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Gongbao Chicken

Gongbao chickenGongbao Chicken or Kung Pou Kai Ting (cantonese) has always been my favourite childhood dish.  I remembered that whenever I go to any restaurants in Malaysia, I will order this dish.  Most Malaysians are very familiar with Esquire Kitchen’s Gongbao Chicken and they normally serve it with steamed man tou so you can dip into the sauce *yum*.  So this is what i’m trying to recreate here 🙂  The main hero can be replaced with seafood like squid, fish or prawn.

Since coming to Melbourne, I don’t have much luck in finding the Gongbao Chicken that taste like ‘home’ to me.  So, I began to obsessively look for the most authentic Gongbao Chicken recipe and I found it in A Table for Two, a Sydney food blog created by Malaysian Australia Master Chef finalist Billy Law.  This recipe has been tried and tested many times … trust me, the end result is to-die-for 🙂

Gongbao chicken

Gongbao Chicken (adapted from A Table for Two)

Serves 4 as part of a sharing meal

Ingredients :
3 skinless chicken thigh fillets, diced and fat removed
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4-5 pieces of dried red chillies, soak in hot water for 1 min, drain and set aside
1/2 onion, cut in quarters
4 scallion, cut into 2 inch length
1/2 cup of unsalted cashew nuts, roasted
1/2 carrot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp peanut oil

Chicken Marinade :
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch

Seasoning :
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce, adjust if you want darker color
1 tsp sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tbsp soy sauce

Method :
1. Prepare the chicken – dice the chicken thigh fillets and remove fat.  Then place them in a bowl.  Mix all the marinade ingredients together in another bowl.  Pour the diced chicken into the marinade and mix well.  Then chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

2. Remove the chicken from the fridge 1/2 hour before cooking.  In the mean time, get all the other ingredients ready like dried red chillies, onion, scallion, carrot and cashew nuts.

3. Heat the wok with peanut oil (if there is no peanut oil, vegetable oil will do).

4. Add the dried chillies and stir fry until they are fragrant and crisp.  Then add garlic and stir fry for a while until you can smell the aroma.

5. Place all the chicken into the wok and stir fry until they are cooked.  Once you can see that the chicken is cooked, slowly add the seasoning and remember to taste as you add them.

6. Mix well until all the chicken is covered with the sauce.  Then add the other ingredients like onion, scallion and carrot.  Stir fry for a little more and then add the roasted cashew nuts.

7. Toss well and serve hot with steamed man tou (chinese buns) or steamed rice.


Note : If you want the dish to be more spicy and gives you more kick, you can add sichuan peppercorn which will give you a tongue-numbing effect.  I don’t like that effect and therefore have omitted from this recipe.

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