Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken

The author of the blog Taste of Home Cooking has been hosting some great recipe swaps. I participated in the pasta swap a few weeks ago and made this recipe - Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola. This week the theme is Asian recipes. I shared my Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps recipe, and was given a recipe for Kung Pao Chicken originally posted here on the blog Innochka's Kitchen. I will post a link to the recipe roundup once the swap is complete.

I love cooking Asian inspired stir fry meals - lots of flavor and usually quick and easy. When I reviewed my recipe for the swap, I saw that it would be a great weeknight meal, so I made it tonight. I made a few changes to the recipe, noted below.


  • 2 chicken breast, chopped into cubes
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Crushed red pepper flakes; I didn't use these. Instead, I used one tbsp of chili-garlic paste and was happy with this change.
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar; I used about 1/2 tsp, if that
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice; I should have trusted my instincts - this didn't work in the dish at all. I won't use it next time.
  • Added: 1/2 onion, chopped. 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • Next time will add (at the suggestion of my husband) bean sprouts
  • Oil; I used about 2 tbsp olive oil
Directions - in my own words
  • Marinate the chicken in 2 tbsp soy sauce. I did this while I was prepping everything else, so about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine water, cornstarch, sugar, 4 tbsp soy sauce, chili-garlic paste, and lemon juice (note - I don't recommend the lemon juice) in a small bowl.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat
  • Add the chicken and cook about 6 minutes
  • Add the onions and peppers, cook another 2 minutes
  • Add the water mixture, lower heat, and let simmer 10-15 minutes.
I served the chicken over thin spaghetti (spaghetti works well as a substitute for Asian noodles sometimes!) and with a side of sugar snap peas sauteed with fresh garlic.

We both really liked this dish, except for the lemon juice - not sure what the purpose of the lemon juice is in the recipe, but I wouldn't use it again. We did both have seconds, and finished everything in the pan! Sorry dad, no leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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