In the Sichuan Province where this dish supposedly originated, Kung Pao Chicken is usually eaten with rice. I like it either way, mixed with pasta or over rice. I first came across Kung Pao Chicken absurdly in the US, Panda Express most likely but many of the Chinese restaurants would have it on their menu. In fact, even the place just across our apartment, where we always order take out, have it. Since then, it has become one of my favorites and when I came back to the Philippines some 20 years ago, I found out that it was practically unknown then. So I soon forgot about it until a few years ago when it finally caught on here. Some establishments (CPK, I think and recently KFC) came out with their own version, introducing it as a pasta dish even – to my delight.
The sauce has soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine, sesame oil, garlic, chili and sugar, making the dish sweet, sour, salty and spicy. While I love the dish, I never attempted making it at home until recently. If you have all the ingredients (which could be a handful) it is a relatively undemanding dish (with a lot of flavor to boot) that’s made even easier with this.
Have it over rice or with pasta, up to you. I am all for cooking from scratch but some days really calls for a meal in a snap. This is a great pick for a stressful day – I just followed the recipe at the back of the pack. Experimenting is for another day as I can imagine it absolutely wonderful with shrimps and rice.
Chicken Kung Pao
What you’ll need:
- 225g Clara Ole Kung Pao-style Pasta Sauce
- 250g pasta of your choice
- 150g chicken breast, cubed
- Peanuts, salted or unsalted, with or without garlic
- Spring onions (optional)
- Salt to taste
Here’s what to do:
- Sauté chicken in oil. Season with salt.
- Add in peanuts and cook for a few minutes.
- Pour in the Kung Pao sauce and cook until heated through.
- Toss in pasta and the spring onions.
Yes, that simple and very flavorful too.
*Note: I only made half of the recipe.