Kung Pao Chicken

You are going to have to trust me on this, as I lived several years in Taiwan, but carrots, celery or green pepper are not ingredients in this dish, no matter what you are being served in your favorite US Chinese restaurant. Chicken, peanuts, chilies and green onion only. Have the sauce made and the other ingredients prepped and ready – this dish cooks quickly. Serve with (or over) rice.

1 lb chicken (breast or thigh meat) raw, cubed
1/3 cup unsalted, skinned peanuts
2-10 dried red chilies (I use 10)
4 green onions, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces, (white & green parts)
oil for frying, peanut oil preferred


4 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoons corn starch
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons rice wine, Mirin or dry sherry (I use sherry)
1 tsp sugar

Make the sauce: In a bowl, mix the cornstarch into the water. Add the soy sauce, sherry and sugar. Stir to blend.

Use a flat bottomed non-stick skillet (or wok) and keep the flame pretty high throughout the approx. 5-7 minutes it takes to complete the dish. Heat the skillet and pour enough oil to coat bottom of skillet. Fry chilies until they begin to turn brown. Remove with slotted spoon to plate. In same oil, fry peanuts until they begin to turn brown and remove with slotted spoon to plate. In same oil, fry chicken cubes. Let the chicken cook until brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over all. Sauce will thicken very quickly – 30 seconds. (This is not a runny-sauce dish!) Add green onions; cook together less than a minute.  Add chilies and peanuts back to re-warm for a few seconds and serve with nice Jasmine rice.

Serves 4.