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recipes, cookery, food, cooking vacations
Pao Chicken or Chicken with Peanuts
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.
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.
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".
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
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
a bowl, combine sherry, cornstarch, salt and
chicken and stir to coat, then stir in one
1 tbs. of the oil and let stand for 15 minutes
or longer to marinate.
the cooking sauce and set aside.
a wok or wide fry pan over medium heat. When
pan is hot, add 1 tbs. of the oil.
whole peppers and peanuts and cook, stirring,
until peppers just start to char. If peppers
completely turn black, discard and begin again.
from pan and set aside.
remaining 2 tbs. of oil to pan and increase
heat to high.
oil begins to heat, add garlic and ginger.
Stir once, then add chicken and stir fry until
chicken is opaque (about 3 minutes).
peppers, peanuts, and onions to pan.**
cooking sauce and add to pan and cook stirring,
until sauce bubbles and thickens.
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
Add the ground chili paste with the addition
of the onions and peanuts
4 - 6
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.
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.
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
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.
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".