Tuesday, March 20, 2018
My Simple Kung Pao
Chinese black ‘Chinkiang’ vinegar is a really lovely ingredient but if you don’t have it already, use rice vinegar, sherry or red wine vinegar instead. It’s not worth buying a bottle, especially for this recipe.
enough for 2
takes: 15 minutes + marinating
450g (1lb) chicken
1 tablespoon soy sauce + 2 tablespoons for sauce
4-6 fresh or dried red chilies
1 tablespoon Chinkiang black vinegar
2 green onions (scallions), chopped
steamed rice or cauliflower ‘rice’, to serve
1. Slice chicken into bite-sized strips and place in a bowl with 1 tablespoon soy. Cover and stand for a few minutes or if possible refrigerate for a few hours but no longer than 24.
2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan or wok. Add half the chicken and cook, stirring until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Place cooked chicken in a clean bowl and add the remaining chicken and the chili. Continue to stir-fry
3. When the second batch of chicken is browned and cooked through. Return the first batch of chicken to the pan. Stir.
4. Remove from the heat and add the additional 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the vinegar and stir well. Taste and add more soy or vinegar if you think it needs it.
5. Serve chicken on a bed of rice (or cauliflower ‘rice’ – raw cauliflower grated in the food processor) with green onions sprinkled on top.
optional extras – handful roast peanuts, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar to marinate the chicken and another to finish the sauce.
vegetarian/vegan – replace chicken with firm tofu or use diced eggplant (add a little water and allow extra time for the eggplant to cook).
more veg – serve with steamed or stir-fried Asian greens such as bok choy or Chinese broccoli on the side. I usually dress the greens with a little sesame oil. Steamed broccoli or broccolini is another lovely accompaniment. Or in Springtime consider asparagus.
no Chinkiang vinegar – use rice vinegar, sherry or red wine vinegar instead. It’s not worth buying a bottle, especially for this recipe unless you are a vinegar-while like me and are keen to add something new to your collection.
less hot – 6 chilies should make it pretty punchy, like ‘pao’! If you prefer less heat, use fewer chilies and remove the seeds. Or just skip the chili.