Peanut allergies in the house? No Worries
I love the flavor of the Kung Pao sauce but no one in my family likes the peanuts. SO the question is, does Kung Pao really need the nuts in order to be Kung Pao?
I had to research the origins of this dish to find out what the title actually means.
I found some discrepancies but learned that the name Kung Pao comes from the name of the man credited for the creation of the dish and not the actual contents.
So if you can’t eat or don’t like the nuts, leave ’em out. I do like the peanuts but the rest of the family does not so when I do make this with peanuts, I find them sitting on the edge of plates or a whole boatload left in the serving dish after we’ve finished dinner. Only the nuts are left.
If you have any leftovers and I am guessing you won’t, the nuts don’t reheat very well so when I do add nuts I use a small portion of nuts to satisfy my own palate.
Many Chinese stir fry recipes marinate the protein before cooking and this adds really great flavor to whatever stir fry you are making. It is a step you do not have to do but it really gives the meat or shrimp that *Wow* factor and tastes all the more authentic.
Eat more vegetables
I try to make a nice balance of vegetables to the meat in any stir fry so I used just 1/2 a red pepper as seen in pictures. Sometimes I guess right and other times not. You are the chef and you know what you and your family likes to eat. Chop up the whole pepper if you like lots of veggies or if you don’t think you will use it later.
This recipe calls for raw peanuts and then you blister them with the red peppers. You can use roasted peanuts if that is what you can find and just add them when you add the sauce to the pan.
Preparation of this dish may seem a little complicated so I recommend you break down the prep as I have done in the recipe below to keep it organized and easier to combine at the very end. Marinate the meat first, mix up the sauce ingredients and set aside and then prepare the seasonings. I like to cook the meat and vegetables separately because this keeps the vegetables crisper and keeps them from getting soggy with any excess oil from cooking or fat from the meat. I usually cook the vegetables then remove to a plate then cook the meat and then take the rest from there. You will figure out what works best for you.
I believe anyone can cook if you can follow a recipe. The key is finding the right recipe to follow because not all recipes are worth your time or effort. You can be sure that this one will knock your socks off!
Give a try and tell me what you think.
Kung Pao Chicken
- July 10, 2019
- 40 min
- Print this
- 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1/2 red pepper cut into thick strips or 1 inch squares
- 2 green onion white and green parts sliced thin
- 3 T oil for frying
- 2 T soy sauce
- 2T sake
- 1 t cornstarch
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2T minced ginger
- 2t red chili flakes or sriracha chili paste(more if you like heat) 1/3 c peanuts (optional)
- 1 c chicken broth
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 1/4 c sake
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 2 t sesame oil
- 3 t cornstarch
- Step 1
- Put chicken pieces into shallow dish and coat well with 1 t cornstarch.Mix the sake and soy sauce together and pour over the chicken pieces to marinate for at least 20 minutes
- Step 2
- Mix sauce ingredients together in a jar with a lid and shake to combine. Alternatively, use a medium bowl and a whisk to combine well
- Step 3
- Heat 1 T oil in heavy frying pan to medium high heat. When pan is hot add red pepper to pan and cook til blackened about 2 minutes each side. After first 2 minutes add peanuts to hot pan. shake the pan occasionally to cook nuts evenly. When peppers and nuts are nicely blistered and slightly blackened remove from pan to a dish.
- Step 4
- Add more oil to pan then add chicken pieces. Cook chicken, turning at least once, until no pink remains -about 7 minutes
- Step 5
- Add garlic, ginger and chili pepper to pan and cook til fragrant about 30 seconds
- Step 6
- Add peppers and peanuts back to pan then pour the sauce over everything and cook until sauce thickens and bubbles a little about 1 minute
- Step 7
- Top with scallions and serve with rice