Despite my obsession with crisps and chocolate I do try to have very healthy food at the house. It’s important to me to put good food into my family. But my husband, ahem, has made it known to me that I might go a little overboard in my endeavor.
Conor from One Man’s Meat posted a wonderful Kung Pao Chicken the other day that I wanted to try. Of course you need rice for this dish so off I went and bought brown rice. My husband inquired as to why I didn’t get white rice. I replied but brown rice is healthier. He just shook his head and let me know it’s ok to go crazy and have white rice! LOL
At any rate, I had most of the ingredients to give this dish a go. Could not find Schezwan peppercorns anywhere though so I had to use regular black peppercorns. Also, I stuck with amino acids for the soy sauce due to cutting out a lot of gluten in my diet.
Prep everything before you start cooking as it doesn’t take long to cook. Also, prep the rice as well.
Coarsely chop 3-4 cloves of garlic and about an inch and a half(3-4cm) of fresh ginger. Slice the about 2 scallions into inch (2-3cm) slices and the chilies about half that size. Depending on how hot you want your dish, you can deseed the chilies or leave them in. Because we didn’t have the Schezwan peppercorns I left the seeds in the dish.
Because I was making this dish for two I used two small chicken breasts. In a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of the amino acid, 1 tablespoon of Mirin (rice cooking wine), a tablespoon of corn flour, and about 1/2 a tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper. Coat the chicken and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix 3 tablespoons of amino acid, a teaspoon of corn flour, the garlic, ginger, and chilies. Set aside. Heat up the wok with 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. When the oil is good and hot fry a heaping 1/2 cup of peanuts. If you have peanuts that haven’t been dry roasted use those. The ones we have on hand were already dry roasted but they worked fine. These will not take long to fry so keep an eye on them. Once golden brown set aside.
Add a bit more oil if needed then cook the chicken. If you are doing more chicken than I did then doing it in batches would be a good idea.
Add the sauce with the ginger and garlic and most of the scallions. I have to admit this is when it started looking different from Conor’s as his pictures show a lot more sauce than mine. I read it and reread it and I followed the amounts. So if this happens to you add equal amounts of the amino acid and Mirin to increase the sauce being careful to keep the balance of the flavours.
Once it is the chicken is cooked through serve immediately over the rice.
We really enjoyed it. The heat was really balanced with the flavours. And it’s a dish that is easily adjusted to make it milder or hotter depending on your taste. My drink of choice for this dish was a lovely Mexican Mule, the ginger was a great pairing.