Kung Pao Chicken or Vegan

Disclaimer

Be sure to cook chicken thoroughly. Test internal temperature with a thermometer, and cook to at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

You have no right to sue me

I feel strongly that if you continue to read, you’re promising to not hold me accountable if you destroy your house or you set the temperature too high. Or you burn the ingredients, DO NOT Burn the ingredients.

Allergens

Wheat + soy in the Soy sauce only. Peanuts. According to this recipe you want peanuts on top at the end, but other nuts are okay. Peanut oil. My version of this uses some peanut oil too.

Step 1, preparation

An entire pineapple is too much for one meal. Portion it out and save most of it.

Slice a pineapple up into bite sized pieces. I do this first cause it’s essentially snacks.

Pineapple is totally optional. Nobody puts pineapple in kung pao. I don’t even put it in often. Canned pineapple is fine too if you get chunks.

Dice a bell pepper into bite sized fleshy pieces. Core & stem gone.

Slice the Jalapeno peppers.

Wash your hands with soap after messing around with the Jalapeno peppers.

Prep fresh legumes

Snow Peas, snap peas, and Green Beans.

(I know this is wasteful, but I like bite sized food, so I slice both ends off).

I add ginger, onions (green or red), and/or cabbage. Ginger is most important, and I tried freeze dried ginger with success.

The chicken breast should be cut bite size.

Step 2, cook

Rice first

Follow the instructions on the package. The rice I buy takes 25-35 minutes to cook.
Start a timer set the rice on simmer.

Red Rice and Black Rice

I swear by these rices, I take 2 TBSP of long grain brown rice and mix with 2 TBSP Red or Black rice (sometimes it’s called Thai Black Rice).
This is a relatively small portion, I’m diabetic and it’s for me, multiply it out if you want a ton.

Dried Red Peppers

If you’re feeling brave, you can add a couple, like 2 or 3 dried red peppers (cayenne or red Thai chili peppers).

Add oil

Add the oil to warm it up first. Medium heat. If it starts smoking, turn the heat down. 2-4 TBSP of cooking oil. (I use pure sesame oil and peanut oil mixed 50/50)

Start Chicken (No for Vegan)

When the timer is up to 5-10 minutes start the chicken. Cook this stuff at medium heat or even medium-high. If it starts splattering or smoking, it’s too hot.

Vegan

When the timer is up to 25 minutes (or use a quicker cooking rice, we’re just waiting for rice to cook). Turn the heat on and heat the cooking oil.

Stir Chicken

Give the chicken more time to cook, but make sure it’s not burning or turning brown and crunchy.

Rice check

Adjust temperature based on how much water there is. If the water is gone, I take it off the heat.

Add Sauce

1/2 tablespoon of chili paste (that’s not how much I use, but I don’t want to encourage anybody to use a lot), 2-4 TBSP Soy Sauce
Let that heat a little bit with the oil.

Chili paste

The chili paste can be added after it’s all cooked. Omit the dried red peppers, and just make stir fry and dole out the chili paste on the side to whoever wants it. (Stir Fry)

Stir

Add remaining veggies: Legumes, Green Pepper, Green Onion, Jalapenos, Cabbage

Stir

Add pineapple & corn starch. Corn starch is tricky, some people mix with water first, work other magic, I just put a spoonful in and mix it up.

Wait 2-3 minutes. Add Peanuts. FEAST!!!!

Ingredients and Measurements

Sauce ingredients

Everywhere it says 2-4 TBSP on sauce ingredients, you need to Pick 2 or 4 and stick to it with every ingredient. It’s not 2 of one thing and 4 of another.

The oil can be almost any cooking oil, but to get the right taste you need sesame seed oil, and you want a pure kind or it’s partially soybean oil.

I use 1-2 TBSP of pure sesame seed oil + 1-2 TBSP of peanut oil. You can use less oil, but that kind of the base of the sauce.

The half of the sauce is 2-4 TBSP Soy Sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of chili paste. You can increase the chili paste to taste, but these instructions are 1/2 TBSP.

MEAT

I say chicken cut bite-sized, but I’ve gotten pork loin to work and sometimes beef but beef is tricky (the experiments with beef have revolved around stew meat and sirloin tips, the tips have worked better). Portions of meat is such a personal choice. I’m mostly happy with an 8oz portion of meat, but it’s got to be what you like.

Veggies

This is such a personal thing, the veggies are veggies, the sauce is kung pao. I’ve gotten it to work with broccoli I’ve never put that in it since.

Cook veggies 3-5 minutes

The veggies should be timed so they’re in the heat for 3-5 minutes, so they come out crunchy and hot. Stir them up good so the sauce is on them.

Vegan

One don’t put the chicken or meat in it, where the recipes 5-10 minutes while the rice cooks, change to 20-25 minutes and just whip up the sauce and add veggies.

Legumes and Rice are key

If you put enough snow peas, snap peas, and green beans in, with the right portion of rice, it completes the protein. There is zero need for meat. This recipe could ultimately be a kung pao green beans recipe.

Experimentation

I created this recipe with experimentation. You may not get it right the first time. Just don’t cook at a super high temperature, don’t overcook, don’t burn anything. Broccoli and maybe even asparagus could work as other vegan proteins.

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