Remove from the pan once it’s cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking, in a saucepan, add 1.5 tsp of corn starch, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, sriracha, rice wine vinegar and crushed chili flakes and mix well to remove the corn starch lumps. Put it on medium-heat and let it heat through and until the sauce thickens a bit
- In the same pan, add the bell pepper and cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add back the chicken pieces and pour the thickened sauce over it. Add the 1/4 cup of peanuts and scallions and stir well to combine.
- Garnish with the remainde