Frywall Fridays has returned! After a brief hiatus to spruce up our test kitchen (can you believe the reno ran late?! Who ever heard of contractors missing a deadline?!), we're back with a bang. Or rather a pao.
Kung Pao Chicken is a staple of Chinese restaurants in America, but don't be fooled. It's the real deal that traces back to China. The heat in the dish comes from fiery dried red chiles and the singular, mentholated bite of Sichuan peppercorns. Throw in some soy sauce for saltiness, a hint of honey for sweetness, and black vinegar and rice wine for sourness, and you have a balanced and aromatic dish that's done in under 30 minutes. But how spicy is it? Well, you decide. Use five chiles for relatively mild, ten chiles for relatively painful, fifteen chiles for call the relatives, I'm dying.
Sometimes comfort food is what we need and for that traditional egg salad –rich, creamy and always polite – can't be beat. Other times, we hanker after something badass, pungent, fiery, crispy, in-your-face. That's where this egg salad comes in. Think of it as discomfort food but the kind you can enjoy, like sweating in the sun after a long cold winter. And sweat you will from the chilis in this salad, though you'll keep fighting it to get at the sweet, garlicky, lime-infused dressing underneath. Along the way, you may fall in love with the salad's crisply fried egg, which is subjected to oil so hot it puffs up like a pastry. Try it the next time you're in the mood for a light meal with a heavy-duty experience.