Kung Pao Chicken

Total time: 25 minutes
Serves 4 for dinner

You'll need:

Marinade for the chicken:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch

Sauté ingredients:

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  • 9 scallions, white parts only
  • 3/4 cups roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns
  • 5 to 12 Arbol chiles

For the sauce

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 3/4 tsp. corn starch
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (or Chinese black vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce

Cut the chicken in 1/2" cubes. Prepare the marinade by mixing the corn starch, rice wine, and soy sauce in a bowl. Place the cubed chicken in the bowl and mix so that the pieces are evenly coated. Set aside and allow to marinate 15-20 minutes while you prepare the sauté ingredients and sauce.

Cut the garlic into thin slices. Chop the ginger into fine matchsticks. Combine the ginger and garlic into a single small bowl. Cut the scallions into 1/2" pieces and place in small bowl along with the peanuts. Remove the seeds from the chiles and place in a bowl along with the Sichuan peppercorns. Next, prepare the sauce by mixing the sauce ingredients (honey, cornstarch, vinegar, rice wine, and soy sauce).

Heat a cast-iron skillet or wok over high heat. As the pan begins to heat, use a paper towel or brush to wipe a thin coating of oil onto the cooking surface. Place the Frywall into position. After a few minutes, the oil will begin to smoke.

Align all your ingredients and prep bowls within easy reach of your stovetop. Once hot, add 3 tablespoons of oil and then toss in the peppercorns and chiles. Cook for about 20 seconds and then add the chicken and cook on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. When the chicken has turned white on all sides, add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for or 30 seconds; add the peanuts and scallions and cook for another minute.

Next, add the sauce and stir-fry for another minute, making sure the chicken is thoroughly coated. Turn off the heat, remove the Frywall, and serve hot with white rice. Enjoy.