APPETIZER, SECOND COURSE

GONG BAO CHICKEN: STIR-FRIED CHICKEN CUBES AND VEGETABLES

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Gong Bao chicken, also called Kung Pao chicken, is a simple stir-fry dish of chicken cubes, vegetables, peanuts and spices. It combines spicy and savory flavors with a hint of sweetness. Great as an appetizer to go with beer or a bubble drink.

Pollo Gong Bao, un piatto Ottimo come antipasto da accompagnare con una birra o uno spumante.

A POPULAR DISH ALL OVER CHINA

Well-known as a Sichuanese dish, this chicken based stir-fry dish has gone far beyond and been adapted into local flavors in different provinces.

The original name was called after the title of the inventor: Ding Baozhen.

Mr. Ding served this dish to the guests during the dinner he hosted. Because he was the “Taizi Shaobao” (the palace officer in charge of the safety and security of the crowned prince) which was also called Gong Bao (宫保) in short. So this dish was called Gong Bao’s chicken (宫保鸡丁)

Later this dish had spread out into other provinces. Legend said it was because Mr. Ding moved around due to his work and brought the dish with him. But it was obvious that wherever this dish went, it managed to stay and integrate to the local tastes.

Based on the adapted recipes, people have renamed this dish differently: certain regions named it Savory stir-fry of chicken; some call it spicy chicken stir-fry. From the adapted names, we can easily tell which flavor is emphasised.

A DISH BROUGHT ME TO ROME

Last week I was invited to join a show cooking event La Valigia in Rome. La Valigia is a series of on-the-move cooking events, having chefs/ cooks from different countries showing their home dishes. Each episode is held in a chosen city featuring a chef/ cook to showcase his/ her country dishes.

The founder Francesca Filippone, who had lived in China for over 10 years, has decided to make the first episode in Rome themed Chinese dishes. I was honored to be the “first chef” and prepared three dishes during the event. Gong Bao chicken was one of them.

La Valigia è una splendida iniziativa itinerante che porta eventi culinari in giro per l'Italia, lezioni di cucina dove gli 'studenti' diventano invitati alla cena che hanno contribuito a cucinare.
Photo by @francescogirardi_masterchef12

During the show, we had prepared Gong Bao chicken with scallion pancakes, accompanied with a side dish of cucumber salad.

It was a perfect dish to make, especially because the Gong Bao chicken was born to treat guests.

in the following recipe, I have used the dried chili peppers to follow the Sichuanese version. Feel free to reduce or eliminate it as you preferred.

GONG BAO CHICKEN: STIR-FRIED CHICKEN CUBES AND VEGETABLES (宫保鸡丁)

Recipe by Sasha WangCourse: APPETIZER, SECOND COURSECuisine: Sichuan, ChinaDifficulty: Low
Servings

4

persons
Preparation

18

minutes
Cooking

10

minutes

Gong Bao chicken, also called Kung Pao chicken, is a simple stir-fry dish of chicken cubes, vegetables, peanuts and spices. It combines spicy and savory flavors with a hint of sweetness. Great as an appetizer to go with beer or a bubble drink.

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken + Marinade
  • Chicken: 500g

  • Light soy sauce: 3 tbsp

  • Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp

  • Oyster sauce: 2 tbsp

  • Sichuan pepper powder: 1 tsp

  • Corn starch: 2 tbsp

  • Sunflower oil: 2 tbsp

  • Vegetables + Spices
  • Cucumber (peeled): 200g

  • Carrot (peeled): 100g

  • Scallion: 1

  • Ginger: 3 slices

  • Garlic: 3 cloves

  • Dried red chilli pepper: 10g

  • Peanuts (toasted & skin peeled): 50g

  • The sauce
  • Light soy sauce: 2 tbsp

  • Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp

  • Sugar: 1/2 tbsp

  • Shaoxing wine (or white wine): 1 tbsp

  • Balsamic vinegar: 1.5 tbsp

  • Corn starch: 2 tbsp

  • Water: 2 tbsp

Preparation

  • Cut the chicken into small cubes and mix with all the rest ingredients listed in group "Chicken + Marinade". Leave to marinate for 15-20 minutes.Taglia il pollo in cubetti e mescolali con gli altri ingredienti nel gruppo “pollo e la marinata”. Lascia per 15-20 minuti.Taglia il pollo in cubetti e mescolali con gli altri ingredienti nel gruppo “pollo e la marinata”. Lascia per 15-20 minuti.
  • Cut the cucumbers and carrots into cubes.Taglia il cetriolo e le carote in cubetti..
  • Cut the scallion into pieces; slice the garlic and ginger; chop the dried red chilli pepper into small pieces.
  • Put all ingredients listed in group "The sauce" in a bowl and mix them evenly.noccioline, la salsa e le spezie per Pollo Gong Bao
  • Heat up the wok with 2 tbsp of sunflower oil. Put the chicken into the wok and stir-fry on medium fire for 1 minute. Then take the meat out.
  • Add some more oil if necessary, and put the scallion, garlic, ginger and red chilly pepper into the wok. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.versa il cipollotto, l'aglio, lo zenzero ed i peperoncini secchi. Fai saltare per 30 secondi.
  • Add the cucumbers and carrots into the wok. Stir-fry for 1 minute.Aggiungi il cetriolo e le carote. Fai saltare per 1 minuto.
  • Return the chicken to the wok and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add in the sauce.
  • Lower the fire and continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens and covers evenly on all ingredients.Abbassa il fuoco e continua a saltare fino a che la salsa è diventata più spessa ed ha equamente coperto gli ingredienti.
  • Add the peanuts into the wok and mix everything. Serve it hot.POLLO GONG BAO: CUBETTI DI POLLO E VERDURE SALTATI

VIDEO RECIPE

un piatto perfetto per l'occasione visto che originariamente il Pollo Gong Bao nasce (oltre che per sfamare) anche per accudire i propri ospiti.

When you prepare this dish, don't forget to SHARE IT on your social media using hashtag #cinaintavola and TAG ME @cinaintavola. FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube to stay in touch!

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