Kung Pao Chicken
Chicken: Cut the chicken into 2cm pieces. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl, add the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside if cooking immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Sauce: Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.
To cook: Heat the oil in a wok or large sauté pan until hot. Add the chicken in batches and stir-fry until the chicken separates and is cooked through. Transfer to a plate as it’s cooked. Add a little more oil to the pan between batches as needed. Add the chillis, ginger and garlic and fry for a few seconds until fragrant. Don’t let them catch and
burn. Return the chicken to the pan and combine. Give the sauce a stir and tip into the pan, tossing and stirring until the sauce is thick and glossy and everything is well coated. Add half the spring onions and nuts and mix through.
To serve: Transfer the chicken to a serving bowl and top with the remaining spring onions and nuts. Serves 4
A favourite dish of a 19th century Qing Dynasty governor of Sichuan, Ding Baozhen, this quick stir-fry is wonderfully succulent when made with chicken thighs. Black rice vinegar, Shaoxing cooking wine: see Glossary page 138
Julienne: see Kitchen Notes page 141
COOK’S TIP: Break the chillis in half and shake out the seeds as these give the most heat, but leave them in if you want a really fiery dish!