Kung Pao Chicken is spicy with a crunch from both peanuts and water chestnuts. Just remember that the trick to successful stir-fry is to have everything ready, chopped, mixed, etc., before you start cooking as the stir-fry goes very quickly. Sesame Snow Peas are light, savory and a perfect side dish to Kung Pao Chicken for an easy weeknight meal. For the complete Week 11 Menu, go to Week Eleven Easy Meals Plan & Grocery List.
From this week’s groceries you will need:
1/2 cup Cal Rose rice (short-grained rice typically used in Asian cooking – click here for more info)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
6 ounces chicken tenders
1/2 teaspoon chili paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 & 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 red bell pepper (from Day 1’s meal)
2 green onions
1 small can whole water chestnuts
4 ounces snow peas (also called Chinese pea pods)
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (depends on how hot you like your food)
1/4 cup skinless peanuts, not dry roasted (recommended: cocktail peanuts)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
salt and pepper
Note: For the complete weekly grocery list, go to Week Eleven Easy Meals Plan & Grocery List.
Crunchy, savory Sesame Snow Peas
• Place rice and 1 cup water in saucepan. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and set timer for 20 minutes.
• Separate the egg yolk from the egg white, placing the egg white in a bowl and discarding the egg yolk.
• Add the cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the egg white and whisk with fork.
• Cut chicken tenders into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces. Add to the cornstarch and egg white mixture and toss well to coat the chicken pieces. Set aside.
• In a bowl, mix together the chili paste, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, dry sherry, rice vinegar, sugar, chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Set aside.
• Peel the garlic clove and mince.
• Dice the half a red bell pepper. (Make sure you save the remaining quarter of the red bell peperr to use later this week.)
• Rinse the green onions under cold running water. Cut off and discard the root ends. Slice the green onions into 1/2-inch lengths.
• Drain the water from can of water chestnuts. Cut each chestnut into quarters.
• Wash the snow peas under cold running water. Trim off and discard the stem end. Set aside.
• Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
• When hot, add the chicken. Stir-fry until chicken becomes opaque and is no longer pink.
• Add the minced garlic, diced bell pepper and red chili pepper flakes. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
• Add the peanuts, green onion and water chestnuts. Stir-fry for another 1 minute.
• Add the soy sauce/vinegar/sherry mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. This will only take about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cover with lid to keep warm.
• Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
• Add the sesame seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds just until then begin to turn golden.
• Add the snow peas and stir fry-for 1 minute.
• Remove from heat and toss with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 2 teaspoons soy sauce.
Serve the kung pao chicken with the steamed rice and sesame snow peas for a delicious DIY dinner.
Go to Margie’s Easy Meals, “20-somethings: Week Eleven Easy Meals Plan & Grocery List,” for Day 3’s easy meal, Becky’s Butternut Squash Soup and Panzanella. To receive e-mail alerts for new articles from the San Jose Easy Meals Examiner, click on the Subscribe button above.