Gong Bao Shrimp or Chicken
Serves 3 - 4
This is the dish that made me fall in Iove with Chinese cuisine in the first place and it’s something we always always order when we go out for Chinese. Gong Bao Ji Ding or Kung Pao Chicken is sweet, sour, spicy and everything Sichuan food should be. It’s quick and super-easy to make and the best part is all ingredients are readily available at most large supermarkets in Singapore or in Chinese supermarkets in your country.
Like all wok-cooking, this popular stir-fry comes together within minutes, which is why prepping ahead is key. Get all the ingredients peeled and chopped, and the stir-fry sauce ready to go, before you get to the cooking part. Most Chinese restaurants deep-fry the marinated chicken in this recipe to give it a crispy-golden exterior. You can do so or simply stir-fry it like I have, to keep the dish on the healthier side.
A couple of things to remember,
1. I have had many students ask if they can skip frying peanuts/cashews, and replace them with roasted nuts instead? You can , however frying your own raw peanuts or cashew-nuts in this recipe is best; freshly fried nuts give a special flavor and crunch to the final product which roasted nuts don't.
2. DO NOT skip Sichuan chili peppers in this dish. These beautiful seed pods have very a unique aroma and flavor. With lemony undertones and tongue-numbing sensation, they are fabulous combined with hot chili peppers in any Sichuan dish. I often toast them lightly before grinding them using my mortar and pestle, and sprinkling them on French fries, YUM! They are easily available in plastic jars in most Chinese supermarkets.
Enjoy the recipe! And feel free to leave any questions in comments below.
Gong Bao Chicken Recipe Video
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Payal Thakurani is a cooking instructor, consulting chef, and author of the popular Southeast Asian cookbook “Curries for the Soul”. Originally based in Shanghai China, chef Payal has been in the food industry since 2012, working in training and brand development in central kitchens. She was also the proud owner of a cooking school and several food brands in Shanghai. She now lives in Singapore and heads Commune Kitchen in Downtown Gallery, where she hosts affordable, hands-on cooking classes for all ages.