Kung Pao chicken


  • Serves 4 people

"I'm a longtime GT subscriber and fan. My fiancé is obsessed with the Kung Pao chicken from Mr Wong in Sydney. He keeps trying to replicate it every time he goes near the kitchen. The results haven't been too bad, but he isn't happy with them, which means further experimentation. Would you please ask for the recipe so we can move on to something else?" Jules Clancy, Cooma, NSW

To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au. Please include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Lao Gan Ma chilli oil (see note)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, white part only, cut into 3cm lengths
  • 80 gm soy paste (see note)
  • 6 garlic chives, cut into 3cm lengths
  • 6 dried long red chillies, coarsely crumbled
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp Chinkiang black vinegar (see note)
  • ½ tsp ground Sichuan pepper
  • To serve: steamed Chinese greens and steamed rice
  • Marinated chicken
  • 25 ml Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chicken powder (optional; see note)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 500 gm chicken thighs (about 4 skinless, boneless thighs), cut into 2cm dice
01   For marinated chicken, combine Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, chicken powder and sugar in a non-reactive container. Add chicken, stir to coat and refrigerate to marinate for at least 2 hours.
02   Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add chicken in batches and stir-fry until caramelised (5-6 minutes), then transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe out wok with absorbent paper, then add remaining oil, chilli oil and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds). Add spring onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Return chicken to pan, add soy paste, garlic chives, chillies, sugar, vinegar and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry until chicken is cooked through (5-6 minutes). Serve hot with steamed greens and rice.

Note Mr Wong chefs prefer to use the Lao Gan Ma brand of chilli oil and the Kimlan brand of soy paste. Lao Gan Ma chilli oil, soy paste, Chinkiang black vinegar and chicken powder are available from select Asian grocers.

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