Skip to main content

Kung Pao Chicken and Beef with Broccoli - A pair of Chinese classics

Kung Pao Chicken 

This is a wonderful dish, which combines the smoky flavor of dark soy sauce, the freshness of green onion and the crunch of peanuts.

It is a fusion dish, as it often shows up on Szechwan menus, but is actually a dish from the Beijing region. Always a favorite of mine from Chinese take away, I finally worked out the recipe to make it at home.


1.5 lbs of boneless Chicken Breast, cut into cubes
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Egg White
1 Tbsp Mirin, or dry Sherry

Mix all ingredients together and marinade in refrigerator for at least one hour prior to cooking.

Prepare the sauce mixture just before beginning to cook and set it aside.

Sauce Mixture:
2 Tbsp of Mirin, or dry Sherry
1 Tbsp of Chili Garlic Paste, or 6-8 dried whole red chilies
2 tsp of Worstershire Sauce
2 Tbsp of Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp of Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp of Light Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp of Water
1 Tbsp of Cornstarch

4 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
¼ - ½ cup of unsalted Chicken Stock
1 Red Pepper, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 bunch of Green Onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
½ cup of Peanuts, unsalted
Oil for cooking

Begin by preheating the wok or pan to a high heat, then add the oil to cover the bottom of the wok. This will be approx. 3 to 4 Tbsp.

When very hot, carefully add the garlic, and quickly sauté, but do not brown. Add the chicken minute into the pan and cook until it loses its rawness. The chicken will take on a velvety texture and slightly brown. Remove it form the wok with a slotted spoon or your wok tool.

Now add the red pepper and cook until the mixture is almost done. Add the sauce mixture, half of the unsalted chicken stock and green onions and cook until the chicken is done. You can add the rest of the stock if it is too thick.

At the very end, stir in the peanuts and serve immediately with steamed Chinese rice.

Beef with Oyster Sauce and Broccoli 

This is a very simple but wonderful dish, which is both healthy and fast to prepare. It reflects the simplicity of Chinese cooking, and remember preparation time for Asian food is in the beginning, not after you start cooking.

Once you start, everything should be ready to go. As the French so perfectly say, “mis en place”, everything in its place


2 Tbsp. Oil
½ lb. Flank Steak, cut thinly against the grain. Hint: If you slightly freeze the meat before cutting, it is easier to get the thin slices.
½ lb. Broccoli florets, blanched for 3 minutes in boiling salted water, then drained
3 cloves of fresh minced Garlic
1 2 in. piece of fresh Ginger Root, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp. Dry Sherry
1 Tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Cornstarch
½ tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil 

Preheat pan, and then add oil, and bring until just starting to  smoke. Now add garlic and ginger and stir-fry very quickly and add meat, and cook for 2 minutes. 

Add all remaining ingredients except broccoli and sesame oil. Stir-fry for another one minute and then add broccoli, and cook for another minute. 

Add toasted sesame oil, remove from heat and serve with steamed Chinese rice.


Popular posts from this blog

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.

Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 

After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Turbot Poached In Puttanesca Sauce

I wanted to build on the puttanesca sauce I posted yesterday to show how a versatile sauce can be used to prepare multiple dishes.

I got the idea to poach some fish in the puttanesca sauce, as I found some really nice turbot at the market.

1 large finely chopped Onion 4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped 2- 28 oz. cans of crushed or diced Tomatoes, or whole tomatoes that are lightly chopped in the processor.
3 Tbsp Olive Oil 3 tsp. Red Pepper flakes or a few whole red peppers
4 to 6 Anchovy filets ¼ cup of Capers, (Try to get the salted capers and prepare them by rinsing and then soaking for 30 minutes. it's worth the extra effort, as the flavor is vastly superior to the brined capers). ½ cup pitted Kalamata Olives Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 lb Turbot, cut into four pieces. You could substitute Cod, Hake or Monkfish.
Note: You will notice that there is no salt in this recipe. When you consider the olives, anchovies and capers, you really don't need additional salt. If you omit…

French Seafood Stew aka Bouillabaisse

I've always enjoyed bouillabaisse, but I've never tried making it. I assumed (wrongly) that it was very complicated. 

It is really simple to make and I have minimized the ingredients below, to make it even easier than a classical preparation. However, if you want a classic Bouillabaisse, just add in the optional ingredients listed below
Bouillabaisse is basically a fisherman's stew and reflects what seafood was caught fresh that day. There are many variations of this classic dish from Marseille.

I like to start with the classic preparations and then branch off from there. If you find a set of common ingredients, then you can start to craft your own recipe and make it your own. 
I love cookbooks and read them like novels. I always basically know the recipe I want to prepare, but I find that looking at multiple recipes and sources, gives me the best results. This is loosely based on Ina Garten’s Seafood Stew. 
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 large Onion, chopped  1 teas…