Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spicy Kung-pao Chicken Wings with Roasted Nuts - Hongkong version


Kung-pao or Szechuan style chicken is hugely popular in Hongkong, and I am a big fan of its taste - chili-y, slightly tangy, and with a fainted aroma of wine. The US version or the one in Barcelona tends to be saucey, sweet and tomato-y. HK version would just have enough sauce to coat the meat, the flavor is fairy spicy and salty.

Long time ago I traveled with a friend to a Chinese province where is famous for its fiery hot dish. Even we both believed our tongues "coated with gold" (just a saying... as it takes strong fire to melt a gold...), but for safe, we had requested a chef in a local restaurant to take out all the hot taste. Not even a half way through of our meal, our sinus were pretty much flooded and our tongues almost melted away.

Now I am making some Chinese dishes that keep well for a day or 2, so in this dish I tried using wings (the skin protects the meat, good for reheating), and hazelnuts (its texture slightly better than peanut or cashew on the next day). So enjoy... even tomorrow!


Ingredients (6 middle wings... for 1 person)

  • 6 middle wings
  • 6 hazelnuts (or replace with raw peanut or cashew nuts)
  • 1 stalk green onion, cut abt 3-inch in length
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp (prefer hotter go for higher) of dried red pepper, crushed
  • 1 slice of ginger
  • 1 Tbsp of Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1 + 1 tsp of Chinese rice wine
  • 1 Tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp of sugar (use the 1/2 tsp first, adjust later)
  • 1/4 + 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili sauce (perfer hotter go for higher)
  • white pepper
  • peanut oil


  1. Marinate the wings with some white pepper, 1/4 tsp sesame oil and a pinch of sugar. Set aside.
  2. Combine the vinegar, 1 tsp wine, soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp sesame oil and chili sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small skillet, pour about 1 - 2 Tbsps of peanut oil, add nuts and roast them over medium/ medium-low heat until the nuts turn golden brown. Spoon the nuts on a plate and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, saute the garlic, red pepper, ginger, and green onion over low heat for about a minute or 2. Then add the chicken and 1 tsp wine, continue saute them over medium/ medium-low heat, until they are 80% done... that took me about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium (or slightly higher), stir in the sauce to cook until the meat is done. Taste and adjust the seasoning. In the last minute add in the nuts, stir well and scoop them on a serving plate.
  5. The dish not supposes to have excessive sauce since it all sticks on the chicken. It still tastes great on the second day.

To replace with chicken dark meat (de-bone, cube), use 370 g which is enough for 4 persons as one of the dishes in a meal. Triple the amount of the seasoning. The meat may release too much liquid (or if you add some vegetable) that will dilute the flavor. Once the meat (and nut) is done, scoop them on a plate, and leave the sauce in skillet and continue to cook it until it's slightly thicken. Pour the sauce over the meat.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks really awesome and tempting!



Ravenous Couple said...

this version looks really good!! Love the spice

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Gold coated tongues and even they melted! Must have been super hot!
This would work to take to lunch.

Homemade Heaven said...

Spicy and Salty, that is exactly my kind of food and chicken wings are my absolute favourite!