If you were to ask someone to name the most famous Chinese dish, there's a good chance their response would be Gong Bao Chicken. As one of the world's most renowned and beloved Chinese dishes, Gong Bao Chicken has a rich history and a taste that has captured the hearts and palates of people all over the globe.
A Brief History
Gong Bao Chicken (宮保雞丁), also referred to as Kung Pao Chicken in English, owes its origins to Ding Baozhen, a respected official during the Qing Dynasty who held prestigious positions as Governor in both Shandong and Sichuan provinces. Ding Baozhen had a deep passion for the culinary arts, particularly when it came to chicken and peanuts, especially when infused with spicy flavours.
While serving as an official in Shandong, Ding Baozhen instructed his family's chef to enhance a local Shandong dish known as "Jiang Bao Chicken" by infusing it with more spice. Subsequently, during his tenure as the Governor of Sichuan, he gained popularity for his culinary invention - a delectable fusion involving stir-fried diced chicken, red chilli peppers, and peanuts.
Originally, this delectable creation was a well-guarded secret within the Ding family but eventually gained widespread recognition under the name Gong Bao Chicken. The term "Gong Bao" is a reference to Ding Baozhen's distinguished official title. Ding Baozhen governed Sichuan with integrity for a decade, achieving numerous commendable accomplishments. He passed away while still in office during the 11th year of the Guangxu reign. In acknowledgment of his contributions, the Qing court posthumously bestowed upon him the title of "Gong Bao." Consequently, in honour of Ding Baozhen, the dish he pioneered became known as "Gong Bao Chicken."
The Flavour Explosion
Gong Bao Chicken's hallmark lies in its remarkable marriage of spiciness and sweetness. The tender chicken, harmoniously paired with crispy peanuts, elicits a tantalising sensory experience characterised by its vibrant and balanced spiciness. It possesses a fiery hue without overwhelming heat, resulting in a delightful and crispy texture.
Upon savouring Gong Bao Chicken, one's taste buds embark on a journey commencing with a gentle tingling and mild spiciness, followed by a delightful surge of sweetness. With each bite, a subtle hint of tanginess may also grace the palate. This harmonious blend of numbing, spicy, tangy, and sweet flavours, intermingling with the succulent chicken, green onions, and peanuts, crafts an irresistibly flavourful dish. Personally, this dish holds a special place as one of my favourite Sichuan stir-fry creations, as it not only showcases the art of Chinese stir-frying with precise temperature control but also boasts one of the most perfectly blended flavour profiles.
Try it Yourself
Now, if you're feeling inspired to try your hand at making this iconic dish, here's a simple recipe for you to follow:
- Dice 300g chicken thigh into 2cm cubes.
- Add 10g light soy, half an egg white, 2g salt, 10g Shaoxing Wine, and 8g cornflour.
- Massage the chicken for 30 seconds with the seasoning and pour 50ml vegetable oil on top.
- Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preparing Vegetables and Peanuts:
- Fry 100g raw peanuts in cooking oil for 2 minutes until they become crunchy.
- Chop 100g spring onions into 2cm pieces.
- Portion 20g sun-dried chilli pieces.
- Combine 3 tablespoons soy sauce, half a tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of Chinese Vintage black vinegar, 5g minced garlic, and 6g potato starch in a bowl.
- Add 5 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and heat it up.
- Add the marinated chicken and fry until cooked through.
- Add vegetables and fry for another minute.
- Mix the sauce well and pour it into the pan.
- As the sauce starts to thicken, add peanuts.
- Dish out and enjoy!
Order with Ease
If the idea of making it from scratch doesn't appeal to you, fear not! You can easily order Gong Bao Chicken from our website, and rest assured, it's known as one of the most authentic Gong Bao Chicken dishes in the UK, according to our loyal customers😊. The Gong Bao Chicken we serve is truly a culinary masterpiece that's sure to tantalise your taste buds and leave you craving more.
So, whether you decide to prepare it yourself or opt for the convenience of ordering, Gong Bao Chicken is a dish that promises an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Enjoy the perfect balance of flavours, the history, and the culinary expertise that this dish brings to your table.
Stay tuned for more delightful culinary explorations!