Sunday, July 31, 2011


God forbid..... (that I would ever need to be executed). 

I would be an executioner's worst nightmare. I would never be able to choose my death dish. It would have to be a toss between so many dishes. My ethnic Malay Sambal Belacan and Fried Salted Fish with white rice, a Western Chocolate Anything and now a Chinese Kung Pao Chicken dish. 

And this is all Terri's fault. Her Kung Pao Chicken was just too mouth watering to ignore. I couldn't shake it off no matter how hard I hit my head on the kitchen sink........ Or was it the stove? Anyway.....

This. Was. So. Good. 

I followed Terri's detailed instructions to a T. I did everything she demanded that one should do. On my own initiative I had read Kung Pao Chicken recipe five times....then.... all the whys and the hows and the why nots. It was pure prep, chemistry and finally execution (pun not intended). Terri and A Daily Obsession remains my repository for Chinese cooking. Period.

N took one bite of the Kung Pao Chicken, looked at me and begun to nod.....slowly but surely. I stared back into two pools of dark eyes and saw drool.

The recipe ~

The only thing I would do to improve my Kung Pao Chicken would be to add little more stock or water or increase the ingredients for the sauce. So that I would have more Kung Pao sauce. 

This Kung Pao Chicken wasn't fiery because I had gotten rid of the seeds in the dried chillies. That reduced the heat by quite a bit and by my insane standards the sichuan pepper wasn't that hot either. I had also replaced rice wine with 1 1/2 tsp of sugar instead. And I added some squares of yellow sweet peppers. Hence the spice meter of this dish was just right for some of my family members who cannot tolerate spicy food.

Kung Pao Chicken ~ by Terri of A Daily Obsession

250 gm skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 - 2cm squares
3/4 cup dried chillies, cut into 3 cm lengths
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
3/4 cup leek, cut diagonally into 2 cm lengths
1/2 cup yellow pepper, cut into chunks
1 large handful of roasted peanuts
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp of finely chopped ginger

Chicken marinade :

2 tsp cornflour
1 small egg white
a dash of pepper
]2 T rice wine (I used 1 1/2 tsp sugar instead)
1/4 tsp salt

Sauce ingredients :

1/2 T rice vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 1/2 - 2 T dark soy sauce
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 T stock or water
1/2 tsp cornflour

Cut chicken breasts into chunks, 1.5 - 2 cm squares. Massage chicken marinade into the chicken pieces with your hands and leave in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Heat 1 cup of vegetable oil in a hot pan and fry chicken pieces in one layer at high heat. When chicken turns white at the sides, turn over and stir. Do not overcook (1 minute only) Remove chicken.

Pour away oil into a ceramic dish for later use. But leave 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok. 

Fry chillies on very low heat in the oil until crispy. Make sure it doesn't burn by making sure the heat is very low. Scoop up and keep aside.

Pour away oil because this oil would be too hot(spicy) to re-use. 

Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil from frying the chicken to the same wok. Throw in the leeks until they turn a bright green. Take out immediately and keep aside.

Add minced garlic and ginger, sichuan pepper to wok and stir a few seconds and fragrant. Pour the sauce mixture in , stirring all the time until the sauce gets dark thick and the sugar in it caramelizes. Add the chicken, leeks and stir quickly and lastly add peanuts. 

Serve  hot with white rice.

Spice up your life and I wish you a lovely day ~


Passionate About Baking said...

What a great idea to add peanuts! I've always like kung bao chicken! You're really good in everything, including chinese food too! :)

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks droolworthy! I need one more bowl of steamed rice!

pam said...

This looks way better than any I have seen in a restaurant!!!

La Table De Nana said...

I agree about sauce:) This kind..not gravy:)

Looks great Zurin!

3 hungry tummies said...

Looks delicious Zurin! Try using Chinese black vinegar when you cook this next. It will add more complexity to the dish :)

Sashquatch said...

This looked good enough for me to want to check it out, but after your absolutely glowing review i am positively dying to try it! Unfortunately i am missing a few of the ingredients but im saving the recipe to hopefully give a shot someday soon :)

Deana Sidney said...

great gorgeous dish... I love kung pao chicken and you did a great job with it... love the szechuan pepper in it. I totally see why you wanted it for your last meal!

DK said...

Your photos usually make my mouth water, but this is another realm altogether. I have a large jar of sichuan pepper that I've been meaning to find more uses for (usually just gets ground and added to stir-fry or egg rolls around here) and this one looks so. darn. good.

Jihane @ Sinful Sundays said...

Awesomeness. Looks so much better than restaurant stuff. Your pictures are gorgeous too. :)

terri@adailyobsession said...

hi zurin, thanks for the shout-out! so happy tt you cooked this. i absolutely think this is one of my best dishes:~ did i tell you i served it to a top french chef last week n he asked for the recipe. from the photos, you've done the dish even better. looks truly yummy, so good i'm flying over for dinner:)

terri@adailyobsession said...

about the sauce, it looks like you've overcooked it slightly. yes, do add a bit more stock or do not cook the sauce for so long, cook just enough to thicken it. do not add more than the amt of cornflour stated. you can sub the rice vinegar with black vinegar but i find tt it brings in too much pungent flavor, like how shao xin wine clouds up some dished compared to rice wine but taste is a personal thing so you can try n see what you prefer.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I cook this recently too, we love this dish too!

Zurin said...


yes ur right I think I cooked the sauce for a little too long... i really wanted to make sure it my overzealous way :P....but it was still fantastic...m cooking it again today for buka puasa...:)

Anonymous said...

This is a dish I was served everywhere in china and yours looks really authentic.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Zurin- I really have to try this out. It does look so mouthwatering... a bowl of rice, and I believe we can all die happy having that as our last meal :)

Jane said...

Beautiful! Each dish you post is more wonderful than the next.

Tasty Trix said...

Omg, you TOTALLY should have joined our International Incident Sichuan party!! This would have been the perfect dish to bring! I love the rich color ...

Through My Kitchen Window said...

Wow wee! I could tuck into your beautiful plate right now. Well executed Zurin! And thanks to Terri too. Just when I thought it's not possible for you to better your photos there you go again. Those shots are an absolute masterpiece. They would sit beautifully on any page of any fancy cookbook or mag out there. Truly - I mean it! Mariana xx

Kellyfornia said...

Hey Zurin, this dish looks amazing ! In fact, I'm planning on cooking this for a Muslim friend this weekend. Is rice wine halal ? :)

Thanks Zurin <3

Zurin said...

Hi Kelly Anissa,

perhaps you shd sub rice wine with sugar like I did :))) ..if its for a muslim friend.

Ninette said...

That looks fantastic, Zurin! My mouth is watering. Thanks for stopping by my blog. My heart smiled when I saw your name.

Kelsey said...

This looks incredible. I've got to try my hand at it soon!

Kate said...

I love the look of this dish, how wonderful. Beautiful photography too!

Sarah-Jane - said...

Zurin - I'll email you in a few minutes. Excuse my photos, but I thought you might like to see that I've made this and just put it on my blog.....

loads of love x


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