Amy Jiang, from Shanghai, shows how to make Kung Pao
Amy Jiang grew up in Shanghai and came to New Zealand in
At first she lived in Auckland but moved to Dunedin in 2009
to establish the Noodle Hut restaurants in Moray Pl and South
Kung pao chicken originated in Sichuan and is famous
throughout China, she says.
Its history goes back more than 100 years and there are many
versions, but this is one she learnt from her mother.
Kung pao chicken
Amy's Kung Pao chicken. Photos by Peter
4 boneless chicken drumsticks
a squirt of sesame oil
1-1½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
2 sticks celery
½ green pepper
½ red pepper
1 spring onion
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic
soybean oil for frying
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2-4 Tbsp Chinese chilli and garlic paste or sauce (or to
salted roast peanuts
Wash the meat and cut it into dice. Put it in a bowl and
sprinkle with cornstarch, sugar, salt, pepper and a squirt of
sesame oil. Mix well so the chicken is covered with the
flavourings and leave to marinate.
Peel the strings from the back of the celery sticks and
remove the leaves. Slice diagonally.
Peel the carrot, slice lengthwise then cut into diagonal
chunks. Put them in boiling water and cook for a few minutes
until just starting to soften. Then remove and drain.
Slice the peppers and spring onion. Crush the garlic cloves
and slip the skins off. Slice finely. Slice the ginger
Heat a pot and pour in about 2.5cm of oil. When the oil is
hot, remove from heat, add the chicken pieces and their
marinade carefully. Return to heat and allow to bubble,
stirring occasionally until the chicken changes colour and is
cooked. Strain the chicken in a sieve and leave to drain,
saving the oil.
For the sauce, put about a tablespoon of cornstarch in a bowl
and mix with about cup water - you may not need the full
amount. Put about a tablespoon of oyster sauce in a bowl and
thin with a little water.
Now you are ready to start cooking.
Heat a wok, then add a couple of tablespoons of oil from
cooking the chicken. Allow it to heat, stirring until it
stops sizzling. Add the spring onions, garlic and ginger and
stir-fry until it is aromatic. Add the pepper, celery and
carrot. Stir and continue to cook for a minute or so. Season
with about ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp sugar and pepper. Then add
chilli and garlic sauce to your taste, and when it is stirred
in and hot, add the chicken. When the chicken is heated
through, add the thinned oyster sauce and enough of the
dissolved cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Stir in a handful
of salted roast peanuts.
Serve with extra peanuts sprinkled on top, with rice and