Kung Pao Chicken is a dish known the world over for being ‘Chinese’ is actually pretty easy to make!
My first introduction to Kung Pao Chicken was through my favourite TV sitcom, ‘Friends’. Chinese ‘takeout’ always involved Chow Mein Noodles, or Kung Pao Chicken. I have no say on how it probably tasted, having never been to the US to try it.
However, the reference to Kung Pao Chicken as Chinese always made me wonder – is it that good? Probably not, as it’s typical takeout food. But what if I tried making it at home? So I started, like with other recipes I write, researching on the history of the dish, the ingredients that go in and how to best create it in my own kitchen.
I will say that (#ownselfsay but it’s true) that this is one of the best Chinese dishes to ever come out of my kitchen. I have made Chicken Rice and Chinese Dan Dan Noodles before, but nothing ever impressed my Chinese-food loving friends the way my Kung Pao Chicken did. So I thought it best to debut this dish for Chinese New Year this year, because why not?
An ancient dish
Kung Pao Chicken is actually a very old dish, native to China. It was created by an emperor for his love for Szechuan peppercorns. Those peppercorns were a mainstay ingredient in the original recipe. Although this dish was banned in China at some point, it has found new ways of survival all around the world and is quite popular today.
I know that there are 3 parts to the ingredients, and it may seem complicated. But stick with me – it is a lot easier than it looks! I hardly have recipes that require more than 10 ingredients, so you can trust me when I say this is an easy recipe, cooks well and tastes like a dream.