Gongpao Chicken

Gongpao Chicken

 

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 egg white

5 tbsp soy sauce, divided

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp black (Chinese) vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup vegetable oil + 2 tbsp

½ cup peanuts and/or cashews

1 green pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)

3 dried or fresh red Thai peppers, chopped

1” knob ginger, minced or grated

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 cups fresh basil leaves (1.5 ounces)

Dash salt

 

Cut chicken into 1” cubes and place into a bowl.  Add egg white, 2 tbsp soy sauce and cornstarch.  Gently mix with your hands for 2 minutes.

Mix remaining soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 cup vegetable oil and peanuts/cashews in a heavy skillet and turn on the heat to medium-high.  Cook nuts to golden brown and remove from oil.

Add chicken to the same oil and cook until there is no more pink, 6-8 minutes.  Remove from the pan.

Add green pepper and saute until slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Add 2 tbsp oil and turn the heat up to high.  When the pan is heated, add garlic, red peppers and ginger.  Cook until aromatic, 1-2 minutes.

Return nuts, chicken and green peppers back into the pan.  Add sauce and green onion.  Cook, stirring constantly, until all ingredients are hot.  Add basil and cook just until wilted.

Serve with rice, if desired.

 

6 servings, 535 calories per serving

Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in serving size portions for up to 3 months.

Hack:  Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root?  Grating it in its frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it!  Simply place it in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.

Hack:  Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

 

Traditional Chinese Hot Pot

Traditional Chinese Hot Pot
(Courtesy:  Yuhong Sun)

 

1 lb beef flank*

4” knob fresh ginger (1 ounce or ¼ cup sliced)

5 cloves garlic

2 green onions

2 bay leaves

2 star anise

3-4 dried hot peppers to taste

1 onion

Dipping sauce:

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chili sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Ingredients to cook in hot pot: Typical hot pot ingredients include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, vermicelli, sliced potatoes, dumplings, tofu, small meatballs and seafood but feel free to use whatever you like or have on hand.

 

Put beef and ginger in water. Bring to a boil and cook until the blood comes out, about 15 minutes. Drain water and cut beef into 2” chunks.

Place meat and ginger in an Instant Pot. Add garlic, green onions, bay leaves, anise, hot peppers and onion. Cook for one hour.**

While broth is cooking, assemble individual bowls of dipping sauce for each person.

Strain and pour broth into an electric hot pot (or hot plate topped with heat proof container) that has been placed on the table within easy reach of all diners (Use two or more pots if needed). Adjust heat to keep broth at a simmer.

Using chopsticks or other utensils, drop pieces of food into the hot pot to cook. Once the item is cooked, use chopsticks or a small strainer to remove items to your plate. Season with dipping sauce, if desired. Separate utensils are recommended for handling raw and cooked food.

The broth is usually strained and consumed after everyone is done eating or kept for use in a future meal. It can be frozen for up to a year.

*Beef, pork or chicken marrow bones can substituted for flank

**If preferred, stock can also be simmered, covered, on the stove over low heat for 6 hours or in a slow cooker on low for 12 hours.

Hack:  Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root?  Grating it in it’s frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it!  Simply place in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.

Hack:  Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.