This article is a Kung Pao Chicken restaurant guide. For the original Sichuan recipe to make at home, I have created this video recipe for you.
A good plate of Kung Pao Chicken should be crunchy, spicy, savory, with a touch of sour-sweetness. The Chinese call this “Lychee-taste” to indicate the subtlety of the sweet- and sourness.
You can find Kung Pao Chicken in almost all Chinese restaurant across the globe, but how can you tell if it’s authentic? Here’re some simple indicators:
1) There should only be peanuts, chicken and chili peppers in the dish, no other ingredients. If you see diced celery, bell pepper, cucumber or carrots appearing on the plate, run away as fast as you can and never return to this so-called “Chinese restaurant”.
2) It should be made with chicken thigh, not chicken breast. Contrary to the American taste buds, Chinese despise chicken breasts and hardly use it in cooking. If you see Kung Pao Chicken made with chicken breasts, call out the owner and gave him a thumb down—he’s lazy.
3) You should taste a hint of sweet- and sourness. This is a plus. If you detected them, especially the sourness, make friends with the chef. You’ll have a happy belly for the rest of your life.