Yes, I received a threat email the other day.

Yes, you. I would like to hang my head in shame.

Yes, fine. I have not written a recipe in a long time. Especially one with chicken in it.

Yes, fine, my head is hung. And here’s your recipe.

Take 500 gm. chicken breast and cut them into small pieces. I like cutting them in strips, but the other day I wanted to cut them in cubes.

I am rebellious like that.

Apply salt, pepper, a squeeze of lime or a teaspoon of vinegar, half a teaspoon garlic paste or crushed garlic on the chicken, and leave it alone for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a good bit of oil.

Sprinkle cornstarch (cornflour in India) on the chicken pieces, about a tablespoon’s worth, preferably through a sieve to get to all the nooks and crannies. Working in small batches, fry the chicken in hot fat until they are golden.

From the cooking oil, take 2 tablespoons in a wok or pan, and heat it over high flame. Violently throw in 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon garlic paste, and 1 onion, cut in quarters and then each segment pulled apart, till you have lovely onion petals.

I am artistic that way.

Fry together over high heat for a couple of minutes. Add 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (you can use Kikkoman or like me, go to Chinatown nearby and get freshly fermented light soy sauce. Yay for having Chinatown near my house), 2 chopped shiitake mushrooms (rehydrate if these mushrooms are dry, and if you can’t find them, ditch them), 1 teaspoon red chilli paste (this is CRUCIAL) and 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine.

Stir briskly till the cooking wine is mostly evaporated, add the chicken, a tablespoon of  vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce. Stir in 1 cup of chicken stock or water mixed with 2 teaspoon cornstarch. Let the gravy thicken and then remove from heat. I like using the water that I reserved from rehydrating the mushrooms for a hit of extra flavors. Serve. Make people happy.

I swear. You should try this. It will knock your socks off.

Written by Poorna Banerjee


  1. Nancy D'souza 2017-05-16 at 3:25 am Reply

    Very good n delicious..Taste awesome..thanks for sharing it..Do u know d recipe of kung pao chicken appetizer served by 5 spices restaurant? It has sweet n spicy coated gravy with fried batter chicken in generous dash of sesame oil..very juicy n delicious n tasty..
    Where can I get sherry wine or rice vinegar n light soy sauce like u said Kikkoman, is it available online purchase? Coz I am from Mumbai. So I can purchase directly online..I need authentic Chinese items..
    Thanking you,

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-05-16 at 6:51 am Reply

      Nancy, Shaoxing wine, which is Chinese cooking wine, is easily available at New Market. You will get Kung Pao Chicken in most popular Chinese eateries, including Kim Ling (Chinatown). Also, directly online, you can buy Kikkoman from Amazon.

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