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The dish is named after Ding Baozhen (1820-1886), a late Qing Dynasty official. Born in Guizhou, Ding served as head of Shandong province and later as governor of Sichuan province. His title was Gong Bao , or palatial guardian. The name 'Kung Pao' chicken is derived from this title.


The original Sichuan version of Kung Pao chicken, uses chicken as its primary ingredient. In this original version, diced chicken is typically mixed with a prepared marinade. The wok is seasoned and then chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns are flash fried to add fragrance to the oil. Then the chicken is stir fried and vegetables, along with peanuts, are added. Shaoxing wine is used to enhance flavor in the marinade.


Kung Pao Chicken is considered an Asian delicacy for most. It starts off with fresh, moist, unroasted peanuts or cashew nuts. These are often used instead of their pre-roasted versions. The peanuts or cashew nuts are dropped into the hot oil on the bottom of the wok first, then deep fried until golden brown before the other ingredients are added.


 

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