Kung pao chicken is one of my childhood food memories. When we ordered Chinese food, kung pao chicken was always one of them. Even though it is a very spicy dish, I loved it as a child. Unfortunately only a small fraction of the Dutch Chinese restaurants serve kung pao chicken, so when I moved, I could not order it any more. But one day I found a recipe online for kung pao chicken and figured out that that would be my childhood favourite (in Dutch it has a different name), so I searched around a little more, combined several recipes and decided to give it a try. It worked! It almost tasted like the dish from the restaurant, probably the only reason for the difference was not adding Ve-tsin.
Kung Pao Chicken (2 servings)
1 chicken breast, cubed
2 dried red peppers
1 tsp black pepper corns
1/2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 egg white (use yolk and remaining egg white for egg fried rice)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp rice wine
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup water
a hand full of cashews (or peanuts)
salt to taste
Optional: ve-tsin (MSG)
Mix for the marinade the corn starch with the egg white. Then add in the other ingredients and leave to marinate for a while (30 min).
Heat a nice layer of vegetable oil in a wok, heat until very hot. Add the chicken with the marinade, stir well. You will get some bits and pieces, that’s ok. Bake until the chicken is cooked (3-5 min), it will still be white, and put it aside in a bowl.
Heat in the same wok (don’t clean it) the rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well until all the bits and pieces stuck to the bottom are dissolved. Make a paste with the corn starch and some of the water, at this to the wok with the rest of the water and the cashews. Heat well, add the chicken back in and season with salt to taste.
Egg fried rice (2 servings)
2 servings of cooked, cooled rice (preferably from the day before)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp sambal
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1-2 eggs (use the remaining egg from the kung pao chicken)
Optional: spring onion
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Fry the sambal in the oil. Add the rice, flatten it to get the lumps out, bake for a while, scoop, bake again, scoop again. But don’t stir too much, or the rice will not have enough time to get the crispy bits you want! Add the soy sauce before stirring.
Make a well in the rice, add the egg, cook slightly, scoop, and bake until dry/crisp. Optional: garnish with spring onion.