Delicious Kung Pao Chicken and other Chinese soul food

Learn how to make Kung Pao Chicken with Hsiao-Ching Chou, author of the cookbook Chinese Soul Food.

Learn how to make Kung Pao Chicken with Hsiao-Ching Chou, author of the cookbook Chinese Soul Food.

Hsiao-Ching shows us how to make a satisfying meal and chats about her cookbook.

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe:

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon bean sauce, plus more as needed

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1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry Marsala wine

2 teaspoons chili sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

½ teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns (optional)

1 pound chicken thighs, cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 cup diced sweet bell peppers (about 1-inch dice)

2 stalks green onions, finely chopped

¼ cup Huang Fei Hong Hot Chili Pepper Peanuts, or roasted unsalted peanuts

Kosher salt

  1. To make the sauce, in a small bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, bean sauce, ginger, wine, chili sauce, sugar, garlic, and peppercorns. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, put the chicken and soy sauce, and stir to combine. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  3. Preheat a wok over high heat until wisps of smoke rise from the surface. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Add the chicken and, using a spatula, spread it into a single layer in the wok. Sear the chicken for 10 to 15 seconds, then stir-fry for 1 minute, or until the chicken is nearly cooked through. Remove the wok from the heat, transfer the chicken to a small bowl, and set aside. Rinse the wok and dry with a towel.
  4. Return the wok to the stove over high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Add the bell peppers, and stir for about 1 minute, or until the peppers begin to soften. Add the onions, peanuts, and chicken, and stir for a few seconds to combine. Add the sauce, and stir-fry thoroughly to distribute. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce has had a chance to meld with the other ingredients. Add a dash of salt or an additional teaspoon bean sauce, to taste, then stir-fry for a few seconds to combine. Serve with steamed rice.
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