Friday, February 15, 2008

Celebrating Valentines Day with Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice

Yesterday was valentine's day. For the past two years, I have been in India during Feburary (for my yearly India trip)and my husband was here. So we were not together. This year, I decided to make something special for him. Samir loves chicken and chinese and so I decided to make Kung Pao chicken. I got this recipe from the Chinese Cook Book, which I purchased at Costco some time back. This book has a wonderful collection of chinese, Thai, and other asian recipes. The kung pao tasted very good with the fried rice.

Also in the picture are the two cards that I received from my two valentines, Samir and my two year old son Rudra. The cards were really so beautiful, with very nice wordings.


Kung Pao Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp sherry (optional)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
½ tsp sugar
1 tblsp corn starch
1 tsp red chili powder

Other ingredients
1/4th cup peanuts
5-6 dried red chilies
2 tsp finely chopped ginger and garlic
½ green or red bell pepper (capsicum) chopped
2 tsp dry sherry (optional)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp chili sauce or chili powder
1 tblsp corn starch
½ cup water
Oil 2 tblsp
Chopped green onions for garnish.

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Smaller pieces cook faster. Marinate in the above and keep for ½ hour. Or you can marinate it for more time or overnight and then ½ hour before cooking, add the corn starch.

Heat oil. Fry the peanuts on slow flame till they change color and become crispy. Remove.

Increase the heat to high. Add the dried red chilies to the pan. Add the chicken and stir fry on high heat for 4-5 mins till the chicken is cooked.

Add the bell pepper and peanuts and fry for 2-3 mins.
Mix sherry, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chili sauce, corn starch and water. Stir it well and add to the above chicken. Reduce the heat and cook for 1-2 mins till the sauce gets a little thick.
Sprinkle with green onions.

Vegetable Fried Rice
Long grain rice 1 cup, cooked and cooled.
½ small onion chopped
1-2 carrots chopped
Small piece of cabbage chopped
Some bell pepper chopped
1-2 green onions chopped
2 tsp ginger chopped
2-3 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp vinegar
2 tblsp oil

Soak the rice in water for 15 mins. Heat water in a big pan. Add some salt. When the water starts boiling, add the rice. Cook till the rice is done. Drain and cool. Keep it in the fridge for some time to cool it. I generally make the rice in the morning.

Heat oil on high flame. Add the ginger, fry for 20 secs. Add onions, fry for some time. Then add carrots, fry for a min, add cabbage, spring onion and bell pepper, stir fry for 1 min.

Then add the rice, mix well and stir fry for 1 min. Add soy sauce, vinegar and mix well. Taste for salt. If you want it spicy, you can add some chili sauce. Since I make the chicken very spicy, I don’t add any chilies to the fried rice.
Yo can add any other vegetables you have on hand like green beans, mushrooms etc.

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Sowjanya Yinti said...

Kun pao chicken is our favorite. I might have to recipe lift yours and make it some time soon :).

Cham said...

We always love The Kung Pao chicken. This fiery chichen is heaven. Hope u had a great day!

Happy cook said...

Wow I've bookemarked the chicken recipe. It looks so delicious.
You hubby is a happy man getting such a delicious chicken.

Asha said...

How sweet! Got a card from son too!:))
Kung Pao is our fav Chinese food to order, looks delicious there Vimmi.Enjoy the love of both.
Send this to Bindiya for her "Chinese Food" event.
See you next week!:)

vimmi said...

Hi Sowjaya,
DO try it.

Thanks Cham.

Hi Happy cook,
My H says the same thing. Hope he means it.

Hi Ashaji,
Didn't know about this event . Will send it to Bindiya. We also alwyas order chinese take out but some times I crave for home cooked.

Dhivya said...

wow kung pao favorite...s'derday v had it in chinese restaraurant....Glad tat u made this in home....will surely try..thanks for the wonderful recipe

Kalai said...

We love kung pao!! Your version looks delicious and not too complicated either. Hope you had a wonderful V-day! Will definitely try this. :)

vimmi said...

Hi Dhivya,
We have a two yr old so it's either take out or eating at home.

Do try it Kalai. Most chinese and Thai recipes are pretty simple if u have all the ingredients at home.

Pravs said...

i have tasted kung pao chicken at a friends place..nice combinations with fried rice. So sweet to get a card from your little one too :)

sra said...

The fried rice looks really colourful and appetising. Don't think I've ever eaten kung pao chicken.

Miri said...

Happy V day!

vimmi said...

Hi Pravs,
Yes my hubby alwyas gets me a card from the little one too.

Hi Sra,

try this comb, its great.

Hi Miri, Hope you had a fun day too.

Jaya said...

should I say ,u lucky girl 2 valentines cards LOL...
wow! i love kung pao chicken alot ..when we were in US we used to take away this one form our fav chinese food joint ...
now i have the recipe ..thanks Vimmi for sharing
hugs and smiles

Homecooked said...

Wow....this looks so good.Will definitely try this one out.

vimmi said...

Hi Jaya,
I am lucky indeed. Do try this recipe, its easy.

Thanks Homecooked.

meeso said...

Yummy, yummy! Looks awesome!

Divya Vikram said...

WOw..ur chicken n fried rice look like those from Panda Express..Have to try them..