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KUNG PAO CHICKEN INSPIRED BY SEINFELD

cook:

40 min

Picture for Kung Pao Chicken inspired by Seinfeld

1,997,640 views  This week, we're returning to the fictional land of New York City, where a sweating George Costanza proudly exclaims (in the third person) that he likes his chicken spicy. That chicken? Kung pao, a Chinese-American take on a traditional spicy Szechuan dish. I think. Either way, it's super-good, and warrants a couple practice runs!

4 servings

US

original

metric

INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken Marinade

12 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1/2” cubes

1 egg white

1 tbsp water

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce, preferably dark

1 tbsp Shaoxing vinegar (or rice vinegar)

2 tsp cornstarch

¼ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp white pepper

For the Kung Pao Sauce

1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

½ tsp kosher salt

1 ½ tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing vinegar

2 tbsp Black vinegar

1 tsp granulated chicken boullion powder

1 tbsp chili bean paste/sauce

For the Kung Pao Chicken

As needed peanut oil

¾ cup raw peanuts, shelled + skin removed

½ cup Sichuan peppercorns

Marinated Chicken

9 Tien Tsin peppers, chile japones, or chiles de árbol, stem + seeds removed + roughly chopped

7 green onions (whites only), cut into 1” segments

1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled + minced (not grated)

4.5 garlic cloves, minced

Kung Pao Sauce

DIRECTIONS

1.

For the Chicken Marinade

1.

Combine the chicken, egg white, and water in a medium bowl.

12 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1/2” cubes

1 egg white

1 tbsp water

2.

Using a gloved hand, combine the ingredients and massage the chicken. The result should be a thickened paste which encompasses the chicken.

3.

Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch, salt, and white pepper. Once again, stir and massage the chicken until well combined and thickened.

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce, preferably dark

1 tbsp Shaoxing vinegar (or rice vinegar)

2 tsp cornstarch

¼ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp white pepper

4.

Allow the chicken to marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

5.

For the Kung Pao Sauce

1.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

1 ½ tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

½ tsp kosher salt

2.

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, both vinegars, bouillon powder, water, chili bean paste (if using), and the cornstarch mixture.

1 ½ tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Shaoxing vinegar

2 tbsp Black vinegar

1 tsp granulated chicken boullion powder

1 tbsp chili bean paste/sauce

3.

Reserve until ready to use.

4.

For the Kung Pao Chicken

1.

Prepare your stove top with one large wok. Next to the wok, place a fine mesh sieve into a deep saute pan, this will be used to strain the oil/ingredients thoroughout the cooking process.

2.

Add about ½ cup of peanut oil to a cold wok, then heat over high heat while swirling the oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, remove the oil from the wok. This helps temper the wok before cooking.

½ cup As needed peanut oil

3.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and add about 2 cups of new peanut oil to the wok.

2 cups As needed peanut oil

4.

Once the new oil has preheated, add the peanuts and cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute, or until they are completely crisp but not too dark. Make sure to stir the peanuts with a metal spoon or ladle to prevent them from burning.

¾ cup raw peanuts, shelled + skin removed

5.

Once the peanuts are crispy, strain and reserve the peanuts. Add the oil back to the wok.

6.

Add the sichuan peppercorns. Toast them in the oil for 30 seconds, making sure they don’t burn. Strain and discard the peppercorns. Transfer the now seasoned oil back to the wok.

½ cup Sichuan peppercorns

7.

Turn the heat to high, then add the chicken and cook for 30 seconds or until the chicken has turned completely opaque, but not cooked through. Strain the chicken out and add about ½ cup of the fry oil back to the wok.

Marinated Chicken

8.

Then, add the dried peppers/chiles and green onions to the wok and cook for 30 seconds. If the mixture gets too dry, add another more preanut oil as needed to the wok.

9 Tien Tsin peppers, chile japones, or chiles de árbol, stem + seeds removed + roughly chopped

7 green onions (whites only), cut into 1” segments

9.

Add the ginger and garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add the kung pao sauce, chicken, and peanuts back to the wok and stir to combine. Optionally, add more soy sauce or bean paste to deepen the color and flavor. Cook the stir fry for an additional 30 seconds to combine the flavors.

1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled + minced (not grated)

4.5 garlic cloves, minced

Kung Pao Sauce

10.

Serve immediately.

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