A Chinese classic, this dish can be served for lunch or best enjoyed during dinner.
- 600 g Chicken breast fillet (skinless)
- 5 tablespoons Light soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons Rice wine
- 2 teaspoons Roasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon Cornflour (or corn starch)
- 120 g Water chestnuts (peeled)
- 3 tablespoons Oil
- 400 g Red capsicum
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 120 g Unsalted peanuts ((3/4 cup))
- 1 Spring onion (or scallion, finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Ginger (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Chilli sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Chinese black rice vinegar
- 60 ml Chicken stock ((1/4 cup))
- Cube the chicken into 2.5-centimetre pieces, then place them in a bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the rice wine, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil and 2 teaspoons of the corn starch or cornflour. Set aside the extra ingredients (i.e., soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and cornflour). Toss the ingredients lightly. Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- In a pan of boiling water, carefully blanch the water chestnuts. Transfer the water chestnuts in cold water, and then drain thoroughly. Pat the water chestnuts dry and slice them into thin pieces.
- Set a wok over high heat, and add a teaspoon of the oil. Once the oil is very hot, quickly add the spinach, salt, 2 teaspoons of garlic and 2 teaspoons of rice wine. Toss constantly, and turn off the heat once the spinach is almost limp. Remove the spinach from the wok and arrange it around the sides of a serving platter. Set aside and keep warm.
- Reheat the wok over high heat, then add a tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is very hot, add half of the cubed chicken and toss briskly until the meat is cooked. Remove the chicken using a slotted spoon and drain. Do the same with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and chicken. Wipe the wok cleanly.
- Use the wok to dry-fry the peanuts until browned. Remove the peanuts and set them aside.
- Reheat the wok, add what’s left of the oil and heat until very hot. Add the spring onion, ginger, the last of the garlic and the chilli sauce and stir fry for about 10 seconds. Add the water chestnuts and stir-fry for another 15 seconds, or until the ingredients are completely heated through.
- Combine the sugar, black vinegar, chicken stock and what’s left of the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and cornflour. Add these ingredients to the sauce and simmer until thickened. Finally, add the cooked chicken and the peanuts. Toss the ingredients lightly to ensure everything is evenly coated with the sauce.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the cooked kung pao chicken onto the platter with spinach and serve hot with steaming bowls of rice.