Explore the flavour-bomb that is Lyndey Milan's kung pao chicken recipe, paired best with Shiraz.
2 tbsp (40ml) soy sauce
2 tbsp (40ml) Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
750g chicken thigh fillets, cut into
½ tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
½ cup (125ml) peanut or grapeseed oil
45 peanuts in the shell, 90 (45g/1/3 cup) shelled peanuts
4 green onions, sliced diagonally into
1 red capsicum, cut into 2cm dice
1–2 long red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped, or to taste
4 dried long red chillies, roughly chopped
Steamed rice, to serve
For the sauce
1 tablespoon (20ml) Sichuan or other
Chinese chilli bean paste
1 tablespoon (20ml) hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons (40ml) Chiankiang black vinegar
½ teaspoon (5ml) sesame oil
1/3 cup (80ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper toasted and ground
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Recipe by Lyndey Milan
Photography by John Paul Urizar
Styling by Michaela Le Compte
Food Prep by Wendy Taplin
1. Combine soy, Shaoxing wine and white pepper and marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Drain, reserving the marinade and toss with cornflour.
2. Meanwhile for the sauce: combine all ingredients and taste for balance of salty, sweet and spicy.
3. Heat wok with half the oil over high heat. Fry the peanuts until golden and aromatic. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
4. Add onions, capsicum and chillies to the wok and stir-fry until softened. Remove and reserve. Wipe out wok with kitchen towel. Add remaining oil and stir-fry chicken in batches (to avoid overcrowding and stewing) until golden and almost cooked, approx. 4 minutes. Return the vegetables and chillies to the wok with the chicken.
5. Add sauce and reserved marinade, thencook for 1 minute or until slightly thick and glossy. Toss through the peanuts and serve immediately with steamed rice, if desired.
Lyndey’s note: If you can’t get Chiankiang vinegar, use rice wine vinegar or a good quality balsamic vinegar.