As with a good stir-fry, high heat is essential to make Gong Bao Chicken. Since reaching as high temperature as a Chinese restaurant is very difficult, home-cooked Gong Bao chicken often comes out watery or flat in taste.
Below is my version of Gong Bao Chicken where I try to get as close as possible to the restaurant taste using a normal stove at home and without overusing cornstarch or adding any MSG, ketchup or sweet chili sauce. The trick is to not throw all the ingredients in together to the wok at once, but to stir-fry the ingredients in stages and then combine it all together at the end.
Because my family is from a coastal area we do love our seafood, so often I will replace the chicken with shrimp. To make Gong Bao Shrimp, substitute 400g peeled shrimp for the 400g of chicken fillet. Besides shrimp, you can use tofu or king oyster mushrooms as well. Additionally, if you are allergic to peanuts, you can use cashew nuts instead.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: less then 30 minutes Wok, colander
1 teaspoon is 5ml, 1 tablespoon is 15ml
400gr chicken fifillet (about 2 chicken fifillet)
1 Chinese leek or 5 spring onions (about 70gr)
8 small dried chili peppers or 5 big dried chili peppers (10gr)
2 gloves garlic
1 slice ginger (5gr)
1 teaspoon Sichuan pep- percorn (2gr)
50gr roasted peanuts
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch Vegetable oil
Gong Bao Sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (shaoxin wine) 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce 2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons black rice vinegar (Cheng cu or Chin- kiang vinegar)*
1,5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Sichuan Pixian bean paste
1 teaspoon corn starch
Pat the Chicken fillet dry with kitchen paper. Dice the chicken fillet into even cubes of 1 by 1 cm. Place it into a bowl and season with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons corn starch (corn flour or maizena), 1-tablespoon vegetable oil and set aside.
Slice the garlic and cut the ginger in small square pieces. Slice the leek in 1 cm pieces.
Cut the dried chili into 1cm pieces and remove the seeds.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in one bowl and taste and adjust the sourness and sweetness flavor when needed and set aside.
Add 5 tablespoons vegetable oil in the wok and when it is smoking hot fry the chicken till cooked and transfer to a colander to drain the excess oil and moist.
Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in the wok and stir fry on low heat the dried chili peppers and Sichuan pepper corn till fragrant: transfer the dry spices from the wok to the plate and leave the oil behind.
Add the ginger, garlic and leek into the wok and stir fry till fragrant: turn the heat up high add in the Chicken: give it a good stir and add in the sauce and mix well. Toss in the fried dried peppers, Sichuan peppercorn and the peanuts: add salt to taste and serve it with some rice.