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Recipe for :

Kung Pao Chicken or Chicken with Peanuts
 

This is one of the recipes from Mrs Susie. If you want to find out more about her have a look at her biography page which she has written. Mrs Susie specialises in Oriental cooking. An important first step in Oriental cooking (which I think is important) is at the end of each recipe.

"This quick stir fry is one of the most popular exports from the region of Szechwan. Charred dried chili peppers give breathtaking fire to tender morsels of chicken. In China, the peppers are eaten with the chicken, but unless you like hot food, you may prefer to set them aside.

Watch the chili peppers closely as they cook. If they burn, they release potent volatile oils which sting the nose and eyes. I have included a variation using ground fresh chili paste for those who choose to use it instead of charring the peppers".

Ingredients

1 tbs. dry sherry and
1 tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and cut into bite size pieces
4 tbs.'s salad oil
2 - 4 small, dry hot chili peppers or 1/2 - 1 tsp. of ground fresh chili paste*
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1 tsp. minced garlic and
1 tsp. fresh ginger
2 whole green onions, cut into pieces the same size as the peanuts

Cooking Sauce:
In a bowl, combine 2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. white wine vinegar
1 tbs. dry sherry
3 tbs. chicken broth or water
2 tsp. sugar and
2 tsp. cornstarch

Method

  • In a bowl, combine sherry, cornstarch, salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken and stir to coat, then stir in one 1 tbs. of the oil and let stand for 15 minutes or longer to marinate.
  • Prepare the cooking sauce and set aside.
  • Heat a wok or wide fry pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add 1 tbs. of the oil.
  • Add whole peppers and peanuts and cook, stirring, until peppers just start to char. If peppers completely turn black, discard and begin again.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tbs. of oil to pan and increase heat to high.
  • When oil begins to heat, add garlic and ginger. Stir once, then add chicken and stir fry until chicken is opaque (about 3 minutes).
  • Add peppers, peanuts, and onions to pan.**
  • Stir cooking sauce and add to pan and cook stirring, until sauce bubbles and thickens.

Note:*
If it is more convenient for you, ground fresh chili paste may be used instead of hot chili peppers. Skip the step of charring peppers and peanuts.

Note:**
Add the ground chili paste with the addition of the onions and peanuts

Serves 4 - 6

Enjoy!
Mrs Susie

"I have studied oriental cooking quite a bit and the one thing that makes it different from other styles of cooking is: it is 90% preparation and 10% cooking. It is very important to have everything in the recipe already prepared for cooking before you start cooking.

I take a plate and cut up my ingredients as called for in the recipe and place them on different parts of the plate. Only then do I think about cooking. I will put my oil in the pan and, as the things are called for in the recipe, I will sweep them into whatever pan I am cooking with, cook for as long as called for, then add the next ingredient.

Oriental cooking happens so fast. To stop and cut up the garlic (for example) if I had the ginger cooking in the pan would result in burnt ginger before the garlic is finished.

When I am cooking a ten or fifteen course dinner you should see my kitchen. I have plates all over and all my sauces mixed in bowls and everything is ready to cook before I start cooking. This is the right way to do it and necessary to have a well-timed dinner.

Another thing, get yourself a good cleaver that will not rust. You will be surprised how much you will use this for all your cooking, not just oriental cooking. Do yourself a favor and get a good one. I think I paid $20 for mine but again that was 20 years ago".

 
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