Kung Pao Chicken, which consists of wok fried chicken pieces, tangy herbs and most specifically worth mentioned – the vital sapid spicy sauce, is absolutely a true well-known Chinese cuisine mainstay.
Kung Pao Chicken, which originally named Gōngbǎo Jīdīng (宫保鸡丁), was descended from Sichuan, a southwest province in China.
Kung Pao is said to be an innovation of Din Bao Zhen, a governor-general of Sichuan Province under Emperor Guangxu rule. From a home dish of the Din’s family, Gongbao Jiding soon diffused rapidly in locals.
After Din Bao Zhen passed away, he was honored by the government for his remarkable achievements throughout years on active duty. His honorary is one of the “Gong Bao” titles provided that time. That’s why the very genuine chicken that he had created before was also named after that.
Kung Pao Chicken is originally an authentic Chinese dish, that was westernized later when introduced into the US. Therefore, it is sure much older than General Tso’s Chicken.
Poles apart from Kung Pao, General Tso was actually rooted in the Upper East side of the US (New York City), then spread out among Chinese restaurants all across America in those 1980s. That should make some sense as General Tso’s Chicken is pretty popular here. I suppose everybody who’s been at a Chinese food store in this country could also have bumped into it once.
Pretty much a surprising fact: At the first place, the native Chinese didn’t know a thing about how General Tso’s Chicken was generated – at least not until US chefs bring it to China.
Both of these two require boneless chicken cut into cubes or small pieces. But distinct from the unique hot and spicy flavor of Kung Pao, General Tso is much sweeter and less spicy, and of course, with a brighter-colored sticky sauce (often more orange-ish than Kung Pao’s dark brown sauce). There’s also no peanut in General Tso’s Chicken ever.
After westernized, Kung Pao Chicken came out with many more variations. Sichuan pepper is swapped out for prevalent domestic ingredients such as zucchini or red/green bell pepper (which I used in this recipe). As a result, the dish (or more like, the sauce) tastes much less spicy but sweeter in contrast.
Sweet but sour, yet starchy and a bit intense at the top of your tongue but not too saucy, Kung Pao Chicken’s balancing taste is what hooks people up.
Of course it’s not out of line to eat it on its own. But in my opinion, though toned down quite a lot in comparison to the original, Kung Pao Chicken is still a bit too edgy to walk the way alone. Anyhow, siding it with steamed white rice, plainly cooked quinoa or a veggie salad is not too much of a venture trial sometime, right?
So I’ve seen people who equate Chinese foods with all the oily stuffs. My advice is – get that off, because now we grab the wok. Deep-frying no more.
As said, Kung Pao Chicken is the pick in Chinese repertoire thanks to the substantial contribution of the sauce base.
“Chicken” it is, but spices can not be taken negligibly here. Together with a few splashes of herbs like scallions, garlic and ginger, Kung Pao merely has the notorious qualities of Chinese cuisine.
While chilli furnishes the final touch of heat for the dish, the great balance between the ingredients is actually what foregrounds it all.
prep 5 mins
cook 35 mins
total 40 mins
yield 2 servings
If you or your dining mates can’t stand its considerable tanginess, slinging in more veggies might help flatten the flavor a little bit. Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy or carrots are nice choices here. After all, it takes no guts to go for a new alteration, you think?
For chicken breasts frying:
For the sauce:
For the veggies frying:
Step 1. Fry the chicken
If your kitchen happens to not having a wok around, using a regular frying pan or saucepan is totally fine.
Step 2. Prepare the sauce
Step 3. Fry the veggies
Step 4. Serve
Remember to stir constantly every time there are new ingredients added.